You’re still struggling with post concussion symptoms, and wonder if vision is part of the problem. 90% of post-concussion syndrome patients had problems with how their eyes tracked and worked together. It’s not a vison ‘seeing clearly’ problem, it’s a problem with how the eyes and brain work together.
If you experience any of the following, there is a high likelihood you vision problem:
Headaches (that get worse with lights, screens, reading, busy places) | Dizziness | Screen Sensitivity
Difficulty Reading | Difficulty Focusing | Trouble Driving | Balance Problems | Light Sensitivity
These are caused by problems with how your eyes and brain work together, which often go undetected on most eye exams.
An in-depth neuro-visual assessment looks at how your eyes an brain work together in all the important areas. It can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for any post-concussion vision problems that interfering with your recovery.
To learn more about Post Trauma Vision Syndrome, read on below.
Testimonials + Videos
It’s difficult to think back to where I was when I first came to see Dr. McCrodan- several months post-concussion. It was a time when I felt totally lost and unsure about how I could manage life the way it was. Migraines, difficulty keeping up with conversations, poor concentration, inability to tolerate any place with crowds/lights/sounds, fatigue and anxiety were dominating my world, and I began to wonder if I’d ever be able to have a meaningful life again. To make matters more discouraging and frustrating, I was dealing with the invisibility of my newfound disability. Nobody could see how much I was suffering, not even those closest to me. That is, until I went in to see Dr. McCrodan. He validated my experience, backed it up with his assessments, and created a treatment plan that would target my debilitating symptoms.
I underwent vision therapy for over a year. It was challenging work. Some days just making it to my appointment was the only activity that I could tolerate. I had to plan rests for the first several months after VT. At times I wanted to give up, as I wasn’t seeing dramatic shifts. However, the numbers started changing, and slowly, my brain caught up to all of the work I was putting in. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit skeptical that VT could help with my lingering post-concussion symptoms; I can assure you that it has 100% changed my life.
I’m now back to being a fully engaged mother of two, I am able to give my career the attention it deserves, and I can go places now that once caused me to feel sick and exhausted. Vision therapy worked for me. It helped me in every way possible, and I cannot thank Dr. McCrodan and his team enough for their support, encouragement, and customized program.
At 35, Caralee suffered a concussion that threw her life and career into a spiral. Vision therapy brought life back into focus.
I had never had a concussion before I felt confused, foggy headed, forgetful, incredibly tired, couldn’t concentrate on the simplest tasks, had headaches every day, and basically stayed in bed most of the time. I lived in ‘sick mode’ and couldn’t see my way out. When I tried to go out and be social like a normal person, I got anxious and overwhelmed, and wore myself out so fast. It was scary, frustrating, and depressing.
I was lucky enough to get referred to Bernard Tonks, Certified Vestibular Rehabilitation Specialist and Physiotherapist. He worked with me through my nonvisual concussion symptoms, and helped me to understand what was going on with me in a kind, patient way. He drove my healing, and referred me to Dr. McCrodan to heal my vision related concussion symptoms.
Dr. McCrodan diagnosed me with three different conditions during my first visit with him, prescribed me some glasses with prisms, and recommended vision therapy to me. Within a few days of wearing my new glasses, I felt that I was finally coming out of my fog. I wanted to get out of bed and do things! I had been skeptical of vision therapy when I first heard of it, but I decided to go for it. If the glasses helped that much, I figured he knew what he was talking about.
I started vision therapy in January 2016. The therapy sessions were tough and the homework was challenging it was a big commitment. I was matched with an awesome therapist who was instrumental in my success through the program.
I recently graduated from vision therapy, and it has changed my life! No more headaches, no more foggy headedness, very little confusion, less anxiety. I can go out again and join the world.
My son (grade 6 student) commenced treatment with Dr McCrodan after suffering a serious concussion accident. He also had been diagnosed with dyslexia and the combination of the concussion accident had left him with no balance, memory loss and a grade 3 reading level speed. He also found reading music difficult. He had low self-esteem, no confidence, few friends, and was often bullied at school.
After following the specific program with Dr McCrodan and his staff (9 months), my student son regained his balance within 3 months. He was unable to walk in a straight line, ride his bike, play ball or catch balls due to his imbalance. It was a wonderful confidence boost for him to regain his balance. He was able to join a soccer team and the following year his team won the cup for his age group.
The training, exercises and program was a challenge to fit in after a day of school, homework and other sporting, music activities. However, he was a determined young man and followed the homework (approximately 30-45 minutes each night x 6 per week).
The result was amazing. After 9 months, my son went from a grade 3 reading speed to grade 12 reading level! His whole personality changed. He was more confident, had many friends at school and his school report improved immensely. He achieved grade changes in English C to B, Music, B to A, Maths B to A etc. This was all due to the wonderful care, support and attention that was given to assist my son regain his reading/vision and balance.
Wow. I have been struggling with my concussion symptoms for nearly a year. After some test, Dr McCrodan built a pair of prism glasses for me to try on. He asked me to read, something I love to do and have been struggling to do for far too long. I read the first sentence of the paragraph and I’m not afraid to admit, that I started crying. I can read again. It was so overwhelming in a good way. I can’t be shy, because I looked over and the doc was teary eyed too. I tried the sobriety test for balance and I started crying again. Life is within my grasp and I’m ready to hold tight. The staff were such a pleasure to meet and everyone was so nice. The place is bigger on the inside, and very nice. Thank you so much for the opportunity to heal and what feels like magic. HIGHLY recommend.
I’ve seen Dr. McCrodan and his staff twice for separate issues, 5 years apart. The first time was for a convergence insufficiency and the second time was after a serious concussion which completely debilitated me. Both rounds of therapy were similar in that they completely changed my life.The first time not only did we fix the convergence issue, I became a much faster reader, I stopped bumping into things, I felt like I was thinking faster and it actually felt like my IQ increased. It didn’t – my brain and eyes were just working way more efficiently together.The second time I sought help from Dr. McCrodan was after a serious concussion that had me off work for months. I asked the concussion professionals in the rehab programs if they thought I should consider neurovisual therapy and most said it probably wasn’t necessary. As the months dragged on I became more desperate to recover – despite being told multiple times that I didn’t need to try the therapy I followed my gut instinct and made a consultation appointment. Dr. McCrodan zeroed in immediately on what the issue was, prescribed me glasses to help and set me up on a 20 week program. The glasses began helping within a week of wearing them – it was a profound difference and greatly reduced many of my post-concussion syndrome symptoms. The therapy and daily homework can be frustrating at times, especially in the first half of the program that is set up for you. You must do your homework every day (no more than 20 mins) for this program to work. Symptoms can be triggered by the therapy, but in the end it is so worth the disruption. I’ve gone from not being able to drive, see straight, carry on a conversation, and experiencing daily headaches and dizziness to having all of these symptoms resolve, getting back to work and getting my life back on track.The profound difference neurovisual therapy, Dr. McCrodan and his staff have had on my life is humbling. I’m forever grateful for the vast knowledge, kindness and willingness of Dr. McCrodan to help solve these issues and help me get back to healthy and functioning again. My only regret is that I didn’t follow my gut and begin the process earlier.
Dr. Cam is exceptionally devoted to improving the visual experience of his clients. Despite balancing a very busy schedule, he somehow makes time to ensure that each of his clients has everything they need to succeed through the program. He has an infectious optimism that is echoed throughout the opti-mization community and resonates well with his clients, myself included. His team is exceptional, and together they make their clients feel very well-supported.
Testimonials + Videos
About Post Trauma Vision Syndrome
As you are reading this text, your brain is controlling how the incoming information is processed, and how your eyes track, coordinate, and focus. Post Trauma Vision Syndrome refers to deficits in these areas after a concussion, head-injury, whiplash, or mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). If you have PTVS and your eyes do not work together efficiently, you will have a hard time sustaining your attention and may even end up with a headache or migraine. Problems with inaccurate eye tracking may cause you to mix up the information, or feel like you struggle to comprehend it. It has been common to think about “vision” as just seeing clearly and the physiological health of the eye itself, with almost no attention given to how accurately or efficiently the system works. The paradigm is now shifting as we understand the importance of the neurological role in eye coordination and information processing,which parallels the changes in vestibular (inner ear) understandingduring the last few decades. With over 50 per cent of the brain involved in the visual function, PTVS is commonly responsible for ongoing symptoms after trauma.
What is Post Trauma Vision Syndrome?
Post Trauma Vision Syndrome is caused by damage to regions of the brain that are involved in various aspects of visual function. This disrupts the stored “programs” for how the visual system functions. This damage occurs on the axonal level and often escapes detection by medical imaging. PTVS encompasses more specific diagnoses like egocentric visual midline shift, oculomotor dysfunction, binocular dysfunction and more.
What are the effects of Post Trauma Vision Syndrome?
Post Trauma Vision Syndrome may affect one or more specific areas of visual function, so the effects can be varied. PTVS can affect one’s ability to read, comprehend, and sustain attention. It can also cause dizziness/vertigo and headaches/migraines.
Reading: If you were a marathon runner who sustained an injury that disrupted the coordination of your legs,it would be understandable as to why your running was suffering even if you were physically healthy and in great shape. It would also be understandable as to why you would not be able to run for as long as before. When PTVS causes problems with eye tracking and how the eyes are working together it will impact a person’s reading abilities and how long they can sustain the process. If it becomes difficult to control eye coordination, the reading comprehension will also drop. This challenge is similar to how hard it is to hold a conversation when you are learning to drive a manual transmission, as all your conscious ability is directed towards just trying to do it. Vision dysfunctions that affect reading can also indirectly affect any other testing involving reading.
Dizziness/balance/vertigo: Vestibular, proprioceptive (information from muscles and joints), and visual information all need to accurately integrate together. PTVS causes the visual system to feed “garbage” into this collaboration, which will prevent proper integration often causing the person to plateau with vestibular rehabilitation. Unfortunately, this has led to accusations of malingering when there was truly an unidentified vision problem preventing the rehabilitation. Often in an assessment, there are lenses (glasses) that can be put on a personthat change their perception of physical space, dramatically improving their balance and symptoms immediately. It is also possible to mimic some of these problems in someone who has normal visual function by reversing the process.
Headaches/Migraines: Vision dysfunction after an injury can result in a litany of headaches and migraines often associated with computers, reading, busy visual environments, and other visual stimuli. Using a high contrast black and white grid and gauging the person’s reaction to it, is a great way to determine whether the visual system is a playing a role in these symptoms. Inefficiencies with how the eyes coordinate will produce situations that make it difficult for a person to sustain attention, which creates a confounding variable for a lot of testing.
Other Areas: PTVS can also cause difficulties with tracking moving objects and make stationary objects appear to move. It can create general fogginess, difficulty concentrating on tasks such as conversation (as the brain is using most of its resources on vision), light sensitivity, and even sensitivity to sound. It is as though most of the brain’s processing power is caught up in trying to make sense of the visual information, so there is less to allocate to other areas of function.
How is Post Trauma Vision Syndrome treated?
Similar to vestibular problems after a concussion, PTVS requires rehabilitative efforts centred around re-establishing the areas of affected visual function. Particular types of prescription lenses can improve the efficiency of visual function and how an individual processes depth and space. Treatment time can range from weeks to more than a year, and the neurological changes are permanent. Treatment for PTVS is commonly coordinated with other professionals.
Most eye examinations concentrate on acuity and the physical health of the eye. It is important that you ask your eye care professional if they can test for Post Trauma Vision Syndrome and the specific areas of visual function commonly affected.
Dr. Cameron McCrodan, OD, FCOVD
Board certified in vision therapy and vision development.