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Kathy Guides us on the Infinity Walk


Okay. For the infinity walk, we have three different techniques that we use today. We’re going to demonstrate the standard infinity walk, which is simply walking a figure eight. The other two, we can go over with you while you’re here and we have the instructions here. So we’re going to just do the basic infinity walk. The infinity walk is a figure eight pattern that we have

On the floor. And it’s walking to circular patterns, a clockwise and counterclockwise pattern. And our purpose is to help our center with our peripheral vision. It is also a very good integrator of the left and right sides of the eyes, the brain and the body. And it’s a very easy technique that you can do at home. This is something that’s very teachable. However, we want to make sure that the technique is done properly. Therefore, we like lines. We use tape on this floor.

You can chop this out somewhere or you could cut out big circles, but the best is to have something on the floor as much to walk around, to start the infinity walk, we are going to start on the outer edge of the circle.

And the dimensions are provided for you by your therapist. As you are starting, you are going to face your target.

And the target we are going to be using is this X here on the floor.

So as I start the infinity walk.

I am going to walk along the lines while I’m keeping my eyes on the target and using my peripheral vision to steer my body. So both of my eyes right now, we’re looking at the X while I’m using my side vision, my left field right now, and now then switches to my right fields.

As I walking around this clockwise and counterclockwise pattern.

No, we really don’t walk around like this. And it takes a little while.

We want a nice, slow pace feet moving forward. We’re walking along the lines, not on the lines, like a tight rope arms are nice and relaxed at our side. And of course the hard part is keeping eyes on the act. So when I come right around here, I’m in full extension with my neck and both of my eyes are looking at the X well, the right field of my eyes are looking here along the red line. And that switches right about here to now, I’m looking at the X again with both my eyes. However, the lush field is steering by that.

And we recommend doing this five minutes, five days a week, your target will be determined by Dr. O’Connor or your therapist on what will be the most optimal value

For your infinity walk.

We also recommend using flashcards, such as picture cars or math facts. And when we’re using math facts, we’re going to start out using the entire equation. So have the child or individual read the entire equation before reading off the other, where it would be doing the math equation by itself, for example. So for more information on the infinity law, you can go to infinity walk.com. And this is how we do the standard infinity.

Does your Child Have a Vision Problem? Here are 20 Signs to Look Out For

Does your Child Have a Vision Problem640x350A vision problem may directly impact a child’s performance in the classroom and on the sports field, negatively affecting self-esteem and confidence levels. Given that an estimated 80% of learning is visual, good vision can be the difference between making the game-winning catch and watching the opposing team score runs.

An estimated 25% of children have an undetected vision problem holding them back from succeeding in school and sports. If your child is struggling to keep up with their peers in the classroom or on the sports field, they may have certain lagging visual skills. Any of the following 20 signs may indicate that your child has a vision problem.

20 Signs of Child May Have a Vision Problem

  1. Blurred vision
  2. Double vision
  3. Headaches
  4. Eye strain or fatigue
  5. Sensitivity to bright light
  6. Excessive blinking or squinting
  7. Drifting or turning of one eye
  8. Poor eye-hand coordination
  9. Misjudging distances while moving in space
  10. Frequently falling or bumping into objects
  11. Difficulty maintaining attention
  12. Closing one eye while reading
  13. Turning or tilting head while reading
  14. Reduced reading speed or fluency
  15. Difficulty with reading comprehension
  16. Skipping words or lines of text while reading
  17. Losing place while reading
  18. Seeing words floating on the page
  19. Bringing text close to or far away from eyes to improve clarity
  20. Difficulty copying text

Keeping your eye out for telltale behaviors and symptoms is the first step in identifying a vision problem. The next step is to visit your [eye-doctor], who will assess your child’s functional vision. If any lagging visual skills are identified, your child may greatly benefit from Optometric Vision Therapy.

How Can Optometric Vision Therapy Help?

Optometric Vision Therapy is a specialized program designed to improve the eye-brain connections in order to strengthen the visual skills necessary for academic and athletic success.

Each Optometric Vision Therapy program is customized to the individual needs of the patient and may include the use of lenses, prisms, occluders, filters and other equipment.

 

Is your child is showing signs of a vision problem? Call Dr. Dick O'Connor or Dr. Alyssa Fortuna in Vision Development of WNY to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive vision evaluation.

Vision Development of WNY serves patients from Elma, Buffalo, SouthTowns, and Western New York, all throughout New York.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Dick O'Connor & Dr. Alyssa Fortuna

Q: Isn’t 20/20 Vision Good Enough?

  • A: Vision involves a lot more than just how clearly you can see from a distance of 20 feet. There are 17 visual skills that are absolutely essential for success in reading, writing, math, and even athletics. A problem with any of these visual skills can cause poor academic and athletic performance. A comprehensive eye exam is the best way to rule out any vision problems that may be getting in the way of your child’s success.

Q: Why Are Comprehensive Eye Exams Important?

  • A: Basic vision screenings conducted at schools or by pediatricians may detect a distance vision problem, but they cannot detect other vision problems that can interfere with learning. During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will not only determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses but will also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team, and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.


 

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Find Out How We Can Help You! 716-300-5269

4 Tips To Avoid a Traumatic Brain Injury

4 Tips To Avoid a Traumatic Brain Injury 640×350A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is an injury to the brain caused by physical trauma, typically a sudden bump or blow to the head.

Concussions — a mild form of brain injury — are very common and represent approximately 80% of all TBI incidents. A concussion is a temporary loss of brain function caused by the brain bouncing around in fast motion within the skull, sometimes producing chemical changes or damaging the functioning of the brain cells.

Moderate to severe TBIs can cause loss of consciousness— from a few minutes to several hours.

Any TBI, whether mild or severe, can affect cognitive abilities and cause visual symptoms such as:

  • Double vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Partial or total loss of vision
  • Weakened eye muscles

4 Tips for Avoiding a Traumatic Brain Injury

One of the best ways to protect yourself from a concussion or more serious TBI is to put safety first, whatever your activity.

Wear Protective Sports Gear

Approximately 69 million TBIs occur each year worldwide, of which about 50% are sports-related. Wearing protective eyewear and a helmet when playing baseball, football, basketball, hockey or any other sport, can help prevent serious injuries, especially in children.

Wear Sunglasses

Glare from the sun can temporarily blind you while driving, walking across the street — during any activity, really. Wearing sunglasses is a simple way to reduce glare and prevent glare-related accidents.

Polarized sunglasses filter intense light that reflects off surfaces like water, glass, sand, snow and pavement, preventing glare from entering your eyes. Make sure the sunglasses you choose also offer 100% UV protection. Photochromic lenses are a good choice for people who wear prescription glasses since they darken when outdoors and become clear again indoors.

Pay Attention To Your Surroundings

As basic as it may seem, people often fail to pay attention to their surroundings. When walking, driving, or doing any other activity, try to minimize distractions. Stand still while speaking on your cell phone or texting. When you’re walking outside, keep an eye out for sidewalk cracks as well as overhanging branches and other sharp items or debris that could be hazardous.

Don’t Forget to Wear Your Seatbelt

For years, parents and doctors have been drumming this into our heads, and for good reason! The #1 way to prevent or minimize an injury from a car accident is by wearing a seatbelt.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information National Library of Medicine, one-quarter of all TBIs in North America are caused by road accidents. Those numbers rise to more than 50% in Southeast Asia and Africa.

How a TBI Affects Vision

A traumatic brain injury can impair your vision, causing light sensitivity, double or blurry vision, and persistent eye strain. In many cases, activities like reading a book, driving a car or watching TV can become much more challenging — or impossible — as a result of a TBI.

According to Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 90% of TBI patients suffer from visual dysfunction, making it all the more crucial to take precautionary measures to stay safe.

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Can Help With Brain Injuries

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation is a personalized treatment program for patients with visual deficits due to physical disabilities and TBIs. The goal of neuro-optometric rehab is to minimize visual disability so that a patient can continue to perform daily activities, whether it’s learning in a classroom or being able to function in the workplace.

A neuro-optometric rehabilitation optometrist evaluates many functions of the visual system, such as how the eyes work together. Treatment options may include the use of various filters and prisms, and visual exercises to strengthen the brain-eye connection.

If you or a loved one displays double vision, light sensitivity, dizziness or any other TBI-related visual or balance-related symptoms, contact Vision Development of WNY immediately. Following evaluation, Dr. Dick O'Connor or Dr. Alyssa Fortuna may offer a customized neuro-optometric rehabilitation program to help regain any lost visual skills.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Dick O'Connor & Dr. Alyssa Fortuna

Q: What Does a Neuro-Optometrist Do?

A: A neuro-optometrist diagnoses general eye health problems and corrects refractive errors to improve visual acuity, as well as assess functional binocularity, spatial vision, and visual processing abilities.

Q: What causes a TBI?

A: Traumatic brain injuries can occur during everyday activities like walking, swimming, hiking, running or playing competitive sports.

The most common causes of TBIs are:

  • Being struck by an object
  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Sports injuries


Vision Development of WNY serves patients from Elma, Buffalo, SouthTowns, and Western New York, all throughout New York.

 

Request an Appointment
Find Out How We Can Help You! 716-300-5269

3 Ways Neuro-Optometry Can Help Stroke Survivors

3 Ways Neuro Optometry Can Help Stroke Survivors 640Approximately 15 million people around the globe suffer from a stroke each year. An alarming two-thirds of stroke survivors experience some degree of visual dysfunction after the incident.

These problems can range from irritating to debilitating and can seriously affect a person’s quality of life and ability to function.

Thankfully, there is hope for stroke survivors who suffer from stroke-related vision problems.

At Vision Development of WNY, we are dedicated to helping post-stroke patients heal their visual system for long-lasting relief and a better quality of life.

Below, we’ll explore how a stroke can impact vision and what a neuro-optometrist can do to help.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when insufficient oxygen is delivered to the brain tissue, either due to leaking or bursting blood vessels, or a blockage within the blood vessel.

Serious brain damage can occur within minutes of a stroke, making early intervention crucial.

Signs of a stroke include:

  • Paralysis
  • Numb or weak limbs
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Trouble walking
  • Dizziness or loss of coordination

Because a large portion of the brain is involved with vision, a stroke can also affect the eyes and visual processing.

How a Stroke Can Affect Vision

If a stroke occurs in the areas of the brain that control the eye, it can cause:

  • Blurred vision
  • Visual field loss
  • Double vision
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Nystagmus — rapid, uncontrolled eye movements

When a stroke affects the areas of the brain responsible for visual processing, it can cause:

  • Visual neglect — when the patient ignores stimuli from a portion of their visual field
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Poor depth and movement perception
  • Difficulty recognizing objects or people

3 Ways a Neuro-Optometrist Can Help Stroke Survivors

1. Identify and Diagnose Any Visual Dysfunction

A neuro-optometrist has the training and experience required to thoroughly identify, diagnose and treat even slight visual dysfunction that may be causing symptoms.

Your neuro-optometrist will perform a functional visual evaluation to assess neurological vision-related complications and identify the type of vision loss caused by the stroke.

 

2. Rehabilitate the Visual System

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy includes visual exercises that retrain the brain and eyes to work together.

During a stroke, certain neural connections may become damaged. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation aims to restore those connections and heal the visual system for long-lasting results.

3. Prescribe the Correct Lenses or Prisms, As Needed

A neuro-optometrist can prescribe specialized lenses or prisms that aid in the therapeutic process. Prism lenses shift images into the functioning part of a patient’s visual field, or, in the case of double vision or visual neglect, unite the images the two eyes are sending to the brain. In some cases, prisms can instantly relieve symptoms like disorientation or double vision.

Some patients only visit an occupational therapist or physical therapist after a stroke—and while these therapies are often necessary and helpful, they cannot treat the visual system or prescribe prisms.

How We Can Help

Stroke survivors deserve the best in rehabilitative care. That’s why we are passionate about restoring their independence and offering relief from incapacitating visual symptoms.

Furthermore, neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy offers the added benefit of diminishing vertigo and depression and increasing confidence levels.

If you or a loved one has suffered a stroke, we can help. To schedule your functional visual evaluation, contact Vision Development of WNY today.

Vision Development of WNY serves patients from Elma, Buffalo, SouthTowns, and Western New York, all throughout New York.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Dick O'Connor & Dr. Alyssa Fortuna

Q: #1: Other than stroke patients, who can benefit from neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy?

  • A: Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy can help any person suffering from visual dysfunction after a head injury, traumatic brain injury or stroke, or anyone with neurological conditions that impact their vision. If you experience any symptoms associated with visual dysfunction like dizziness, disorientation, headaches, nausea or difficulty concentrating— it may be time to visit your neuro-optometrist.

Q: #2: Can neuro-optometry help if the stroke occurred months or years ago?

  • A: The best time to start treatment is as soon as possible following a stroke or head injury, but treatment can also be effective years later. The basis of neuro-optometry is neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to change and build new neural connections. As long as a person is alive, there is potential to heal their visual system.


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Find Out How We Can Help You! 716-300-5269

3 Causes of Lazy Eye in Children

3 Causes of Lazy Eye in Children 640Amblyopia, commonly known as ‘lazy eye,’ is a neuro-developmental vision condition that begins in early childhood, usually before the age of 8.

Lazy eye develops when one eye is unable to achieve normal visual acuity, causing blurry vision in the affected eye—even when wearing glasses. Left untreated, amblyopia can lead to vision loss in one eye.

It’s important to understand that a lazy eye isn’t actually lazy. Rather, the brain doesn’t process the visual signals from the ‘lazy’ eye. Eventually, the communication between the brain and the weaker eye deteriorates further, potentially leading to reduced vision in that eye. Fortunately, optometric vision therapy can improve the condition by training the brain to work with both eyes equally.

What Causes Lazy Eye?

When the neural connections between the eyes and the brain are healthy, each eye sends a visual signal to the brain. The brain combines these two signals into one clear image, allowing us to properly see what we are looking at.

In the case of amblyopia, the brain doesn’t recognize the weaker eye’s signals. Instead, it relies only on the visual input from the stronger eye.

Amblyopia can be caused by strabismus, anisometropia and deprivation.

Strabismus

Strabismus occurs when the eyes are misaligned and point in different directions. The most common cause of amblyopia is eye misalignment, which causes the brain to receive two images that cannot be combined into one single, clear image.

A child’s developing brain cannot process images when both eyes are not aligned in the same direction, so it ‘turns off’ the images sent by the weaker eye. This is the brain’s defense mechanism against confusion and double vision.

As the brain ‘turns off’ the weaker eye, this eye will eventually become ‘lazy’—unless treatment is provided.

Anisometropia

Anisometropia is when the refractive powers (visual acuity) of your eyes differ markedly, causing your eyes to focus unevenly – rendering the visual signal from one eye to be much clearer than the other. The brain is unable to reconcile the different images each eye sends and chooses to process the visual signal from the eye sending the clearer image. The brain begins to overlook the eye sending the blurrier image, further weakening the eye-brain connection of the weaker eye. If not treated, this results in poor vision in that eye.

Deprivation

Deprivation refers to a blockage or cloudiness of the eye. When an eye becomes cloudy, it directly impacts the eyes’ ability to send a clear image to the retina, harming the child’s ability to see images clearly from that eye. When clear images can’t reach the retina, it causes poor vision in that eye, resulting in amblyopia. Deprivation is by far the most serious kind of amblyopia, but it is also incredibly rare.

There are several types of deprivation: cataracts, cloudy corneas, cloudy lenses and eyelid tumors. Each of these can affect a child’s vision, resulting in amblyopia. Because these are also difficult to notice from a child’s behavior, it’s crucial to have your child tested for eye-related problems so that treatment can begin right away.

How To Treat Amblyopia

The goal of most amblyopia treatments is to naturally strengthen the weaker eye so that your child’s eyes can work and team with the brain more effectively. Amblyopia treatment will be determined by the cause and severity of their condition.

Common types of treatment include:

  • Corrective eyewear
  • Eye drops
  • Patching
  • Optometric Vision Therapy

Optometric Vision Therapy

Optometric Vision Therapy is the most effective treatment for amblyopia, which may be used in conjunction with other treatments.

An Optometric Vision Therapy program is customized to the specific needs of the patient. It may include the use of lenses, prisms, filters, occluders, and other specialized equipment designed to actively make the lazy eye work to develop stronger communication between the eye and the brain.

Optometric Vision Therapy is highly successful for the improvement of binocular vision, visual acuity, visual processing abilities, depth perception and reading fluency.

Optometric Vision Therapy programs for amblyopia may include eye exercises to improve these visual skills:

  • Accommodation (focusing)
  • Binocular vision (the eyes working together)
  • Fixation (visual gaze)
  • Pursuits (eye-tracking)
  • Saccades (eye jumps)
  • Spatial skills (eye-hand coordination)
  • Stereopsis (3-D vision)

Contact Vision Development of WNY to make an appointment and discover how optometric vision therapy can help improve your child’s vision. Our eye doctor will ask about your child’s vision history, conduct a thorough evaluation, and take your child on the path to effective and lasting treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Dick O'Connor & Dr. Alyssa Fortuna

Q: How do I know if my child has lazy eye?

  • A: It’s difficult to recognize lazy eye because the condition usually develops in one eye, and may not present with a noticeable eye turn. As such, children generally learn how to ignore the lazy eye and compensate by mainly relying on the sight from the ‘good’ eye. Some symptoms of lazy eye include:
  • – Closing one eye or squinting
    – Difficulty with fine eye movements
    – Poor depth perception
    – Poor eye-hand coordination
    – Reduced reading speed and comprehension
    – Rubbing eyes often

Q: How is lazy eye diagnosed?

  • A: Your child’s eye doctor will conduct specific tests during their eye exam, to assess the visual acuity, depth perception and visual skills of each eye.


Vision Development of WNY serves patients from Elma, Buffalo, SouthTowns, and Western New York, all throughout New York.

Request an Appointment
Find Out How We Can Help You! 716-300-5269

5 Optometric Vision Therapy Myths Debunked

5 Vision Therapy Myths 640There’s a lot of misinformation out there, especially when it comes to Optometric Vision Therapy — a customized program that trains the eyes and brain to work together more effectively and efficiently.

We are here to dispel those myths.

5 Myths and Facts about Optometric Vision Therapy

1. Myth: Optometric Vision Therapy is just for children

Fact: People of all ages can benefit from vision therapy.

Although vision therapy is widely prescribed for younger patients, many adults have benefited from a personalized vision therapy program. That’s because the basis of vision therapy is neuroplasticity — the brain’s ability to change and learn new habits.

Your brain is capable of forming new neural pathways throughout your entire life, so vision therapy can be effective at any age.

2. Myth: Optometric Vision Therapy isn’t based on scientific research

Fact: There are numerous scientific studies that prove the effectiveness of Optometric Vision Therapy, funded and published by the National Eye Institute (NEI).

In fact, according to several studies, Optometric Vision Therapy is the most effective treatment for the most common binocular vision problem, convergence insufficiency. Research also supports the efficacy of vision therapy when it comes to lazy eye (amblyopia), eye turn (strabismus), and difficulties related to reading and learning.

3. Myth: All Optometric Vision Therapy is the same

Fact: No two vision therapy treatments are alike. Each patient’s condition is unique and is treated accordingly.

Vision therapists use a host of different exercises, devices, computer programs, lenses, prisms, and other equipment for treatment. Your optometrist will decide which options will benefit your condition.

4. Myth: Eye surgery is the only option for treating eye misalignment

Fact: While surgery may help the eyes appear more aligned, it can’t fully improve binocular function.

In other words, surgery corrects the physical problem of alignment but doesn’t teach the eyes and brain to work together. That’s why vision therapy is often recommended for patients who have had strabismus surgery or are considering it.

5. Myth: I don’t need Optometric Vision Therapy, I have 20/20 eyesight

Fact: Vision therapy has little to do with eyesight, and everything to do with how your eyes function.

Even a person with 20/20 eyesight can have poor tracking skills, eye movement skills, depth perception, and other visual deficits.

In fact, you may have poor visual skills and not even know it. If you experience symptoms like headaches, dizziness, nausea, eyestrain, or difficulty with concentrating and reading, it may be time to have your vision evaluated by a vision therapist to identify any underlying problems related to your visual skills.

To schedule a functional vision evaluation for you or your child, call Vision Development of WNY today!

Vision Development of WNY serves patients from Elma, Buffalo, SouthTowns, Western New York, and throughout New York.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Dick O'Connor & Dr. Alyssa Fortuna

Q: #1: What is Optometric Vision Therapy?

  • A: Optometric Vision Therapy is a program of [curtomized] eye exercises that are performed in-office with an at-home component as well. Vision therapy helps develop the visual system and trains the eyes and brain to work in unison. Duration of treatment varies from patient to patient, as each person responds differently. Speak to us to learn more about what we offer and how we can help.

Q:#2: Is Optometric Vision Therapy covered by insurance?

  • A: Optometric Vision Therapy may be covered under major medical insurance plans (vision therapy is most often applied to a medical policy as opposed to a vision policy). However, certain insurance companies may deny or place severe limits on coverage for vision therapy as a cost-saving measure. When sorting out the insurance details for vision therapy, it’s important to know what questions to ask of your insurance agent or workplace HR department.


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Find Out How We Can Help You! 716-300-5269

4 Ways Vision May Be Affected Following A Stroke

headache womanAbout 2 in 3 stroke survivors live with some degree of visual dysfunction following the stroke. Although all brains are different and everybody reacts differently, 4 major categories of vision loss can be caused by a stroke.

A stroke can damage any segment of the neural pathway that connects the eyes to the brain or a section of the brain that processes the images the eyes send it. Damage to either area can lead to vision loss.

Stroke-related vision problems can make daily living a challenge, but there is hope for stroke survivors who suffer from visual symptoms.

In honor of World Stroke Awareness Month, we’ll explore 4 types of stroke-related visual problems, and how Vision Development of WNY can help.

1. Visual Field Loss

A stroke can damage certain areas of the brain responsible for either central or peripheral vision, causing a portion of the visual field to be lost, causing vision to be ‘blacked-out’ or have ‘blind spots.’

In most cases, the same area of the visual field is lost in both eyes. This condition is called homonymous visual field loss, meaning a person may not be able to see the right or left side of their visual field from each eye.

Affected individuals may have difficulty with reading and may bump into things located in their blind spots.

2. Visual Processing Difficulties

Sometimes, a person may be able to see everything in their visual field but will have problems processing that visual information. For example, they may have the ability to see another person’s face, but might not recognize it. They may also have difficulty identifying or interacting with common objects, affecting daily tasks such as making a cup of coffee.

Visual neglect is the most common type of visual processing problem. People with this condition aren’t aware that they aren’t seeing people or objects on the right or left side of their visual field.

3. Eye Movement Problems

A stroke can damage the delicate nerves that control the eyes’ movements. A person who cannot control their eye nerves may have difficulty moving their eyes in order to shift their focus from one object to the next or have trouble tracking moving objects.

Nystagmus (involuntary and rapid eye movements) is also a possible complication of ocular nerve damage.

If only one eye is affected, the patient will usually experience double or blurred vision. Whether one or both eyes are affected, poor depth perception can result from eye movement dysfunction.

4. Dry Eye Syndrome

Stroke-related muscle weakness is common, especially in the eyes and face. If this occurs, the eyelids may not be able to fully close during blinking or while asleep. This can lead to dry eye syndrome, causing symptoms like red, itchy, watery, burning eyes and light sensitivity.

Fortunately, many of these post-stroke visual symptoms are treatable with neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy.

A customized neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy program can help you return to your normal routine, or at least make daily life less challenging.

If you or a loved one have suffered a stroke, speak with Dr. Dick O'Connor or Dr. Alyssa Fortuna about getting your vision evaluated to identify deficiencies in the visual system. If a problem is found, we’ll help guide you through all of your treatment options for the best possible outcome.

To schedule your appointment or to learn more about what we offer, call Vision Development of WNY today.

serves patients from Elma, Buffalo, SouthTowns, Western New York, and throughout New York.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Dick O'Connor & Dr. Alyssa Fortuna

Q: #1: What is neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy?

  • A: Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy is a tailor-made program of visual exercises that train the eyes and brain to work together. Treatment can also include specialized lenses, prisms, and filters.

Q: #2: What other conditions can neuro-optometric rehabilitation treat?

  • A: Neuro-optometry can help patients with visual problems due to traumatic brain injury, stroke, physical disabilities and neurological conditions. A neuro-optometrist can help treat binocular vision disorders (BVD), strabismus, diplopia, oculomotor dysfunction, accommodation and convergence problems, and traumatic visual acuity loss.


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Find Out How We Can Help You! 716-300-5269

Dr. O’Connor explains how constricted visual field is a condition treated through light therapy

Speaker 1: (00:00)

Hi, we’re here with Dr. O’Connor, who has been a neurodevelopmental or behavioral optometrist for going on 46 years now, Dr. O’Connor, what is one of the most common visual dysfunctions that you see with your patients?

Speaker 2: (00:16)

Overall, we see so many different things, but the one that to me is, is the most frequent one is something called constriction of kinetic or functional visual fields. It’s a little different from when we normally talk about visual fields, which are, as I’m looking straight ahead, I’ve got all this peripheral information coming in and I can deal with that sometimes due to a number of different factors, stress over time toxicity, different types of traumas, emotional or physical trauma, that field you no longer able to deal with all this information out here it’s overwhelming and disorienting and in the brain starts to move and constrict this field to a certain point to protect itself.

And you can no longer use all the information coming in through your eyes in normally happens because of a nervous system being out of balance and because that’s an underlying factor, it’s how we actually remediate this problem. We use something called syntax or light therapy. We use different colors of light to change the balance of the nervous system.

Speaker 1: (01:32)

Okay, great. What would a patient, if a parent was listening to this, how, what would be a clue that their child or themselves might have a restriction of a constricted feeling?

Speaker 2: (01:45)

Certainly we see things out in space, difficulty knowing depth, perception, being clumsy, difficulty, catching a ball. Other times other things are reading when you’re reading problems, especially not being able to find your place when you’re reading your, keep your place. When you’re reading, you’re being able to, look back and forth through a chalkboard and copy things that that’s more difficult.

Speaker 1: (02:07)

Okay. And then I know you have a special test. We’ll save that for another day and evaluation that you perform, but you could you show us what that would look like once you chart that? Sure.

Speaker 2: (02:19)

So a normal visual field, this is being done with one eye at a time at about nine inches of distance. I’m bringing in a little dot out of this black paper, different colors, and we would like to see it almost as soon as that dot gets on the paper person is looking straight ahead using peripheral vision to find out when the dot comes into actually viewed. This is a normal one. Okay. This is someone that I had in the first visual field. This was a young lady. This was her first functional visual field. And you can see how constricted is way out after doing the light therapy for approximately eight weeks, she came back in and this was her new field. Wow. Actually you can tell up here, actually sell the death before I got on the page. Wow.

Speaker 1: (03:17)

That’s amazing. And we have about 20 seconds to wrap up here. Can you tell me what did she notice any change in her symptoms? She

Speaker 2: (03:25)

Noticed huge changes. Number one, she was reading on a whole different level. Number two, her headaches went away, which she hadn’t even talked about in the beginning. Her mother noticed a difference in her behaviors. So again, we’re actually rebalancing the nervous system. And so we see behavioral things, we see emotional things, we see performance

Speaker 1: (03:47)

Thing, academic things. Okay. And social and probably self-confidence

Speaker 2: (03:54)

Self-confidence is huge. Yeah.

Speaker 1: (03:56)

Well, thank you for your time today, Dr. O’Connor. You’re welcome. Thank you. You’re welcome.

Meet Emma & Read Her Optometric Vision Therapy Story from Struggling Reader to Better Student

Emma Golembieski started off sad and confused. She didn’t understand why she couldn’t keep up with her classmates. Emma has always tried her best and would work extra hard at everything she did. Emma never gives up. Our hearts broke for her always struggling to keep up. When Emma had her eye exam to only find out she did have nerve weakness in her eyes.

But to find out she could strengthen her eyes was a blessing. Emma was so happy and very determined to fix her eyes. As always she did everything she was told, and worked hard to strengthen her eyes. Now Emma is more confident in herself. Interacts with her peers more. Emma’s grades also went up! She is at a higher reading level!

Emma is loving life more and more! We are so thankful for what vision therapy has done for our baby girl. We absolutely love what Miss Kathy has done for her she has gone above and beyond for our Emma Sue.

Emma

Boys With ADHD Are at Higher Risk for Brain Injury & Vision Problems

brother and sister 640Studies show that traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur in approximately 17% of males worldwide.

To determine whether there is a link between inattention-hyperactivity and TBIs, The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry [analyzed] data from 724 Canadian males aged 6-34. They collected information, examined health files and administered a questionnaire to the participants’ teachers on classroom behavior.

This study is the first to show that childhood behaviors, such as inattention-hyperactivity, predicted TBIs. The study also found that boys having sustained a TBI in childhood were more likely to have another one in adolescence.

In addition to headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, TBIs can also impair one’s visual function, typically causing headaches, blurred and double vision, and dizziness, among other symptoms.

At Vision Development of WNY, we help patients recover their vision through neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy. By performing specific eye-training exercises designed to retrain the neural processes of the brain. This rewires the brain (neuroplasticity) and treats discomforts or struggles associated with visual dysfunction following a brain injury.

What Is a TBI and How Can It Affect Vision?

Traumatic brain injury is a disruption in the normal function of the brain caused by a jolt, blow, or bump to the head, or harsh head injury, whether from a sports-related injury, fall, or car accident.

This can significantly impact the functioning of the visual system. While certain brain injuries may cause permanent damage to the optic nerve, it’s more common for it to disrupt communication between the eyes and brain.

Post TBI visual problems may include:

  • Double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Focusing problems
  • Problems with walking and stride

Why Do Boys with Inattention & Hyperactivity Incur More Head Injuries Than Others?

While there’s still a lot we don’t know about the link between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and concussion, research shows a few connections.

Children and adults with ADHD tend to have poor impulse control, inattention, difficulty maintaining attention, and high energy levels, all of which places them at risk of getting a concussion.

Additionally, many children diagnosed with ADHD are encouraged to participate in sports to help with social interaction, self-esteem and hyperactivity. While this is beneficial on many levels, if they have poor visual-motor speed, or depth perception they’re more likely to collide with teammates, potentially causing a concussion.

Lastly, research also suggests that ADHD may involve problems with visual or auditory processing that may also contribute to the risk of concussion.

How a Neuro-Optometrist Can Help

Neuro-optometrists offer a customized treatment regimen for people with visual deficits resulting from traumatic brain injuries (TBI). It addresses problems related to eye teaming, tracking, and focusing that can make it difficult to read and complete tasks. By training the brain to communicate with the eyes more effectively, symptoms like dizziness and headaches can be significantly reduced or disappear altogether.

If your child exhibits ADHD behaviors and has experienced a concussion contact Vision Development of WNY for a comprehensive eye exam. If vision problems are detected, we’ll offer a personalized treatment program to strengthen any lagging visual skills that may be getting in the way of your child’s quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Dick O'Connor or Dr. Alyssa Fortuna

 

Q: What Is Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation?

  • A: Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation provides a personalized treatment regimen for those who have visual deficits caused by physical disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and other neurological insults. Neuro-optometry makes use of therapeutic prisms, lenses, filters, and specific vision therapy techniques to reteach the damaged parts of the brain to function better.

Q: How Are Vision Problems Found After a TBI?

  • A: Visual aberrations following a brain injury tend to be overlooked during the initial treatment, as the patient may have serious, life-threatening issues that require urgent medical attention. Furthermore, symptoms may not even present themselves until some time has passed following the injury. The earlier you see a Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Optometrist, the better.Early diagnosis leads to more efficient treatment.


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