Neuro-Optometry in Colorado Springs

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Neuro-Optometry: Visual Rehabilitation

Our eyes and brain are intrinsically linked. Impulses continuously travel back and forth via the optic nerve, ultimately resulting in what we see and how we see it.

However, when brain function has been compromised as a result of traumatic brain injury (TBI), non-traumatic brain injury or neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy, visual disturbances and motor skill deficiency can result.

This is where neuro-optometric rehabilitation can help. Book an appointment with Bettner Vision to learn how our neuro optometrists assess and treat visual disturbances associated with damage to the central nervous system.

What is Neuro-Optometry?

Neuro optometry involves actively retraining and reprogramming our visual processors and motor functions after damage to the central nervous system has occurred.

Using several individualized rehabilitation treatments, neuro optometry aims to reestablish the eye-brain connection so they can effectively work together and restore essential visual function.

Why is Neuro-Optometry Necessary?

Neuro-Optometry rehabilitation is a common form of treatment for patients that have visual disturbances as a result of an acquired brain injury, traumatic brain injury, or neurological disorders.

Acquired brain injury (also known as non-traumatic brain injury) is an injury to the brain you are not born with but that you acquire during your lifetime. Unlike a TBI, it is not caused by a sudden traumatic event, such as an accident, or injury. Rather, ABIs are caused by:

  • Stroke
  • Lack of oxygen supply to the brain
  • Aneurysm
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Brain tumor
  • Infectious disease of the brain, like meningitis or encephalitis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a TBI as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or penetrating head injury. Everyone is at risk for a TBI, especially children and older adults.

Concussions are considered less severe or mild-form TBIs and often referred to as mTBI.

Visual problems can sometimes be overlooked during the initial diagnosis or treatment of a brain injury and, in some cases, symptoms may not present until well after the TBI has taken place. If you notice any changes in your vision following a head injury, tell your doctor or eye care professional immediately.

Patients with progressive neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s and autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis, often have vision challenges related to eye movement, mobility, perception, and cognition.

At Bettner Vision, we treat patients with many types of progressive neurological impairments to expand the connectivity in declining areas of the brain.

Symptoms of Visual Disturbances

When a patient is suffering from any visual deficit as a result of brain injury or neurological deficit, they may experience a range of symptoms including:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Fatigue and nausea
  • Dizziness and balance issues
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty reading and concentrating on tasks

Symptoms often present themselves right away. However, symptoms may appear slowly, well after a brain injury has occurred or a neurological condition has been diagnosed. Therefore, it is important to be vigilant and contact your eye care professional as soon as symptoms appear.

Common Conditions We Treat

These symptoms are caused by a number of visual, perceptual, and motor disorders that manifest after injury or neurological disconnection. Some of these conditions include:

  • Binocular Vision Conditions – Conditions that occur when your eyes do not work together as a team.
  • Oculomotor Dysfunction – Conditions relating to eye movements and tracking.
  • Photophobia – Extreme sensitivity to light.
  • Visual Field Defects – The loss of peripheral vision in both eyes.
  • Strabismus – More commonly known as “crossed-eyes” or eye turns, strabismus is a binocular vision disorder in which both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time.
  • Nystagmus – A condition that affects the vestibular system and results in uncontrolled, repetitive movements of the eye, either in a circular pattern, side to side, or up and down.

The Neuro-Optometry Process

To assess whether a patient requires neuro-optometric rehabilitation, our specialists will conduct a comprehensive eye exam. This exam evaluates your prescription and eye health and will help detect signs of vision conditions from a brain injury. This exam is an important first step in determining eye health and vision ability before beginning brain injury evaluations.

The sensorimotor exam is an in-depth evaluation and discussion of your specific symptoms following your brain injury. It involves an assessment of your eye muscles, eye tracking, eye alignment, focusing ability, depth perception, and peripheral vision. This exam is key to establishing an effective and personalized neuro-optometric treatment plan.

Based on our findings after your initial examination, we will outline and recommend a treatment plan that will depend on a variety of factors including the severity of your symptoms, your expectations, and goals.

Some of the neuro-optometric rehabilitation treatments we utilize are:

  • Therapeutic lenses
  • Specialized filters
  • Prism lenses
  • Occluders or patches

Because neuro-optometric rehabilitation treatments are extremely individualized, an interdisciplinary team approach may be recommended. We consult with our in-house optometrists and ophthalmologists, binocular vision specialists, and will often recommend external physical or occupational therapists and speech pathologists to promote successful treatment.

Visit Our Location

Find Us in Colorado Springs

Our Colorado Springs practice is conveniently located in the Marketplace at Briargate, beside Sushi Rakkyo and the T-Mobile store.

Our Address

9205 N Union Blvd #110
Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Contact Information

Phone: 719-282-0400
Fax: 719-282-1004
[email protected]

Hours of Operation

Monday
8 AM5 PM
Tuesday
8 AM5 PM
Wednesday
8 AM5 PM
Thursday
8 AM5 PM
Friday
8 AM5 PM
Saturday
By Appointment
Sunday
Closed

Our Specialty Services

At Bettner Vision, our keratoconus and scleral lens institute specializes in diagnosing and treating patients with keratoconus – a progressive eye disorder that results in the thinning of the cornea.

Keratoconus & Scleral Lens Institute

Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine that specializes in eye anatomy, physiology, and diseases of the eye.

Ophthalmology

Vision therapy, sometimes known as orthoptics, is akin to physical therapy for the eyes and brain. It is a non-surgical, customizable set of exercises and activities that aim to resolve symptoms that interfere with visual abilities, motor skills, and brain function.

Pediatric & Binocular Vision Therapy

Our eyes and brain are inseparably linked. Impulses continuously travelling back and forth via the optic nerve ultimately result in what we see and how we see it.

Neuro-Optometry

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