Concussion/Acquired Brain Injury
In addition to working with children and other persons suffering from vision development problems, vision therapy also helps individuals who are experiencing visual complaints stemming from a head injury.
There are two types of acquired brain injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury refers to damage to the brain as a result of mechanical force. Concussion falls under this category. Examples of this specific injury include direct impact, whiplash such as rapid acceleration or deceleration, blast, or penetration.
- Non-traumatic brain injury refers to damage as a result of an internal or external source without physical trauma. This would include an injury resulting from an infection, ischemia, stroke, or brain tumor.
An estimated 90% of individuals develop visual complications following brain injuries. These symptoms may include:
- Double vision
- Blurred vision
- Dizziness or nausea
- Light sensitivity
- Eyestrain or eye irritation during or after reading
- Attention or concentration difficulties
- Staring behavior (low blink rate)
- Spatial disorientation
- Losing place when reading
- Can’t find the next line when reading
- Visual memory problems
- Pulls away from objects when they are brought close to them
- Binocular vision dysfunction (difficulty using the two eyes together)
- Difficulty shifting focus from near to far
- Words move or blur when reading
- Objects appear to move
- Unstable peripheral vision
- Associated neuromotor difficulties with balance, coordination, and posture
- Perceived movement of stationary objects
- Consistently stays to one side of hallway or room
- Bumps into objects when walking
- Poor walking or posture: leans back on heels, forward, or to one side when walking, standing, or seated in a chair
- Perception of the floor being tilted
These symptoms may occur immediately after the injury, or they may linger and worsen over time.
Neuroplasticity, or changes in the pathways of the brain, allows for the visual system to adapt after injury. This adaption allows for one to regain an efficient visual system and improves symptoms experienced after brain injuries. Reading, shopping, and basic daily activities can now become enjoyable once again.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the above symptoms, call our office to schedule a Binocular Vision Evaluation with Dr. Massucci.