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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ORTHO-K AN ALTERNATIVE TO LASIK

When you were first diagnosed with nearsightedness (myopia), did you resign yourself to wearing eyeglasses for the rest of your life, thinking nothing else could be done to improve your eyesight? Many innovations have been made in the treatment of myopia over the years. Most people are familiar with LASIK or refractive surgery, but a viable alternative you may not have heard of is orthokeratology.


Orthokeratology, also called ortho-k, uses specially designed rigid gas-permeable (RGP) contact lenses to change the front surface of your eye (the cornea). This reduces or corrects myopia. You wear the lenses overnight and wake up seeing clearly all day long without the hassles of conventional glasses or contacts. While you sleep, the lenses reshape the cornea to correct your vision.


Today’s technology makes ortho-k easy to implement. To assess whether a patient is a good candidate for ortho-k, a scan is made of the cornea and lenses are manufactured for a precise reduction in the eye’s optical imperfection. The cornea is very elastic and the ortho-k lenses basically help it reshape itself. Ortho-k can be effective even if you have a low degree of astigmatism. Ortho-k particularly suits people who participate in sports or work in dusty, dirty environments that can make wearing contact lens or glasses difficult.


Your eye doctor will perform a thorough eye examination before you undergo ortho-k. This will give him a chance to assess the health of your eyes and determine how effective the procedure will be for you.

The speed and accuracy of the treatment varies with each individual. If your doctor determines you are a good candidate for ortho-k, he will fit you with the RPG lenses in progressive stages. The goal is to make the cornea less curved and more spherical. Most of the visual changes you’ll notice occur in the first few weeks, and it requires frequent examinations and progressive lens changes. Stabilization procedures follow at a slower pace over the next few months. The time frame is usually between one and three months. You must wear retainer lenses or the cornea will revert to its original shape. Most ortho-k patients are at least 18 years old.


Ortho-k offers several advantages over LASIK surgery: Both eyes are done at the same time, there is no post-operative pain or hazy vision and changes over time can be handled without surgery. Perhaps most important of all, ortho-k is reversible and can be modified if necessary. And it is less expensive than LASIK. However, should you choose to have LASIK surgery in the future, ortho-k does not preclude this option.


The goal of ortho-k is to correct your vision to 20/20 without having to wear

eyeglasses or contact lenses during the day. In FDA trials, more than 65 percent of patients were able to achieve 20/20 visual acuity after wearing the reshaping lenses overnight. For more information about ortho-k and to find out if you are a good candidate for the procedure, call Family Eyecare Associates at (859) 879-3665.

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