Many people associate concussion with symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, feeling ‘in a fog’ and issues with lights and noise. Often, they do not know why these issues are present and what is driving them, but they can often find a link to their eyesight.
With this in mind, they go and have an eye check-up – makes sense. But many are confounded when the optician often tells them there are no issues. Has the optician got it wrong? If it is not my eyes, what is it? What else is wrong with me? What can I do to get better?
In the vast majority of cases the optician is correct, their eyes are physically fine.
BUT the optician has not looked at their functional vision and this is what is commonly affected after a concussion.
So, what is functional vision? Functional vision is your brain putting all of the information it receives from the eyes together with information from your inner ears, joints, muscles, tendons and peripheral nervous system and making sense of it all. This is a lot of information to process – something that the brain does easily in normal circumstances. But after a concussion, this process can become out of sync in many ways and needs to be addressed and treated.
Although headaches, followed by dizziness, are the most common symptoms of a concussion, issues with functional vision often cause these problems.
The precision of the system is taken for granted when everything is working well, and it doesn’t need to be too ‘out of sync’ to cause issues. The degree is variable and explains why many people cannot pinpoint what is wrong. This leads to many people living with it for over a year, if not longer, as it has not been correctly addressed.
The symptoms can vary significantly from a teenager’s struggles focusing on the whiteboard and textbook, to others just ‘not feeling right’ and others being severely incapacitated. This degree of variability makes it difficult for doctors to pinpoint what is wrong, often advising time and rest and is the reason many people having issues lasting years, rather than days and weeks if managed correctly.
Many of the symptoms are made worse by seeing moving objects, being in busy areas, various patterned wallpaper, screen time and supermarkets. So, after logically seeing the optician and being told their eyes are fine - now what?
Thankfully, there are many ways to test functional vision if you know what you are looking for and different pieces of equipment to help along the way. When assessed and identified correctly, and with an effective plan put in place, the majority of people make a good recovery.
The key is a tailored programme to suit an individual's needs and get them back on track - rather than a cookie cutter approach, which many research papers have shown not to be as effective.
To help with this the Dizziness, Balance and Concussion Centre has invested in advanced, state-of-the-art eye-tracking technology. The RightEye™ system enables us to pinpoint functional vision and brain health issues. In just 5 minutes or so, this proven, patented technology measures visual skills in ways that a standard eye exam cannot — enabling us to identify and treat underlying vision issues that affect our patients’ quality of life.
What this all adds up to is a great assessment, which allows for a personalised scientifically-based treatment programme tailored to you – the Gold Standard in treatment!
For more information on how we use the RightEye™ system to get you better visit www.concussiontherapy.co.uk or get in touch today!