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What is Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation?

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation is an individualized treatment regimen for patients with visual deficits due to physical injuries, neurological disorders, or trauma. This specialized approach combines neurology and optometry to enhance visual processing and perception.

After neurological events like traumatic brain injuries, strokes, or certain surgeries, individuals may experience visual disturbances that aren't necessarily related to clarity of vision. These issues can significantly impact daily life and hinder recovery of other functions.

Common symptoms can include:  

1. Blurred or double vision.

2. Difficulties with balance or walking.

3. Problems with visual memory.

4. Sensitivity to light.

5. Reading difficulties (i.e., skipping lines).

6. Difficulties with spatial judgment.

7. Eye movement problems, like tracking.

8. Visual fatigue or discomfort.

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation is pivotal in comprehensively treating post-traumatic visual and perceptual disorders. By addressing and alleviating the visual symptoms associated with neurological disruptions, individuals can regain their quality of life, achieve greater independence, and enhance their overall recovery process.

What types of Conditions are addressed?

  •  Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI):

 A TBI is an injury to the brain caused by an external force, such as a blow or jolt to the head. The severity can range from mild (a brief change in mental status) to severe (an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss). People with TBI may experience blurred vision, light sensitivity, problems with eye coordination, and difficulty focusing. Visual memory problems and difficulties in visual processing can also occur.


  • Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke):

A stroke happens when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. It can result from a blockage (ischemic) or a rupture (hemorrhagic) in a blood vessel. Strokes can cause visual field loss, double vision, and visual balance disorders. Visual perceptual difficulties, including spatial disorientation, can also arise.

  • Vestibular Disorders:

 The vestibular system, located within the inner ear, is responsible for balance and spatial orientation. Disorders include labyrinthitis, Meniere's disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), persistent perceptual dizziness (PPD) and more. These disorders can cause dizziness, vertigo, and balance problems. The visual system is closely linked to the vestibular system, and disturbances can result in difficulty focusing, visual instability, and difficulty tracking moving objects.


  • Post-Concussion Syndrome:

This syndrome encompasses a range of symptoms that persist for weeks or months after the injury that caused the concussion. Visual symptoms can include light sensitivity, blurred or double vision, and problems with visual processing. There can also be difficulties with eye coordination and focusing.

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) & Other Neurological Disorders:

MS is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. It leads to demyelination of nerve fibres, which affects their function. Optic neuritis (optic nerve inflammation) is typical in MS, leading to blurred vision, pain, and colour vision abnormalities. Other visual symptoms can include eye movement disorders and visual field defects.

And More. 

 Rehabilitation Process

  • Assessment: 

Comprehensive vision exams and specialized testing identify the specific visual disturbances.

  • Customized Treatment Plan:

Based on the individual's specific needs, a treatment plan might include therapeutic eyewear, specialized filters, prismatic lens prescriptions, and neuro-optometric rehabilitation. 

  • Therapy:

Activities to improve eye teaming, tracking, focusing, and visual processing. Further customization is based on each individualized need, including stroke, low vision and vestibular emphasis. 

  • Integration with Other Therapies:

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation often works best with other therapies, such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, or cognitive therapy.

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