Visual problems may affect the ability to perform daily activities:
- Eye-hand coordination activities to assist with handwriting.
- Strategies and exercises to incorporate into daily tasks in the home, community, work and school.
- Tracking activities to help improve reading.
- Vision treatment may begin during the patient’s stay in the hospital and continue at home.
- Patients may lose the ability to use their eyes properly after an injury to the brain. Brain injury can be the result a car accident, tumor, stroke or other neurological disease.
How vision is affected after brain injury or a stroke
Brain injury or stroke may affect how the brain and the eyes work together. If you or someone you know has had a brain injury or stroke, watch for any changes in their ability to see or perform tasks.
Have you experienced any of the following symptoms? If so, tell your doctor or Occupational Therapist (OT) right away.
- Bumping into objects
- Difficulty focusing while reading
- Dizziness, nausea and/or headache
- Trouble judging distances
- Leaning to one side
- Losing your balance
- Losing your place when reading
- Sensitivity to light
How to obtain an eye examination
With a doctor’s order, the OT can perform a vision screen. After the vision screen, the OT, along with your doctor, will determine if it would be helpful to see a specialized eye doctor (e.g. neuro-optometrist or ophthalmologist).
If time and availability permit, a specialized eye doctor may be able to perform a vision exam while you are still a patient on the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit. After the exam, the neuro-optometrist may make recommendations for follow-up vision therapy. This vision therapy may include eye exercises, the use of therapy equipment (i.e. prism glasses) or other devices. In the event the eye doctor is unable to see you, your OT will provide you with a reference for a neuro-optometrist in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How is the neuro-optometrist different from a regular eye doctor? Your eye doctor will examine you to check how well you are able to see and may prescribe glasses. A neuro-optometrist will check to see how well your eyes work together so you can perform daily tasks.
- When is the patient ready to drive? The State of California requires health care providers to report patients who have brain conditions that may affect driving. If your vision has been affected, your doctor may refer you to a driving program. This special program can determine your ability to return to driving. Contact the Outpatient Driving Program at (310) 423-9242.
For more information or to contact an OT, please call:
- Inpatient Rehabilitation: (310) 423-6271
- Outpatient Rehabilitation: (310) 423-9200
- Acute Therapy Services: (310) 423-6281