The Research and Evidence Behind Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy
Patients who have suffered from a brain injury or other neurological conditions often face significant visual impairments that greatly affect their daily activities, such as reading, driving, and even walking independently. Fortunately, extensive research has demonstrated that neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy is a safe and effective approach to help these patients regain their visual function.
Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy, a specialized field within optometry, focuses on assisting individuals with neurological dysfunctions in restoring visual and oculomotor skills necessary for everyday life. The primary objective of this therapy is to enhance a patient's independent functioning in a multisensory environment.
A neuro-optometrist possesses the expertise to diagnose and treat various visual and perceptual disorders, including but not limited to:
- Double vision
- Acquired strabismus
- Binocular vision dysfunction
- Convergence or accommodation difficulties
- Visual perception deficits
- Traumatic visual acuity loss
Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy is suitable for patients of all ages who have experienced a stroke, have systemic neurological conditions, or have suffered from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) of varying severity.
The effectiveness of neuro-optometry is widely recognized by esteemed organizations like the American Optometric Association, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, and the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association. Numerous medical professionals from different disciplines regularly refer patients for this specialized treatment, as it consistently yields positive outcomes. Several research studies support the effectiveness of neuro-optometry:
- A study published in the Journal of Optometry (2018) demonstrated that nearly 10 hours of neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy led to improved eye movement in all participants.
- A 2019 study published in the journal Disability and Rehabilitation examined over 3,000 medical records of patients who experienced mild brain injuries and underwent neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy. The researchers concluded that this form of visual rehabilitation is a promising intervention, recommending that all individuals with brain injuries have their vision evaluated by a neuro-optometrist or another vision professional.
- The Journal of the American Academy of Optometry published a study in 2017, which examined 218 cases of post-concussion patients. The study found that visual rehabilitation was successful in addressing visual problems such as convergence insufficiency, accommodative insufficiency, oculomotor problems, eye movement problems, and binocular problems.
- Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy has also proven beneficial for post-TBI patients with reading-related visual dysfunction. A 2014 study published in the journal NeuroRehabilitation revealed that after just six weeks of treatment, patients with mild TBIs showed an improved reading rate and a decrease in visual symptoms.
- The importance of neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy for patients with visual symptoms related to TBIs, autoimmune diseases, viral infections, and vestibular dysfunctions was thoroughly explained in an article published in the journal Acquired Brain Injury (2019).
If you or a loved one has experienced a brain injury or any neurological condition that impacts vision and functionality, seeking the assistance of a neuro-optometrist can be immensely beneficial. Rather than considering neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy as a last resort, it should be regarded as an initial step. To schedule a comprehensive visual evaluation, please contact Child & Family Eye Care today.
Our practice proudly serves patients from The Woodlands, Magnolia, Shenandoah, Tomball, and surrounding communities. We are dedicated to providing exceptional care and helping our patients regain their visual abilities and overall quality of life.