Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Amy Chang Dr. Chang is completing SUNY’s Residency Program in Vision Rehabilitation (Aquired Brain Injury).  She will soon be providing comprehensive optometric services to service men and women who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.  

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.7 million people in the United States sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. Symptoms evident following TBI include deficits of cognition, affect, and multimodal sensorimotor function. The reported frequency of vision deficits in TBI ranges from 20 to 85%, depending upon the nature of the vision deficit and the criteria used in the study.  Many visual problems can be addressed with standard optometric modalities such as refractive correction, prismatic correction, or varying degrees of occlusion. However, there is a high prevalence in the TBI population of vision deficits which cannot always be corrected with a simple refractive or prismatic correction, and often require optometric vision therapy as a treatment option.

The period of natural recovery following TBI is reported to be as long as 1–2 years post-injury, but this recovery may remain incomplete. An incomplete recovery of function following TBI may hinder activities of daily living (ADLs) and quality of life (QOL).

Listen to Jean’s message to optometrists and optometry students….. Don’t give up on these patients!  Optometry has so much to offer these patients, to help them recover visual function and improve their quality of life.

Jean was kind enough to allow her optometrist, Dr. Sharon Berger,  to tape this interview and share her story.  Dr. Berger is in private practice in Roswell, Georgia. She has been helping patients with traumatic brain injury for many years.