Over 50% of the brain’s neural pathways are related to vision. For this reason, a person who suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually ends up with visual symptoms. These symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to light. Many TBI victims experience increased sensitivity to light. They tend to find sensations irritable that unaffected people can handle, for example, dealing with computer screens, fluorescent light, or strobe lights. Sometimes in a TBI, the visual system loses its ability to manage visual noise, which makes it harder to focus and easier to become overwhelmed by an excess of visual stimuli.
- Strained eye teaming. Eye teaming is the eyes’ ability to cooperate as one unit and produce a clear image in the brain. With this function impaired, you may see double vision, suffer reduced depth perception and struggle more with your orientation and mobility.
- Visual hallucinations. These hallucinations can occur as flashes, spots, or stars that float across your vision. They show that the brain is misunderstanding certain packages of information.
How can vision therapy help me if I’ve suffered a TBI?
Neuroplasticity is a term that refers to the brain’s ability to rewire itself and adapt to do what it needs to do, in spite of loss. We have found that with the right stimuli, training and exercises, this remarkable quality can cause the brain to heal itself. If you have vision issues after a TBI, essentially what has happened is that certain parts of the brain are malfunctioning since severed connections inhibit them from communicating with other parts of the brain.
Consistent vision therapy can retrain the brain to use its abilities, and it can restore those key connections which enable it to correctly process and interpret visual information. By presenting different, repeating stimuli to the brain we can target specific visual abilities that have been lost, making regrowth possible.
Some of these visual struggles can sometimes be reversed in a mere matter of weeks. Others can sometimes take months depending on the severity of the condition.. Regardless, we’d love to chat with you about how we can help you!