Visual Sense Eye Care
385 Fairway Road South Unit 202 Kitchener ON N2C 2N9 519.208.2040

Concussion/Acquired Brain Injury

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Restore Your Vision After a Brain Injury

While most people understand the severity and ramifications of concussions, few realize the lasting impact they could have on their vision.

Dr. Tanya Polonenko is a nationally-recognized expert in diagnosing and treating post-trauma vision syndrome (PTVS). Having worked with organizations like the Ontario Brain Injury Association, taught at the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry, and lectured for dozens of schools, associations, and programs, Dr. Polonenko is a well-established and highly respected authority in her field.

General practitioners often refer their patients to Dr. Polonenko for rehabilitation after a traumatic brain injury. She works with her patients to develop a customized rehabilitation program to alleviate their symptoms, meet their needs, and improve their quality of life.

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What Is Post-Trauma Vision Syndrome?

A concussion is a mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury that occurs when the brain is violently shaken in the skull due to a bump to the head or a hard sudden movement. This rapid shift can damage the brain in a number of ways; bruising it against the inside of the skull, stretching or tearing tissue, or creating a chemical imbalance.

Most people notice symptoms of dizziness, sensitivity to light, and fatigue after a concussion. Once the brain is healed, these symptoms often dissipate.

However, some patients find that their vision or visual processing has fundamentally changed after a concussion. This is called post-trauma vision syndrome or PTVS, and it occurs when a part of the brain linked to vision or visual processing (over 50%) is damaged.

In most cases, vision problems resulting from a concussion do not affect the person’s ability to see clearly. Instead, they often impact the eyes’ ability to communicate with the brain, which manifests as problems with eye movements and focusing.

Symptoms of PTVS

The effects of PTVS vary from person to person, depending on which areas of the brain were injured. However, post-trauma vision syndrome could cause some or all of the following:

  • Migraines or other headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty reading
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Impaired reading comprehension
  • Impaired information retention
  • Uncontrolled eye movement
  • Poor depth perception
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to movement
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Brain fog

Without treatment, these symptoms can persist for years.

How Does Vision Therapy Help Post-Concussion Recovery?

Vision therapy helps rehabilitate your eyes, brain, and muscles by training them to work together as a cohesive visual system again.

Your brain is full of neural pathways, which are essentially files of stored information about routines and processes that you access every day. A concussion damages some of those pathways, which can cause your brain to “forget” how to coordinate your visual system.

Vision therapy helps rebuild the damaged neural pathways through skill-building exercises and drills. Studies have found vision therapy to be remarkably successful in reducing or eliminating symptoms of PTVS.

Each treatment plan is completely customized based on the severity of your injury and the scope of neural pathway restoration required. Some plans can be completed within a few months, while others can require years of work.

We Look Forward to Seeing You

Our Address

385 Fairway Road South
Unit 202

Kitchener, ON N2C 2N9

Contact Information

Phone: 519.208.2040
Fax: 519.208.2045
[email protected]

Hours of Operations

9 AM – 5:30 PM
11 AM – 7:30 PM
9 AM – 5 PM
9 AM – 5 PM
9 AM – 3 PM

Our Services

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