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Neuro Optometry

Can a Brain Injury Affect Vision?

Can a Brain Injury Affect Visio 640×350If you’ve been experiencing blurry vision, double vision or other visual symptoms following a car accident, serious fall or blow to the head, it’s almost certainly a result of your traumatic brain injury (TBI). In fact, up to 90% of people with TBI’s have disrupted vision that can last days, weeks, months and even years after their accident.

Neuro-optometrists diagnose and treat the symptoms of post trauma vision syndrome. Schedule an appointment with in Our practice serves patients from Cypress, Hockley, Louetta, and Katy, Texas and surrounding communities. to find the relief you’ve been seeking.

Can a Traumatic Brain Injury Cause Vision Problems?

Concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries affect 10 million people worldwide every year. Falls, car accidents and sports injuries are leading causes of TBI’s.

Visual problems from TBI’s often go undiagnosed in the rush to treat more urgent injuries, such as a brain bleed or facial lacerations. And in some cases, visual problems may begin later.

Vision isn’t just about eyesight. For the visual system to work properly, there must be accurate communication between the eyes and the brain. A TBI can damage the neural connections between the eyes and the brain, causing significant visual deficits.

When a fall or other blow to the head causes the soft brain to suddenly impact the hard skull cavity, this violent movement can damage the fragile cranial nerves and brain cells, resulting in severe damage. This damage makes it more difficult for neural pathways to transmit clear and accurate messages to the brain, and results in a range of debilitating symptoms.

Visual Problems After a Brain Injury

A TBI can cause the following visual symptoms:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye strain

A TBI can also cause problems with visual skills, including:

  • Eye teaming – eyes don’t work together efficiently
  • Visual acuity – difficulty seeing near or far away objects
  • Focusing – trouble maintaining clear vision or transitioning focus from one object to another
  • Disrupted eye movements – you have a hard time tracking something with your eyes and may experience reading problems
  • Motion sensitivity – diminished ability to see things clearly when you’re moving. You may experience dizziness and motion sickness
  • Limited visual field – Peripheral vision loss

Can I Improve My Vision After a TBI?

If you have post traumatic vision symptoms, schedule an appointment with a neuro-optometrist, who specializes in vision disruptions caused by head trauma or neurological conditions. Your neuro-optometrist will give you an assessment to identify problems and prescribe a neuro-optometric treatment program to improve your vision.

A neuro-optometric treatment program may include:

  • Prism lenses
  • Prescription lenses
  • Neuro-optometric therapy – eye exercises to retrain your eyes, nervous system and brain to communicate effectively
  • Syntonic phototherapy – balances the autonomic nervous system using light therapy

Are you experiencing visual problems since your accident? Schedule a functional eye exam at in Our practice serves patients from Cypress, Hockley, Louetta, and Katy, Texas and surrounding communities. and start feeling and seeing better.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Erin Pitts

Q: Can whiplash after a car accident cause vision problems?

  • A: Whiplash occurs when a collision quickly thrusts your neck forward and back. But whiplash doesn’t just affect the neck. It can also impact your brain and cranial nerves. If you have whiplash and are experiencing blurred vision, dizziness or other vision disruptions, schedule an appointment at to see if you can benefit from neuro-optometric therapy.

Q: Can a neuro-optometrist treat vision problems related to vestibular dysfunction?

  • A: Dizziness and motion sickness after a head trauma can be the result of vestibular dysfunction, damage to the inner ear and sections of the brain stem. You may experience blurry vision, dizziness, vertigo and lack of coordination. If you have any of these symptoms, contact us at and schedule a neuro-optometric eye exam.

Request A Neuro-Optometry Appointment Today
Find Out If Neuro-Optometry Can Help You! 832-653-7138

Can Hitting Your Head Cause Blurred Vision?

Have You Experienced Blurry Vision After Hitting Your Head 640×350People often experience blurry vision after brain trauma, especially from a concussion, a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). In fact, about 90% of patients with a traumatic brain injury will experience some visual symptoms that can negatively affect their quality of life.

Fortunately, neuro-optometric therapy can offer relief to many patients with head injuries. Contact Cypress Vision Therapy in Cypress to find out how we can help restore your vision and quality of life.

How Can Hitting Your Head Affect Your Vision?

While some minor head injuries result in nothing more than a bump or bruise, in more serious head injuries, known as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), the brain impacts against the hard skull, often with powerful force. This impact can damage fragile nerves and blood vessels in the brain. Since 70% of our brain is responsible for visual processing, it’s no surprise that a TBI can cause blurred vision and other uncomfortable post-injury visual symptoms, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Dizziness
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Double vision
  • Confusion
  • Memory problems

Why You Should Schedule an Appointment with a Neuro-Optometrist

When a head injury occurs, vision problems often take a backseat to more urgent concerns, such as relieving pressure on the brain or treating lacerations to the head or face. But that doesn’t mean vision problems can or should be ignored. Any vision problems related to a head injury can severely affect a person’s ability to work, study, drive and carry out day-to-day tasks.

A neuro-optometrist diagnoses and treats a whole range of communication problems between the visual system and the brain caused by traumatic brain injuries (TBI), physical disabilities or other neurological conditions, such as a stroke, Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.

Can Vision Be Restored After a Head Injury?

Yes, especially with the help of neuro-optometric rehabilitation. The first step is scheduling a functional eye exam with your neuro-optometrist. During the exam your eye doctor will test the following visual skills:

  • Eye teaming
  • Eye tracking
  • Eye focusing
  • Visual processing
  • Peripheral vision
  • Spatial awareness
  • Lazy eye and eye turns

What Is Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation?

Once your neuro-optometrist has diagnosed your condition, they will prescribe a customized program to relieve your symptoms. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation is a scientifically proven treatment plan that helps strengthen the functioning of the neurologically damaged visual system. The program relies on the brain’s neuroplasticity to improve the communication between the brain and the eyes.

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy involves in-session training and at-home exercises that will help restore normal vision. These may include:

  • Customized program of eye exercises
  • Prism glasses that help the brain and eyes to work together
  • Computer-assisted eye exercises
  • Corrective eye patches

Want to see clearly again after a head injury? Schedule an appointment by contacting Cypress Vision Therapy in Cypress today!

Our practice serves patients from Cypress, Hockley, Louetta, and Katy, Texas and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Erin Pitts

Q: How Long Does Blurred Vision Last After a Head Injury?

  • A: Although blurry vision sometimes goes away a couple of weeks after a head injury, it’s best not to leave it to chance, hoping visual problems will correct on their own. If you experience any vision problems after a head injury, it’s recommended to schedule an appointment with a neuro-optometrist. Neuro-optometric therapy can often correct blurry vision long-term by dealing with the root cause of your vision problems following a TBI.

Q: Is a Traumatic Brain Injury the Same as a Concussion?

  • A: A TBI is a damage to the brain caused by impact. A concussion is considered a milder type of TBI. However, even a mild concussion can cause significant vision problems.

Request A Neuro-Optometry Appointment Today
Find Out If Neuro-Optometry Can Help You! 832-653-7138

Visual Conditions That Are Treated With Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation

Visual Conditions That Are Treated With Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation 640×350Our neuro-optometric team at Cypress Vision Therapy helps patients recover from a wide range of visual dysfunctions resulting from neurological damage due to congenital conditions, illnesses and brain injuries. Here are some of the conditions that our experienced and skilled eye doctors treat on a daily basis.

What is Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation?

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation is an individualized treatment plan that helps strengthen the functioning of the visual system after suffering neurological damage. This customized, scientifically proven program uses the brain’s ability to adapt, known as neuroplasticity, to improve the communication between the brain and the eyes. It entails in-office and at-home eye exercises.

Events requiring neuro-optometric rehabilitation can include head injuries, concussions, strokes and brain [tumors]. Below are the most common vision problems that can be treated by neuro-optometric rehabilitation:

Binocular Vision Dysfunction

Binocular vision refers to the ability of both eyes to work together to send consistent visual information back to the brain, which combines the 2 separate images from each eye into a single 3-dimensional image.

Binocular vision dysfunction (BVD) occurs when the eyes are unable to align properly, causing them to send different sets of visual information to the brain. BVD can result in blurry vision, double vision, eye strain and headaches, as the brain is unable to easily combine the two different images from each eye into single, clear and 3D images.

Ocular Motor Dysfunction

This condition occurs when a person’s eyes have trouble moving smoothly from object to object. The eyes may not be able to move in a single smooth motion as they track, or they may overshoot or undershoot the item.

A person with ocular motor dysfunction may lose their place while reading, or be unable to confidently and accurately navigate the spaces they are moving through. They may find the following areas challenging:

  • Attention and memory
  • Depth perception
  • Visual perceptual tasks
  • Balance
  • Scanning across a page or screen
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Reading and writing

Spatial Disorientation

This refers to a person’s inability to correctly determine their body’s position and orientation in relation to their surroundings. The condition can result in clumsiness and an inability to accurately judge distance and depth. Many people experience this as a result of missing part of their visual field, or due to poor depth perception caused by a brain injury or illness.

Accommodative Dysfunction

Accommodation is the eyes’ ability to keep images in clear focus at all distances. In a healthy visual system, this occurs in fractions of a second by constantly focusing and refocusing the lens inside the eye.

Sometimes, as a result of illness or injury, accommodative ability is compromised, and the eyes aren’t able to focus as easily or as quickly. This is known as accommodative dysfunction. Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Eye fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Visual discomfort
  • Problems with concentration and attention
  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Reduction in efficiency and productivity

Convergence Insufficiency

Convergence is the eyes’ ability to turn inward together to focus on objects and points in space at close range. Convergence insufficiency occurs when the eyes struggle to work together and turn inward to maintain focus on a nearby object, such as a book or computer screen.

Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleepiness
  • Print seems to move while reading
  • Difficulty with reading comprehension

Nystagmus

This condition causes involuntary twitches and small but rapid eye movements that disrupt a person’s ability to see. These eye movements can occur as a result of a genetic condition, such as albinism, or an illness or injury to the head or eyes that causes the brain to misinterpret movement signals sent from the eye.

Involuntary eye movements can be up and down, side to side or circular, and can affect depth perception, balance and coordination.

Post-traumatic vision syndrome

Following severe illness or a brain injury, a person may perceive stationary objects as moving, words running together on the page, and/or intermittent blurriness and double vision. This is called post-traumatic vision syndrome (PTVS).

Although the eyes seem to be perfectly healthy, their communication with the brain has been disrupted. Without proper treatment, people with PTVS often continue to suffer the disabling symptoms of this condition for months and even years after the incident.

Our practice serves patients from Cypress, Hockley, Louetta, and Katy, Texas and surrounding communities.

Contact us to learn more about what we offer and to learn whether neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy can benefit you.

Request A Neuro-Optometry Appointment Today
Find Out If Neuro-Optometry Can Help You! 832-653-7138

Can Your Vision Change After a Concussion?

women rubbing her head from neuro vision problemsIf you’ve hit your head in a fall while playing sports or in any other type of accident, your vision may have been impacted.

Between 69% and 82% of people who’ve experienced concussions report visual problems, such as eyestrain and double or blurred vision.

Head trauma causes the brain to move within the skull. The movement can stretch the fragile cranial nerves and can even damage brain cells. Since vision relies on efficient communication between the eyes and the brain, a concussion can disrupt these neural pathways, affecting your vision.

The resulting condition is called post-trauma vision syndrome (PTVS).

How Does a Concussion Affect Vision?

Our vision depends on our brain’s ability to accurately receive and interpret the images sent by our eyes. Therefore, anything that impacts the brain can severely affect our ability to see clearly. When we suffer head injuries caused by a traffic accident or a serious fall, the resulting head injury can impact the communication between our eyes and brain.

Although your eyes may be healthy, your vision may be blurred, or you might start seeing double or experience eye strain due to post-trauma vision syndrome.

What Is Post Trauma Vision Syndrome?

Post-trauma vision syndrome refers to a number of visual problems that tend to occur following a severe head injury. If you have PTVS, you may have trouble with:

  • Focusing – changing focus from close to far or keeping your vision clear
  • Eye teaming or binocular vision – your eyes’ ability to coordinate
  • Depth perception – judging distance or the relationship of one object to another
  • Eye-tracking – visually following an object or text on a screen or page
  • Peripheral vision – seeing things from the side of the eyes
  • Eye alignment – the eyes aren’t aligned correctly or point in different directions

Any one of these visual problems can negatively affect your ability to perform day-to-day tasks and significantly lower your quality of life. Driving, reading, watching TV, participating in sports, enjoying hobbies and even socializing can become difficult.

Why You Need a Neuro-Optometrist

A neuro-optometrist is trained to diagnose and treat visual problems related to the nervous system caused by head injuries, strokes and neurological diseases. After assessing your visual system for any aberrations, your neuro-optometrist will prescribe a customized treatment plan to strengthen your visual system and improve your quality of life.

What Treatments Improve Vision Following a Concussion?

A neuro-optometrist may prescribe any of the following to relieve symptoms after a concussion and help you see and feel better:

  • Prescription lenses – especially for blurry vision
  • Prism lenses
  • Syntonic phototherapy – the use of light to create balance in the autonomous nervous system and restore vision
  • Neuro-optometric therapy – a customized eye exercise program designed to rehabilitate your visual skills

How Long Do Visual Problems Last After a Concussion?

Typically, visual problems caused by a concussion don’t become noticeable for some time. Symptoms of visual problems can appear or remain for weeks, months or even years after the original incident. Any person who has had a concussion should be assessed by a neuro-optometrist, even if they’re not experiencing any obvious visual problems.

If you’re still experiencing any visual symptoms of post-traumatic vision syndrome, even weeks or months after your head injury, it’s essential to see a neuro-optometrist for diagnosis and treatment. If this is your case, we invite you to schedule your appointment with Dr. Erin Pitts at today.

Our practice serves patients from Cypress, Hockley, Louetta, and Katy, Texas and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Erin Pitts

Q: Can a concussion permanently change your vision?

  • A: In some cases, a concussion can permanently impact your vision, especially if your visual system or optic nerve has been damaged. The good news is that most visual problems caused by a head injury respond well to neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy.

Q: Why can it take time for concussion-related vision problems to be diagnosed?

  • A: Diagnosis can depend on several factors. If someone has been in a serious accident, their physicians are focused on life-threatening injuries. As a result, all but the most obvious visual symptoms, such as vision loss, may be missed. In other cases, the signs of PTVS can be very subtle and undetectable in a routine eye exam. That’s why anyone who has experienced a concussion should have their vision thoroughly examined by a neuro-optometrist.

    Request A Neuro-Optometry Appointment Today
    Find Out If Neuro-Optometry Can Help You! 832-653-7138

    Do You See Better When You Tilt or Turn Your Head?

    blue eye tilted head to see betterDo you find that you need to tilt or turn your head to see better? This is known as an anomalous and compensatory gesture. Many people – including children – don’t even realize they’re doing this until their neck begins to feel really sore. Naturally, it’s hard to imagine that the source of their problem is their eyes or the optic nerves.

    Why Does My Vision Improve When I Tilt or Turn My Head?

    You may turn or tilt your head for any of the following reasons:

    Eye Misalignment (Strabismus)

    When your two eyes are misaligned or “crossed” (strabismus), they aren’t able to point in the same direction. The result: each eye sends a different image to your brain, which then struggles to merge the images to create one clear, unified 3D image. Moving your head compensates for this and may enable your brain to more comfortably combine the images to see more clearly.

    This misalignment can be caused by a malfunction of the nerve that controls the muscles surrounding the eyes. Depending on which nerves and muscles are affected, the head turn or tilt is essentially an adjustment to enhance the comfort and clarity of vision.

    Duane Syndrome

    Duane syndrome is a specific type of strabismus. It is a congenital disorder of the 6th cranial nerve that controls the lateral rectus muscle. As a result, the eyes may rotate inward and outward and can lead to compensatory head movements.

    Nystagmus

    Nystagmus, involuntary jerky or shaky eye movements, can cause you to tilt your head in a specific position when the nystagmus is slow or stops. This is called a “null point.” Nystagmus can have a neurological basis, as in cases of:

    • Stroke
    • Trauma to the head
    • Brain tumor
    • Central nervous system diseases, such as multiple sclerosis

    Ptosis

    Ptosis is often called “droopy eyelid,” and can be caused by an injury to the muscles surrounding the eyelid or to the nerves controlling these muscles. People with ptosis will compensate by looking upward to see objects as if trying to see past the eyelid.

    Refractive Errors

    Refractive errors occur when the eye is either too long or the corneal focusing power is too high or too low. They aren’t a result of a neurological problem. However, refractive errors often cause a child or adult to tilt or move their head to compensate for their blurry vision.

    These are the refractive errors that affect eyesight:

    • Astigmatism
    • Myopia (nearsightedness)
    • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
    • Presbyopia (age-related farsightedness)

    In the event of a refractive error, you or your child may also squint your eyes in an attempt to see better. Having an eye exam can determine the type of refractive error and the best way to correct the problem.

    How Can I Stop By Head From Tilting or Turning to See Better?

    If you find that you’re tilting or turning your head to see objects or read better, it’s important to schedule an eye exam to identify the cause of the problem.

    Patients with ocular neurological problems may be experiencing some of these symptoms:

    • Eye strain, headaches or migraines
    • Eye turn or blurry vision
    • Reading or attention problems
    • Difficulty moving the eyes
    • Involuntary eye movements
    • Pressure in the eyes or head
    • Uneven pupils
    • Double vision
    • Droopy eyelids
    • Facial distortion

    If your eye doctor suspects that your eye condition may be rooted in the nerves or the brain, they may recommend an appointment with a neuro-ophthalmologist, who is trained to diagnose and treat eye irregularities with a neurological cause.

    Do you want to get rid of your head tilt and treat your eye problem? Schedule an appointment at Cypress Vision Therapy today.

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Erin Pitts

    Q: What are some causes of neurological problems that affect the eyes?

    • A: – Inflammation of the optic nerve (optic neuritis)
      – Swelling of the optic nerve (papilledema) – commonly caused by increased pressure inside the brain
      – Nerve damage leading to paralysis of eye muscles – this leads to strabismus or misaligned eyes
      – Optic neuropathy – can be caused by toxic substances such as alcohol, tobacco or B12 deficiency
      – Stroke or brain tumor

    Q: How is strabismus treated?

    • A: Strabismus, characterized by crossed or misaligned eyes, is treated by:- Eyeglasses for milder cases
      – An eye patch placed over the stronger eye to help the weaker eye become stronger
      – Orthoptics – eye exercises
      – Botox – can temporarily weaken the overactive muscle
      – Surgery on the eye muscles

    References

    Request A Functional Visual Exam
    How Can We Help You? 832-653-7138