Neuroscience tells us there are 32 different areas in the brain involved in visual processing. This means that nearly every area of the brain helps us to perform some visual task.
Whether it be coordinating and directing eye movements to visually track, focus or point the eyes to obtain visual information from environment, or relaying that visual information to different areas to make sense of depth, motion and where we are in relation to our environment – this goes way beyond seeing clearly, or the 20/20 letters on the chart.
It’s also estimated that nearly 75% of all sensory information directed to the brain is visual. All told, we take in more information with our eyes and visual system than all other senses combined!
Visual deficits are among the most common results of a concussion / brain injury. This occurs because the visual system is directly connected to many other sensory systems to allow for the proper integration of information processing.
When there is an injury to the brain, chances are very high some form of visual functioning will be affected. With many of these issues, vision therapy can help address the problems they bring about.
Visual Deficits and Educational Performance
For students specifically, these deficits can have a dramatic impact on learning and school performance. Because the visual system is neurologically the most complex, these functional-based visual deficits can linger months after the injury and while other issues have subsided, the visual system struggles to regain proper communication with other parts of the brain.
Think of it as a breakdown in how different areas of the brain talk and collaborate.
A number of visual problems may be present that commonly result in:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Headaches when reading
- Poor concentration
- Skipping/losing place while reading
- Eye strain/discomfort
- Sensitivity to motion / patterns / busy areas
- Poor depth perception
If our dominant sense — vision — isn’t functioning at it’s highest level, performance in school is likely to be negatively impacted.
How Vision Therapy Can Help
The good news is vision therapy can directly address these functional-based visual deficits and put the pieces back together to allow the visual system to communicate more effectively with the rest of the brain.
When it comes to reading and learning, the idea is for the brain to be able to perform all the necessary visual skills on an automatic level so more cognitive resources are available to concentrate on the task to retain, process, and interpret what you’re reading.
If you’ve suffered a concussion and are experiencing any of the symptoms above, please contact the Omaha Vision Therapy office to schedule a vision examination to determine if Vision Therapy can help you.