The Importance of Visual Input
Approximately 80% of the data our brain receives is visual. A hiccup in this input can cause the brain to misinterpret its surroundings. Even with perfect 20/20 vision, an individual might face challenges in visual processing. Here are some instances:
- Schoolchildren might find it difficult to shift focus from the blackboard to their notebooks, affecting their academic performance.
- Teenagers might grapple with eye-tracking issues, causing them to skip lines when reading, resulting in fatigue and a subsequent impact on their academic tasks.
- Concussion-afflicted adults might have depth perception issues or altered visual fields, making them prone to bumping into objects or facing balance issues.
- Seniors may have reduced confidence driving, especially at night, avoiding crowds or uneven walking surfaces, and increased risks of falling.
Symptoms of Impaired Visual Processing
A myriad of symptoms can manifest when visual processing goes awry, including:
- Clumsiness, frequently knocking things over
- Struggling with reading, often losing place or re-reading lines
- Burning, itchy, watery eyes, light sensitivity
- Attention and concentration difficulties, losing belongings
- Experiencing double vision, headaches, and eyestrain
- Poor hand-eye coordination
- Lack of confidence walking, missing steps and stumbling
- Motion and car sickness
What is Neuro-Visual Rehabilitation?
This therapeutic approach reconditions the connection between the eye and the brain using various tools such as lenses, prisms, filters, and patching. Doing so activates dormant brain regions, and fosters enhanced communication between the brain and the eyes. At FMC of MN, we tailor our treatment programs to fortify visual skills, recalibrate the brain to comprehend visual data, and boost processing efficiency.
Neurological Disruptions to Vision
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), commonly referred to as a concussion, interrupts the synchronization between the eyes and the brain, instigating visual anomalies. Other causes like strokes, tumors, infections, or conditions like cerebral palsy can similarly impair the neuro-visual system. Often, these visual impairments are unnoticed in early evaluations and might surface much later. FMC of MN understands the extensive repercussions of TBIs, encompassing vision shifts, issues with memory and cognition, sleep disturbances, anxiety and depression, mood changes, tinnitus or ringing in the ears, headaches and migraines, and more. Neglecting these TBI-related concerns can delay recovery.
The Connection to Vestibular Dysfunction
Various causes, from head injuries to diseases, can induce vestibular dysfunction, affecting visual processing. Symptoms include dizziness, vertigo, balance issues, cognitive challenges, disorientation, hearing and vision changes, and more. Often, the gradual onset means individuals may be unaware of their condition. Fatigue, memory loss, inability to concentrate, or struggles with daily tasks at home or school might hint at vestibular dysfunction.
The Anatomy of Vision
Learning hinges significantly on our ability to perceive and process information visually. Key visual components include:
- Visual Fixation is the eye’s capability to lock onto a target.
- Saccades are quick eye movements, like rapidly scanning a page.
- Accommodation is shifting focus from distant to near objects.
- Convergence is aligning eyes to maintain a singular image.
- Binocular Fusion is the brain’s task of blending data from both eyes to produce one image.
Should any of these elements falter, signs might include reluctance towards reading, frustration with school, “I hate school” comments, closing one eye or tipping head to read, frequent eye rubbing, using a finger as a guide when reading, fidgeting or short attention span, struggling to remember or understand what read, avoiding reading out loud, skipping words when reading, losing place or re-reading lines, poor handwriting or writing uphill/downhill, avoids sports or games, does not accept change well, does not use time well, loses belongings/things, forgetfulness, saying “I can’t” before trying and more. Often, those diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, or dyslexia might be grappling with unnoticed visual deficits.
Vision isn’t just innate; it’s a skill we cultivate from birth and refine throughout life. FMC of MN’s neuro-visual rehabilitation techniques have consistently assisted individuals grappling with visual processing challenges. Our vision therapist, Jeri, brings over four decades of optometric experience, with 23 years dedicated to developmental/behavioral optometry.
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Traditional medicine does not look for the underlying causes of your chronic pain or health issue. It simply manages symptoms, most often with medication, or even surgery. At Functional Medicine Center Of MN, we first identify the underlying source of your pain or condition, then we develop a personalized care plan and path for your restoration to health. It starts with a comprehensive 90-minute assessment at our office. Get on your path to a better life.