Helping Patients Navigate a New Life
When someone endures a brain trauma, vision problems are often the unwelcome companion of concussion, traumatic brain injury, or stroke. Because vision is so crucial to functioning after a brain injury, CNS offers a comprehensive vision component tailored to each patient’s deficits and needs. Post injury, patients may not know they have visual challenges until seemingly unrelated issues arise. An awkward gait, imbalance, problems with activities of daily living or learning impairment can be the clinician’s clue that damage is present. CNS believes that vision therapy is an essential aspect of comprehensive care and has helped patients recover from visual deficits, allowing them to work, live safely, and even drive again.
Visual Therapies Enhance Rehabilitation
Some of the red flags that therapists look for are erratic eye movements or eyes that do not converge on an object. Once vision damage is suspected, occupational therapists administer vision and eye screening tools, which assess:
- The optic system
- The visual field
- Visual perception/processing information
The screening results are used to create an individualized treatment plan that includes vision therapy, where needed. When testing is complete, patients sometimes require vision therapy and specialized glasses, as a pair of standard lenses will not do. CNS refers these patients to a consulting neuro optometrist who understands brain injury and prescribes lenses that specifically address each patient’s deficits.
Technologies Build Skills, Support Patient Goals
At CNS, our objective is to remediate the visual system so patients can scan the environment for hazards, read a prescription bottle, and understand directions. To meet that objective, CNS offers tools and technologies to assess patients and correct neuro pathways. Examples include:
- Dynavision: a testing and visual rehabilitation system that determines eye function and improves acuity
- Tranaglyphs: red/green glasses to strengthen 3D vision
- Vectograms: polarized lenses that help eyes track together and form depth perception
The outcome of a comprehensive vision program benefits patients in the long term. A core CNS philosophy is providing patients with the skills to achieve lifelong independence. Staff work with payors, caregivers, and families to provide updates on vision tests and patient milestones along the path of rebuilding skills.