COVD, NORA issue call-to-action for optometric rehab in patients with TBI
NEW ORLEANS – The College of Optometrists in Vision Development and the Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation Association issued a joint call-to-action at SECO for all health care professionals to consider the need for medical and/or functional optometric rehabilitation for patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury due to stroke, tumor, aneurism, meningitis, cerebral palsy or other neurological conditions.
In the U.S., an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a TBI each year, with about 75% of them a result of concussions or other mild TBI, according to the joint press release.
Studies show that at least half of patients with TBI suffer from visual dysfunctions that can range from light sensitivity to reading difficulty, headaches and difficulties with eye movement.
Vision-related problems are often overlooked during initial evaluation by clinicians, and certain visual symptoms may not be present until days, weeks or even longer following the incident.
“Studies show that at least 50% of traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients suffer from visual dysfunctions, with one such study finding a 90% incidence of post-trauma visual complications, such as blurred vision, sensitivity to light, reading difficulty, headaches with visual tasks, and difficulties with eye movements,” NORA President Susan Daniel, OD, said in the release.
Optometrists can evaluate patients for not only the visual issues, but also other subtle factors in the complex visual process, COVD President Christine Allison, OD, said in the release.