VISION THERAPY AND ACQUIRED BRAIN INJURY

The eye is amazing. Did you know more than 1.9 million fibers come from the eye into the brain? Each of those fibers creates its own pathway to the brain and has its own distinct function. So when someone has a stroke or other acquired brain injury (ABI), vision is often affected.  ABIs include concussions suffered in severe sports-related hits or a car accident, as well as cerebral or vascular strokes. An ABI can affect both neurological pathways in the eye, the focal or parvocellular pathway, which is....

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SYNTONICS: CREATING BALANCE FOR THE EYES

Syntonics, or optometric phototherapy, is a form of light therapy used to treat a variety of vision problems. It is available at Family Eyecare Associates to help patients with a variety of vision problems, such as strabismus (eye turns), amblyopia (lazy eye), focusing and convergence problems and learning disorders. It has also been shown to be very effective for people who suffer from migraines.

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WHAT IS BEHAVIORAL OPTOMETRY?

Behavioral optometry starts with the concept that vision is learned. When we’re born, we don’t know how to use our arms, legs and hands. We also don’t know how to use our eyes. We have to learn how to integrate them with the rest of our body. The brain must process what the eyes are seeing, and then it has to integrate that information with the other senses. From a behav- ioral standpoint, seeing requires a more holistic approach, getting all the senses to work together.

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GIVE YOUR EYES SOME LOVE

There’s more to seeing than meets the eye. Vision involves our eyes, brain and body. You cannot make an eye movement without sending a message to the body and vice versa. Performance optometry focuses on maximizing not just what you see but how well you can perform activities of daily living – driving a car, reading a book, hitting a ball. Vision is also essential to balance. It is a matter of how your sensory input works together, a process called sensory integration. Performance optometry helps you reach your potential in everything you do – it’s all about how the body, brain and eyes work together.


The conveniences of modern life can make vision and seeing difficult, not just in terms of blurred vision caused by myopia or other eye misalignment or diseases. Before we got bombarded by computers, Smartphones and other devices, we lived and moved and had our being in a 3-D world. Our ancestors were constantly looking off into the distance, alert for possible predators or seeking sources of food. Today we find ourselves wrapped in a 2-D world of flat-screen TVs and computers with blue light that harms our eyes more than we realize. Living in this environment creates visual stress, expressed in headaches, eyestrain and dry eye. Constantly focusing on a small screen or doing close work puts us in sensory overload. It’s essential to give your eyes some L-O-V-E: Lots Of Varied Experiences. If you spend your entire day staring at a computer, don’t go home and do the same thing. Go out and take a walk – get your eyes away from that environment and move them and use them – get back in touch with the 3-D world.  

Performance optometry stresses our ability to recognize, react and respond to what we see. It helps us be as accurate and as quick as we can when we see something. We have to recognize what we see and almost immediately decide how to react and respond to it. For our ancestors, it was a matter of life or death. For us, it can be the difference between a safe encounter or a dangerous outcome.


Fortunately, these days sophisticated optometric equipment picks up eye health problems and determines the best solution to improve your sight, be it glasses or contacts or other enhancements. There are filters that can block the blue light on your TV, laptop, tablet or phone. Glasses and contact lenses use all sorts of tints and filters to block UV light and reduce eye-damaging glare. Eyewear can be specifically designed to match your activities.


Most eye problems can be prevented or cured if they are caught early. Even if you were told as a youngster that myopia (nearsightedness) was something you just had to live with – and might entail getting stronger and stronger glasses as you got older – there may be a better solution or even a cure. Call Family Eye Care Associates at (859) 879-3665 to learn more about improving your eyesight and your vision.


DR. RICK GRAEBE

Dr. Graebe received both his B.S degree in Visual Science and Doctorate of Optometry from Indiana University. He is a Behavioral Optometrist and learning expert. He has been in private practice here in the Bluegrass area for the past 32 years.

more articles by dr rick graebe