Last week I had the privilege of attending a continuing education conference exploring the applications of light in the therapy room at the Alderwood Vision Therapy Center. The weekend was led by Stefan Collier, world renowned lecturer on topics related to behavioral optometry and syntonic optometry. Light therapy is a powerful tool in our toolbox to give patients feedback on how to change their visual system. More on light therapy in another post.
Stefan is a wealth of knowledge on topics related to behavioral vision care. I was able to use a technique I picked up from the weekend my first week back. A patient was referred to the office from her balance, mobility and dizziness physical therapist for visual concerns after her stroke. The patient had been to three different eye doctors and was consistently told her eyes were fine and she had peripheral vision loss that would not likely return. She reported being unable to read comfortably and the inability to drive due to being overwhelmed with visual information. Even though she was able to see 20/20 and all eye health was normal, she demonstrated some significant functional vision difficulties. I diagnosed her with post-trauma vision syndrome (PTVS). PTVS is a constellation of findings wherein the two eyes abnormally communicate and integrate with the other sensory systems of the body. I explained her visual signs and symptoms are responsive to office based vision therapy. This is how she reported viewing the eye chart during diagnostic testing:
Thanks to Stefan, after using a technique called binasal occlusion (in this case, only one nasal occlusion was indicated), this is how the patient reported seeing the chart:
I call that a win for functional vision! The patient shared her excitement with the improvement with some happy tears. I look forward to sharing more updates as her vision improves with therapy.