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Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation

Vision is fundamentally a function of the brain. The way we process depth, direction, speed, and color contrast all comes down to how the brain interprets the information the eyes provide.

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Traumatic brain injury such as a concussion or stroke, or diseases such as MS, cerebral palsy, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), can result in potentially devastating visual problems. There are also a number of inherited brain conditions which can similarly prevent the normal development of the visual system.

digital eye

Is a Brain Injury or Concussion Affecting
Your Vision?


The effect these have on the neuro-visual system won’t always be noticeable early on, as many health care providers and therapists lack the training and/or skills to recognize when neural-visual problems are affected by brain damage. Even when they are recognized, the treatment needs to be provided by a neuro-optometrist. An optometrist or vision therapist trained in neuro-optometric rehabilitation can effectively treat and rehabilitate the vision-related problems in those who have or are suffering from visual deficits and dysfunction resulting from brain injury or disease.

Headed by Susan Mulderrig, Jared Herzberg, Jordan Rendert, Debbie Staw and Eric Waldo, the The Vision Therapy Center at EyeCare Associates provides advanced neuro-optometric rehabilitation from our clinic in Trumbull, Connecticut. We work with patients to help them improve visual function, alleviate symptoms, and regain their quality of life. We provide neuro-optometric rehabilitation to patients from Trumbull, Southport, Norwalk, and Stamford.

What is Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation?


The brain is surprisingly elastic, meaning it can rewire and retrain itself after injury. Neuro-optometry—often lumped in with vision therapy—is a specialized field of optometry which works to actively retrain and reprogram the visual processing we rely on to properly interact and interpret the world around us. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation uses a highly-customized combination of visual exercises, specialized lenses, and targeted visual stimuli—often including of digital aids—to retrain the patient’s brain to process visual input properly.

Susan Mulderrig, Jared Herzberg, Jordan Rendert, Debbie Staw and Eric Waldo will create a treatment plan based on the individual’s vision conditions and medical background. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation is an important component of the rehabilitative process and is essential to reclaiming full day-to-day vision functionality.

brain injury

General Symptoms of Vision Conditions Treated by
Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation


  • Spatial disorientation
  • Focusing problems
  • Double-vision (diplopia)
  • Blurred vision (asthenopia)
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and dizziness (vertigo)
  • Eye strain
  • Fatigue
  • Problems accurately gauging movement, direction, and speed
  • Trouble differentiating colors
  • Hand-eye coordination and motor problems

Frequently Asked Questions About Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation

Who is a Good Candidate for Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation? How Do I Get Started?


Anyone with the above symptoms or conditions should undergo a neuro-visual or vision therapy assessment.

People with motor, perceptual, or visual problems resulting from brain injury or disease can benefit from neuro-optical rehabilitation. It begins with a general eye exam to ascertain the overall health of your eyes. After reviewing any relevant medical documentation from your neurologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, etc, Susan Mulderrig, Jared Herzberg, Jordan Rendert, Debbie Staw and Eric Waldo will then perform a Neuro-Visual Assessment to pinpoint the exact visual conditions(s) present. The The Vision Therapy Center at EyeCare Associates will then craft a personalized treatment plan for your recovery.

How Long Does it Take for Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation to Work?


This depends on the severity of the condition or problem. You should experience improvements fairly quickly. Don’t expect a complete turn-around overnight, however. It’s a gradual process— it takes time to retrain the brain and eyes to function in unison in the way that they should, particularly if the cause of the vision problem was severe. The full amount of time required depends on multiple factors, including the cause, the individual patient, and compliance with the regimen.

How Much Does Neuro-Optometry or Vision Therapy Cost? Is it Covered by Insurance?


Neuro-optometry or vision therapy is not covered by vision plans. Occasionally, part of the treatment can be covered by certain medical insurance plans, but not all. The full cost will depend on the length of the treatment.

References


Faul M, Xu L, Wald MM, Coronado VG. Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations and Deaths
2002–2006. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2010.

https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/pdf/blue_book.pdf

Report to Congress on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Steps to Prevent a Serious Public Health Problem. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2003.

https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/pdf/mtbireport-a.pdf

Ciuffreda KJ, Kapoor N, Rutner D, Suchoff IB, Han ME, Craig S. Occurrence of oculomotor dysfunctions in acquired brain injury: a retrospective analysis. Optometry 2007;78(4):155-61.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17400136

Rowe F.J. Stroke survivors’ views and experiences on impact of visual impairment. Brain and Behavior, 2017; e00778 DOI: /onlinelibrary.wiley.com
/doi/epdf/10.1002/brb3.778

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/brb3.778

Leslie S. Myopia and Accommodative Insufficiency Associated with Moderate Head Trauma, Opt Vis Dev 2009;40(1):25-31.

https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.covd.org/resource/resmgr/ovd40-1/article_myopiaaccominsuff.pdf

Cohen, Alen H. Vision rehabilitation for visual-vestibular dysfunction: The role of the neuro-optometrist, NeuroRehabilitation, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 483-492, 2013
HAN M.E. (2007) The Role of the Neuro-Rehabilitation Optometrist. In: Elbaum J., Benson D.M. (eds) Acquired Brain Injury. Springer, New York, NY

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23648603

Serving Neuro-Optometry Patients From:

Trumbull | Southport | Norwalk | Stamford | and throughout Connecticut

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Dear Valued Patient,

With all the news and information coming out about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we are taking necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of you as our patient, our staff, and our community. In addition, we are continuously checking for updates from both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Optometric Association (AOA) on guidelines as to what, we as your health care provider must do and be aware of. All of our offices are diligently practicing proper hygiene through handwashing by both the optometrists and staff, and the disinfecting of all of our equipment and surfaces in the waiting room, pre-testing, optical, and exam rooms.

In addition, we are advising any of our patients with flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath to stay home, as well as those who have traveled to any country on the CDC advisory list in the last 14 days. For those who are not experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, we advise taking similar precautionary measures such as washing your hands often and disinfecting and cleaning any frequently touched surfaces.

If you are considering changing or cancelling an upcoming appointment please call one of our offices and discuss options with a friendly staff member. Your health and safety is a priority to us, so any same day cancellations due to illness will not be subjected to a $50 cancellation fee due to the circumstances. Otherwise, we look forward to your visit and will hopefully see you soon! For more information on COVID-19, ways to stay healthy, and what to look out for, please visit the CDC.gov.

Thank You, Eye Care Associates, P.C.