How Vision Therapy Helps

concussion patient suffers from vision issues

The effects of a traumatic brain injury on vision are becoming increasingly well known. Concussions can bring on visually related symptoms such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Ocular-motor dysfunction
  • Cognitive difficulties with visual tasks
  • Slower reaction time

Vision therapy is a common method for improving vergence (eye crossing), focusing issues, and movement problems. This is not to be confused with improving visual acuity. Repetition and dedication to focused practice of the exercises can have a large influence on the success rate of the therapy.

Who Can Benefit From Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is an effective treatment for patients of all ages. The process involves testing of many visual components such as visual attention span, visual processing speed, visual working memory and much more. Benefits of an effective course of vision therapy treatment include:

  • Improved Visual Skills
  • Specialized Treatment for Each Patient
  • Does not require prescription drugs
  • Avoid surgery

Every visual therapy program is unique, but each involves various levels of non-surgical procedures. With a specialized goal, the patient will perform targeted exercises and activities which should, over time, help correct vision problems. Rather than simply waiting and hoping for symptoms to disappear, visual therapy aims to actively engage the brain and restore connections lost through damage. It involves replicating scenarios and exercises which help retrain the brain and eye muscles for a specific function.

Dr. Joseph Lawrence provides vision therapy treatment to a patient
doctor administers eye exercises during a vision therapy session

Vision Therapy Treatment at Broadview

Vision therapy treatment at Broadview Health Center usually involves coming in for a 45 minute appointment once a week for 12 weeks.

The specialist will work with the patient using evidence based treatments, tools and techniques to improve vision skills such as:

  • Eye tracking
  • Focusing
  • Vision accuracy
  • Eye teaming
  • Visual discrimination
  • Spatial awareness

The specific skills they focus on during appointments will depend on which skills require the most improvement. In between treatments, the specialist will prescribe exercises for the patient to do at home. These exercises are an important part of the recovery process and require diligent practice.

Some of the types of treatment exercises include:

  • Two thumb exercise for convergence insufficiency
  • Horizontal and vertical saccades exercises
  • Vestibular ocular exercises

No matter the types of vision issues our patients face due to their concussion injuries, our expert team of specialists are able to treat them and get them back to living a normal life. If you are experiencing any symptoms of a concussion, book an appointment with us to see how we can help!

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Frequently Asked Questions

The best source for vision therapy in Ottawa is someone who is trained in chiropractic neurology. This field combines chiropractic medicine with neurology to specialize in the brain, specifically for traumatic brain injury, concussions and other brain injuries. At the Broadview concussion clinic in Ottawa we are chiropractic neurologists, treating brain injuries and performing brain injury rehabilitation. Vision therapy is one of the brain injury treatments that we offer, and we have found extremely positive response with vision therapy for our patients with brain injury & concussion in Ottawa.

More than half of adults with concussion or suffering from post-concussion syndrome report visual issues associated with blurred vision, eye strain and headache. We would concur, anecdotally, that our concussion clinic in Ottawa, a majority of the patients we see with traumatic brain injury have oculomotor problems. The brain contains a system of visual pathways, and more of the brain’s processing capabilities are used by vision than by any other system.

While vision therapy is very effective for a large number of concussion patients, it’s not for everyone. The best way to find out is to see us here at the Broadview Ottawa concussion clinic. Highly trained and specialized in chiropractic neurology, we have both the experience with vision therapy as well as overall concussion knowledge to determine, through a series of brain assessments, which form(s) of therapy & treatment will work best for you.

Indeed, yes it can! Vision therapy is an effective tool to redevelop and boost the neural connections between the brain and eyes. We use specialized instruments and therapies to help you reclaim your visual strength, enabling you to take part in everyday activities at home and work with reduced light sensitivity.

Vision therapy does not target eye muscles through the course of treatment. These muscles can be strengthened through orthoptics if it is needed. Vision therapy specifically targets the brain and seeks to strengthen the neurological pathways connecting the brain and eyes in order to improve and correct vision problems.

There is no scientific evidence that shows that vision therapy can help treat dyslexia. However, it will help with vision problems which can make reading more difficult. Since dyslexia affects the part of the brain which is responsible for visual processing and not eye control, it is not targeted in vision therapy treatment.

Normally, all concussion symptoms should resolve themselves after approximately 6 weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. If a person experiences vision problems or any other symptoms of their concussion longer than that, it’s a strong sign of Post Concussion Syndrome. These people generally require vision therapy and other types of concussion treatments in order to alleviate their symptoms and return to normal activities.