If you’ve had or ever witnessed the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, it can leave you wondering, does this ever get better? How can I or they regain better function, decrease physical symptoms, and improve quality of life? Are there actually any viable options or is it all hopeless?
When a person incurs a traumatic brain injury, which is an insult to the brain resulting from a physical hit (concussion, car accident, slip/fall) or a neurological blow (stroke or inflammatory response due to medication or chemicals) to the head, it can trigger an altered or unbalanced state of consciousness. The impairments can range from mild to severe and present as some of the following:
- Blurred or double vision
- Binocular vision problems (aligning the eyes, strabismus, and depth perception problems)
- Decline in cognitive abilities (memory loss, attention/concentration problems, difficulty with comprehension)
- Sensory processing disorders (sensory overload, light and/or sound sensitivity)
- Visual field deficits
- Loss of physical functions (muscle weakness on one side, spasticity, problems with coordination and balance)
Some symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are obvious immediately, while others may not present right away. This late onset appearance is often the case with visual problems so initial examinations may overlook or neglect any visual problems. This tends to lead to a missed opportunity to be identified and corrected, which unfortunately prolongs rehabilitation time. Have faith though; all is not lost!
With March being traumatic brain injury awareness month, we wanted to revisit the exciting news that there are effective, noninvasive methods to help a person retrieve loss of function after such an injury has been incurred. No matter when the injury happened.
At Vision for Life and Success, we couple the tried and true, century old method called Syntonics, with each contoured individualized vision therapy program, to maximize healing. Syntonics is light therapy for the eyes and brain. Syntonics uses specific wavelengths of light to transmit into the eye, stimulating the brain to restore balance within the nervous system and trigger new growth or reconnections. Syntonics uses goggles, or what look like 3D glasses, that come in a variety of colors, which filters the different wavelengths of light. The choice of Syntonics googles is dependent upon the unique and individualized conditions or symptoms of each patient.
Now that you know what Syntonics is, you’re probably questioning, how could a light therapy for the eyes not only possibly help an injury to the brain, but increase wellness and improve quality of life as well?
Well, if you think of eyes as the window for the soul, they are the perfect entry point; as the eyes are an extension of the brain and can directly connect to where those wavelengths of light most effectively make an impact. The visual system involves sifting though the influx of sensory information and processing to the brain so there’s a very close relationship between the eyes and the brain. When a kink in that system’s flow occurs, as a result of say a traumatic brain injury, you want an effective way to mitigate the damage and symptoms without invasive measures. This is where the expertise and scientifically sound methods, including Syntonics, used at Vision For Life and Success have been instrumental to visual rehabilitation efforts.
The beneficial effects of Syntonics with traumatic brain injured patients include:
- Increase neuron connection and proper blood flow to the brain (in that damaged area)
- Vision restoration – if the visual field is lopsided or tunnel vision – the increased blood flow to the damaged areas can foster a more functional and well rounded visual field
- Areas in the brain can be turned back on to function better and regain some of the ability that was lost
- Balance out the nervous system (autonomic nervous system)
- Send signals throughout the entire body to help restore affected areas
- Possibly even restore proper signaling or improve signaling to motor areas of the body experiencing weakness
Syntonics, in conjunction with an individualized therapy protocols (visual, PT/OT), enables the reprograming of how the brain is processing visual information and can aid in a more well rounded recovery. As mentioned earlier, at any point after the initial insult occurs, be it 3 months or even years later, one can utilize the well documented benefits of Syntonics to help alleviate and/or repair visual issues stemming from a traumatic brain injury.
When I first had my stroke, I couldn’t see very well at all, it was very blurry. I had absolutely no depth perception and very very restricted vision. I couldn’t see anything on my left and reading was almost impossible. I could not drive, which I still can’t, but I’m getting closer. Now I am able to read a lot easier, I am able to work again, luckily from home. I am able to take walks and cross the street a lot easier, and walk around in the store without worrying about getting lost. It’s getting easier every day to see more and more around me, it may not be crystal clear, or even completely in my sight, but I am aware it’s there and see something as before, I didn’t see anything. I couldn’t even see myself in the mirror. I could not comprehend or figure out what I was even looking at. Luckily with therapy all that has changed. I am able to do everything by myself without having to worry about depending on everyone else. It is a lot of hard work, but I am determined to drive again. It’s my ultimate goal. I truly am blessed to have found Dr Steinhauer, Cheri Bagwell, and everyone at Vision For Life & Success. I am definitely able to see more now than I ever thought I would ever be able to see again. Especially after every other doctor told me all the vision that I regained in the first 6-9 months after my stroke is all the vision I would ever get back, and there was nothing I could do about it. I am going to keep doing my therapy and exercises until I can drive. I will get there soon. Thanks again for everything.Shawn
If you are interested in learning more about or know someone who could benefit from our customized vision therapy programs, please visit our website at visionforlifeworks.com or contact us directly at (618) 288-1489. Schedule a consultation and get started on the healing journey today!