Nova Vision Center for Optometric Vision Therapy Can Help

Recognized as one of the leading centers for Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation after Brain Injury; the doctors, vision therapists and staff at Nova Vision Care are dedicated to help you find solutions to the many difficulties you are facing since your injury.

Any time the brain is injured from disease, stroke or trauma, there is a good chance the vision system is affected. Two-thirds of all nerves entering the brain originate from the eyes. When there is injury, vision problems are very common.

This information sheet will provide you with answers about how vision relates to brain injury.

The Five Most Common Vision Problems Secondary to Brain Injury (Stroke, Tumor, Trauma)…

  • Eye Movement Disorders
  • Double Vision
  • Loss Of Peripheral Vision
  • Balance Disorders
  • Visual Information Processing Dysfunction

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation (NOR) can help overcome devastating visual problems allowing one to return to activities such as driving and reading.

Double Vision:

Treatment for double vision may involve the use of a special prisms to redirect light into the turned eye, so as to eliminate the double vision.

Visual Field Loss:

Often treated with the use of a “field awareness prism”, it is like a “picture-in-picture” television, in that visual information from the non-seeing field is moved into the seeing field so that there is awareness of visual information in the otherwise blind visual field.

Balance Disorders:

For balance, the use of an individualized prescribed “yoked prism” re-aligns the balancing system of the body with the visual system, this provides for much more confident visually guided movement.

Photosensitivity:

Discomfort due to bright or flickering light or environmental movement. This is resolved by controlling the light entering the visual system. Modifying environmental light, or controlling the light entering the eye with individualized therapeutic prescriptions are used to relieve this visual stress.

Visual Information Processing (VIP):

NOR arranges for individuals to learn how to coordinate visual input into the brain by learning to coordinate the muscles of the eyes. Once this is efficient, therapy progresses to improving the visual process. This requires integrating and matching and coordinating information from all of the senses. This is done by having patients engage an individualized program designed to redevelop the VIP system.

Peripheral Visual Field Defects

Remarkably an individual with a visual field defect secondary to brain injury can still have 20/20 eyesight. The most common example of this is a patient with homonymous hemianopia, meaning that one half of the visual field is missing on either the right or left side.

Eye diagram.

Row of colorful, red, yellow, blue, white, green painted residential townhouses, homes, houses with brick patio gardens in summer.

Row of colorful, red, yellow, blue, white, green painted residential townhouses, homes, houses with brick patio gardens in summer. Left half of image is covered in black.

As you can see here, the top image has a field within normal range. The dark spots on either side are the brain’s normal blind spot. The bottom image shows the left half of each field to be dark, this person has a left homonymous hemianopia.

Right Peripheral vision problems cause great difficulty in reading.

The ability to read is directed by saccades, (Small eye movements proceeding right to left). A patient with this field defect, is always moving their eyes toward the blind field, and therefore loses the preview of what is coming next. Orientation and mobility are also affected. Patients will veer to the left and may bump into objects on the right side, being unaware of them. Driving becomes a major challenge.

A different peripheral vision problem is known as neglect or inattention.

This occurs mostly on the left side. The field can be intact but the patient unintentionally tunes out one side of the body. A classic example is a patient who eats a meal and leaves food on left side of the plate. When drawing a clock, all the numbers are squished to the left side, as if the other side doesn’t exist. Patient’s with this field loss or inattention shift their center away from the area of neglect.