More than 1 million Americans suffer from a stroke or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) every year. Roughly half of these people experience a TBI as a result of a car accident, sports injury, or other types of trauma. Another 500,000 suffer a stroke.**
While Physical Therapy plays a justifiably strong role in helping stroke and post TBI patients regain mobility and coordination - in some cases the role of vision is ignored or neglected unless the patient is able to specifically identify a vision problem.
Since both TBI's and strokes affect the brain, the Vision Information Processing System (VIPS) is also affected. Minor damage to the vision system may go undetected, but it can prolong effective recovery.
Blurred and double vision are the most obvious. More difficult to detect are eye movement, eye tracking, and eye focusing problems which cause reading and comprehension problems.
Other symptoms may include deficits in visual spatial judgments including size, shape, distance, and relative motion as well as poor eye-hand coordination
A Comprehensive Vision Exam is recommended for all post TBI and stroke victims to properly evaluate their vision and reading skills as part of their rehabilatation program.
The optimal course of treatment for vision problems that arise from post TBI's and strokes depends largely on the type and severity of the problem. In some cases, glasses (often with special prism lenses) are effective for reading related issues.
Vision Therapy is also used, by itself and/or with glasses/corrective contact lenses.
For coordination and depth perception, Vision Therapy is also used extensively to help post TBI and stroke victims.
*Source: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
*Source: PubMed Central