How does concussion affect vision?
Many patients suffer from significant visual symptoms after a concussion. In fact, professional sports teams use a simple visual test (known as the King-Devick) to determine if a player has suffered a concussion. Though most visual symptoms are temporary and last less than a month, in some cases visual symptoms may linger for months or years.
Post-concussion symptoms may include:
Headaches and/or eye strain
Blurry or fluctuating vision
Sensitivity to light
Dizziness when driving or when in crowded environments
Trouble reading or viewing phone/computer screens
Trouble with depth perception
Most vision symptoms following concussion should be treated if they persist past three weeks. The most common visual diagnoses after a concussion include convergence insufficiency and accommodative dysfunction which are conditions where the eyes have difficulty working together and/or difficulty keeping clarity for near work (ie phone or computer) thereby causing visual symptoms.
Our neuro-vision therapy optometrist, Dr. Amanda Sim OD, will diagnose and customize a personalized rehabilitation treatment plan to help you return to your daily activities as soon as possible. Delayed or no treatment may hinder success of recovery post-concussion.
What is a neuro-vision therapy program?
A neuro-vision therapy program is a personalized rehabilitation treatment plan designed to help correct post-concussion visual problems that cannot be fixed by glasses or contact lenses alone. It is usually a 20-50 week program (depending on concussion severity) and aims to decrease symptoms by focused exercises and therapy tailored to a patient's needs.
Post-concussion, visual symptoms are the result of structural damage or disruption of nerve wiring. Neuro-vision therapy strengthens the nerve wiring by training the brain to use the eyes more efficiently and accurately.
Each in-office session takes place in our dedicated space, which contains orthoptic equipment specifically designed for neuro-vision therapy rehabilitation. In each in-office session, Dr. Sim will guide and assist you in performing a coordinated and patient-specific series of “unfamiliar” or “novel” visual tasks that are designed to increase cognitive awareness as a means to improve eye movement control, enhance focusing and eye teaming ability, increase stereopsis, and open up spatial and peripheral awareness. She will also prescribe home activities to complement in-office sessions.
Dr. Sim may prescribe specialized glasses with a near boost to help with near work and/or prism, an additional component of the glasses prescription designed to provide additional comfort.
When is neuro-vision therapy recommended?
Neuro-vision therapy is recommended when post-concussion visual symptoms fail to resolve after two weeks post-concussion. While it is possible that post-concussion visual symptoms may heal on their own, they may persist for months to years. Our goal is to return you back to daily activities without symptoms as soon as possible.