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Top 4 Reasons Why Optometrists Should Choose Neurorehabilitative Optometry As Speciality

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Neuro-Optometry is a branch of optometry that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of vision disorders involving brain-eye relation.

This is a relatively new branch of optometry that focuses on patients that have experienced neurological trauma such as strokes, cerebral palsy, autism, traumatic brain injury (TBI), multiple sclerosis, and other conditions.

Since the eyes are inextricably linked to the brain in many ways, brain damage may cause visual effects that are undetectable by just looking at the eyes.

These symptoms differ depending on the type of trauma the patient has experienced and the severity of the disease.

Let’s understand it by an example:

People who have had a stroke or a traumatic brain injury, for example, can experience panic attacks in crowded places like malls, as well as loss of balance, double vision, photophobia (sensitivity to glare), words moving while reading, and increased eye fatigue/strain.

The fact that these effects are all triggered by a problem in the brain rather than the eye itself qualifies them for neurorehabilitative optometry.

There are the top 4 reasons why optometry students should consider neurorehabilitative optometry their specialty.

New Specialization to Explore in Optometry

It’s not uncommon for young optometrists to scrounge an income and a patient base from part-time hours at multiple practices, particularly in areas where existing optometrists are already aplenty.

The specialties which are already established have more competition, so it becomes crucial to have a niche that separates you from the rest.

Having neuro-rehabilitative skills will allow you to bring significant value to your practice and become a valuable asset that can provide a service that no one else is providing.

Need of the Hour

Every year, millions of brain injuries occur, as a result of their injuries, 90% of patients with brain injury will develop vision impairment.

These vision issues are often undetected at first because they are not visible with traditional brain imaging technologies, but their effects can last for months or even years.

Great Help to Needy Patients

There are patients with the chronic post-concussive syndrome who may have severe symptoms, to the point that their everyday lives, social relationships, and jobs are jeopardized.

You can make a significant difference in their lives by prescribing lenses (differently than for non-traumatic brain injury patients), prisms, tints, partial occlusion, and vision therapy.

You can be a great help to such patients and make them feel great in a short period.

These patients will be thankful to you when they meet a neurorehabilitative optometrist that can support them that they tell everyone they know.

Hence, you can support these patients as neurorehabilitation professionals.

It Can Broaden Your Horizons

Neurorehabilitation also allows you to collaborate with people from a variety of fields, not just optometry and ophthalmology.

Physiatrists, neurologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, audiologists, or chiropractors may be referred to you (or you may be referred to them).

For those who are interested, co-referral partnerships provide an excellent opportunity to practice more multidisciplinary treatment and win recognition for our profession.

Final Thought

It’s always beneficial to have skills that aren’t very popular yet have the potential to be in high demand in the future.

Clare Louise

The author Clare Louise