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Success with Visual Disabilities: Brain Injury, TBI, Concussions, Head Injury, Stroke

Rehabilitation of Visual Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury TBI with Vision Therapy. Some children and adults who have suffered a significant head injury (i.e., concussion) complain about eye or vision symptoms.

[See video of post-concussion patient who was unable to see to read or drive after her accident]

Alyssa was an Honors high school and Dean's List college student whose reading and handwriting skills dropped to a primary school level after her concussion.

Through visual rehabilitation, I have reclaimed huge tracts of my life. I drive, shop, work around the house, help others around their homes, eat, and read with pleasure. [More]

Vision therapy has helped Justin academically and physically, ... areas that had suffered after his concussion and TBI from the car accident. [More]

When I received Vision Therapy, it was like a door that was closed in my life was opened. [More]

With all the well-meaning therapies I received, Dr. X's Vision Therapy approach was by far the most productive one with impressive results. [More]

Every day I notice the changes Vision Therapy has wrought. Other stroke patients remark on it to him; his therapists at the V.A. Hospital, too! [More]

Traumatic brain injuries can cause double vision or blind spots or blindness in one eye.

We sought out Vision Therapy because my son had daily bad headaches at least in part from his eyes not tracking together. He was in a car accident which caused this. [More]

Megan says: "I was very concerned that I would never see 'normal' again. I had double vision after the accident. ... Vision Therapy is a lot of hard work, but the end results are well worth it. I see one of everything again." [More]

My eyes ran a marathon each session, but it was worth it. ... after having a hypertensive stroke and losing my vision, ... many years ago, ... I must say it's a treat to close my eyes and rinse my hair in the shower without falling! [More]

I want to thank you for all your help and support in treating me after my ... car accident ... I can't believe with all the doctors I saw, no one was able to pinpoint this problem. [More]

It seems as though his brain had to learn what his right eye had to do all over again and with your good work, it did. [More]

One of the results of the accident is that Tanya suffered from many visual problems. [More]

I corresponded on the Web with others who have the same brain disorder, Cavernous Angioma of the brain stem. All of us have had to deal with double vision and a numb side. What did I gain by doing Vision Therapy? I believe a much, much faster recovery, and possibly, in the long run, better vision than I started with before the stroke. [More]

... driving was only a dream when I started Vision Therapy. Now it is a reality! [More]


Read full stories below.

I chose to do Vision Therapy because I was desperate, as I had tried many other therapies in the past. I had become quite debilitated since I could no longer drive for more than 10 minutes. I could not shop for groceries, and on most days I could manage no more than the simplest housekeeping chores. I got sick at every meal as nausea and dizziness severely limited my activities.

Through visual rehabilitation, I have reclaimed huge tracts of my life. I drive, shop, work around the house, help others around their homes, eat, and read with pleasure. Last month, I worked one week as a counselor at a sleep-away summer camp. This month, I undertook one 3-day training to prepare to teach on a substitute basis and I will participate in a week long sports medicine workshop. I hope the latter will help me secure a coaching position. In general, my energy level is much better and I feel that I can count on feeling well enough to work now.

Like all rehab therapies, vision rehabilitation hurts, but only for a while. I became nauseated and had to stop within a minute of starting my first homework assignment. Eventually, I could tolerate 20-30 minutes, two to three times a day. I liked learning about my eyes, what they do, how they do it. I have learned via the program to exert more control over my eye movements. I found the visagraph analysis technology fascinating and some of the "optical illusions" are just plain great!
Walter Kowalok, adult patient

After Justin's automobile accident, we were very concerned about how his concussion head trauma had affected his visual perception. We noticed a lot of frustration, especially in the assimilation and "processing" of information. We could see his frustration turn to anger, and he would shut out information because it was just too much and too hard for him to try to process.

Since Vision Therapy, the change in Justin is incredible, especially in this regard. With Vision Therapy's attention on the re-training and re-imprinting of his visual areas, Justin is better than ever in regard to his response time, ability to assimilate information, and is back to wanting information.

Vision therapy has helped Justin academically and physically, as well as aided him in establishing a higher self-esteem, areas that had suffered after the concussion and TBI from the car accident.

Thanks Dr. X and Vision Therapy for giving us back our son!
Gigi H., Justin's parent

Before I received Vision Therapy, I had problems with visual perception and other disabilities. I was not sure if I would ever drive, and the doctor had her doubts also. My disabilities affected my life in every way.

When I received Vision Therapy, it was like a door that was closed in my life was opened. I noticed improvements within a few weeks.

When my Vision Therapy was completed, I was able to drive well, read more attentively, and even perform everyday tasks better. It affected the way I saw things and even the way I played the guitar, an activity that I enjoy a lot. These things were very unexpected and bought joy to my heart to have the kind of drastic improvement I did.

It has now been two years since I ended visual therapy. I am currently ending my first semester of college with a 3.00 average and I drive to college and I am very pleased with the results of therapy.
Richard Brendl

After my stroke, Dr. X corrected my "Midline Shift Syndrome" optically. As a result, I was able to walk straight again. The tireless staff, with the help of a lot of computers, blinking lights, mirrors and prisms, managed to reconnect and synchronize my two eyes. Eye tracking, focusing, and ultimately reading were restored. With all the well-meaning therapies I received, Dr. X's Vision Therapy approach was by far the most productive one with impressive results.
Peter J. Frey, adult patient

Thank you for Jim's fantastic Vision Therapy, which was so ingeniously and competently administered. You can't imagine what a difference it has made with reading and just plain noticing things. Every day I notice the changes Vision Therapy has wrought. Other stroke patients remark on it to him; his therapists at the V.A. Hospital, too! It truly is remarkable.

He wants another course with you.
Suzanne Holton, patient's wife

We sought out Vision Therapy because my son had daily bad headaches at least in part from his eyes not tracking together. He was in a car accident which caused this problem. He was unable to read more than a few minutes at a time; his concentration was bad; his pleasure in reading was very low. His body coordination was somewhat off. We had already gone to a psychologist, neurologist, and a psychiatrist. They were only nominal help.

He had his glasses prescription changed and most of the daily Vision Therapy work just became part of his homework. It was mostly self-directed at home since he was sixteen years old. I would check-up on him or remind him to do the work.

Since Vision Therapy, my son now has fewer headaches in a week instead of constant pain. He can concentrate for an hour on school work. He can pleasure read for many hours, taking small breaks to rest his eyes. His coordination is very good now. I've appreciated the humor from the therapists. It has helped to keep my son's interest.
Isaac's Mother

I had problems with eye hand coordination and had headaches almost all the time (about 12 hours a day) which led to problems with reading and school. Both have improved since Vision Therapy. Before Vision Therapy, I had seen a psychiatrist, psychologist and a neurologist, none of which helped much. Since beginning Vision Therapy, I have less headaches, I'm better in school and I'm reading a lot again.
Isaac (16 year old with Acquired Brain Injury)

This letter expresses heartfelt thanks from the Kayser family for your hard work and dedication to your patients.

We brought our daughter Megan to see you after she was involved in a car accident on November 22, 2001. She was hit in the face with an air bag, her vision was impaired and she needed to wear prism glasses in order to see properly. We had no idea what, if anything, you would be able to do for her. After 35 weeks of Vision Therapy with your dedicated staff, she is now free of glasses.

Anyone who tells us they need help with Vision Therapy will hear of Dr. X and his staff from us. May God bless you all.

Megan says: "I was very concerned that I would never see 'normal' again. I had double vision after the accident. Vision therapy has taught me to make my eyes work together. Vision Therapy is a lot of hard work, but the end results are well worth it. I see one of everything again."
John, Arlene, and Megan Kayser

Before Vision Therapy, reading was a prelude to a good nap! Now I have actually finished a book for sheer enjoyment without falling asleep. Going to the mall and judging which step to get on the escalator was always entertaining for my shopping partners and mall patrons. Heights are no longer an issue for me, though bungee jumping is still out of the question.

Most of all, after having a hypertensive stroke and losing my vision, and sustaining a concussion many years ago, I wasn't able to close my eyes while standing without losing my balance. I must say it's a treat to close my eyes and rinse my hair in the shower without falling!

Thank you Dr. X and staff for guiding my Vision Therapy program according to my symptoms and loading the procedures accordingly. My eyes ran a marathon each session, but it was worth it. Thanks again.
Adult patient

It worked for me!! I have a brain tumor. Pressure on the optic nerve caused double vision. It went away and came back. Vision therapy has given me complete single vision (binocular vision) looking forward and to the right, but I'm still working on left views. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get more vision therapy because of the insurance company. One old-fashioned doctor said "no." My father and I said that I'm living proof it works. My dad finally asked what the doctor would do if it were his daughter in my position. He said he supposed he would have her practice vision therapy
Brook

I want to thank you for all your help and support in treating me after my ... car accident ... When I came to you, I had a list of symptoms ranging from dizziness and nausea to trouble reading and trouble retaining what I read. I was amazed to find that my symptoms matched up to one of your pamphlets describing Post Traumatic Eye Syndrome. The therapy has helped. I'm reading again and my retention of what I read has improved. I still have my only wish that I found out about Vision Therapy earlier. I can't believe with all the doctors I saw, no one was able to pinpoint this problem. Thank you.
Tina (age 32)

Since Paul's brain injury which affected his right eye, he could not judge his footing, going downstairs, stepping off the curb, grabbing for an object was difficult. His depth perception was truly off. It seems as though his brain had to learn what his right eye had to do all over again and with your good work, it did.
Wife of Paul (age 56)

What did I gain by doing Vision Therapy? I believe a much, much faster recovery, and possibly, in the long run, better vision than I started with before the stroke. I believe that the fast start that I took getting into Vision Therapy made my recovery far more successful than many others in the same situation. The additional support system of being with the positive and encouraging vision therapists, twice a week, also had a very positive impact on my recovery. I could not have done this at home on my own. I have regained my life!

I awoke one morning with double vision, due to a paralyzed left eye muscle which I later learned was due to a stroke, at age 37, on a thin, fit mother of two small children. My left eye turned in completely toward my nose, reminding me of the Siamese cats I've had. I was also dealing with total numbness on my right side. After spending many hours with me for three weeks, Dr. X fitted me with prism glasses to move the images together, and I started Vision Therapy. The therapists were so kind, caring and incredibly helpful. Every six weeks I got new prism glasses with a weaker prescription. Once my eye was positioned correctly again, I continued working hard to retrain my eyes to work together.

I corresponded on the Web with others who have the same brain disorder, Cavernous Angioma of the brain stem. All of us have had to deal with double vision and a numb side. The numbness usually cleared in under a year, but many said their double vision lasted for years. I was determined to see properly again and drive again. I was very aggressive with Vision Therapy, and did the at-home therapy for at least thirty minutes a day, six days a week for four months.

After the first two months of therapy, the swelling in my brain reduced, and my eye started regaining its normal position. Following another few months of therapy, I began to drive around my neighborhood, still with prism glasses and some double vision to my far left. What a glorious feeling that was!

Three months later, I no longer needed prism glasses and was driving a bit further. After eight months of therapy, no one but me would know that I had had a visual challenge. Today, I can tell that a tiny visual disturbance exists on my far left peripheral area, but it is amazingly slight. I still do the at-home therapy to continue improving, but I am doing so, so much better. My hand and arm are still partially numb, but I can see well!!!"
Michelle A. Hnath

One of the results of the accident is that Tanya suffered from many visual problems. She was seen by an eye specialist at the hospital who told me that there was nothing that could be done for Tanya. Vision Therapy has helped with Tanya's balance, coordination and eye movement. I would strongly recommend Vision Therapy before listening to "nothing will help."
Mom of Tanya (age 24)

Where would I be without Dr. X? Not very far. I was completely lost when I started Vision Therapy. [The optometrist] really knows his business and how to treat a very fragile person. I take the driving tests next week ... driving was only a dream when I started Vision Therapy. Now it is a reality!
Mary Duenow

This patient was unable to see while driving or read following her concussion, but she eventually regained these life skills thanks to optometric vision therapy.

Many children and adults who have suffered a significant head injury complain about eye or vision symptoms. For example, after a TBI or concussion, they might report seeing double (double vision) or getting headaches while reading or have trouble seeing, comprehending and/or concentrating while reading or working at the computer. In many other cases of post-concussion or post-tbi, it is not obvious that the person's difficulties are caused by vision changes from the traumatic brain injury. Such vision problems often do not go away on their own and need to be addressed with visual rehabilitation therapies, such as neuro-optometric vision therapy.
Dr. Lynn Hellerstein

Alyssa was an Honors high school and Dean's List college student whose reading and handwriting skills dropped to a primary school level after her concussion. In the following short video, made one year after her accident, Alyssa is tested and demonstrates a high level of spatial confusion and difficulty in problem solving with parquetry blocks. These issues were later resolved with approximately 12 sessions of in-office visual and perceptual-motor therapy, also known as neuro-optometric vision therapy.
Dr. Merrill Bowan



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