During a concussion or a whiplash, vision problems occur in 40% to 80% of those involved in the incident.
Three body systems are affected, vestibular, visual, and somatosensory. To maintain balance, one needs to use all three systems to coordinate motor responses of the limbs, trunk and eyes.
In many cases, visual information processing and visual motor components are affected in the brain after a concussion. Some severe cases include symptom such as diplopia, which is a vision confusion of the peripheral component.
Vestibular treatment can improve accuracy in saccades, integrating it with balance, motor control and peripheral fields.
Vestibular rehabilitation requires an intact ocular motor system. Vestibular rehab alone may produce limited therapeutic benefit. They may still experience sensory overload, with excess visual stimulation when shopping in the mall and scanning the aisles. Optometric evaluation and optometric vision therapy would stabilize the binocular vision system, and improve dynamic vision (such as scanning aisles.)
The combination of Optometric vision therapy (OVT) and vestibular rehab can result in significant reduction or complete elimination of the visual and vestibular symptoms.
Reference: Brain Injury Vol. 2 Issue 3. Cohen, Allen
Dr. Yan Ling Liang, OD
Developmental and Rehabiltative Optometrist