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Occupational Therapy Helps People with Vision Impairment

Occupational Therapy Helps People with Vision Impairment

According to the CDC, approximately 12 million people who are 40 years old and over in the United States have vision impairment—Including one million who are blind, three million who have vision impairment after correction, and eight million who have vision impairment due to uncorrected refractive error. Vision disability is one of the top 10 disabilities among adults 18 years old and older.

The Occupational Therapy professionals at Campbell County Health Rehabilitation Services can help adults with visual dysfunction or impairments continue living independently with vision rehabilitation.

Occupational therapy for visual dysfunction, impairment

Visual dysfunction is often overlooked during the initial treatment of neurologic events and injuries. Regular eye exams do not reveal the extent of the visual process has been affected. An individual can have normal vision, but experience debilitating visual dysfunction.

Vision impairment can affect your ability to perform daily living activities such as making a meal, walking, reading your favorite book or taking your medications. Common symptoms of vision impairment include:

  • Balance issues
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Difficulty focusing and concentrating
  • Difficulty reading
  • Difficulty watching TV or using the computer
  • Dizziness or motion sensitivity
  • Eye strain or fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Increased fall risk
  • Increased fatigue
  • Loss of central, peripheral or side vision
  • Poor handwriting
  • Poor attention span
  • Poor balance
  • Sensitivity to light or a generalized haze or glare

You may also notice difficulty with convergence or when your eyes focus inward when using your phone or divergence when the eyes look outward when driving or watching television.

Who benefits from vision rehabilitation?

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association studies indicate that 90% of traumatic brain injury patients and 65% of stroke patients suffer from visual dysfunctions; however, visual impairment is also part of the natural aging process. Most adults with visual limitations are over the age of 65 and often after major injuries vision issues can be missed. Other individuals who can benefit from vision rehabilitation include those with:

  • Concussions
  • Cortical Visual Impairment
  • glaucoma
  • macular degeneration
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Strabismus

An occupational therapist can provide visual rehabilitation that will work on eye alignment, tracking, visual processing, or teaching you how to use your remaining vision effectively. Occupational therapists are trained in environmental modifications and adaptive equipment to help minimize visual limitations. This can be as simple as adding contrasting colors to steps to prevent falls, or talking devices that read medication bottles.

An occupational therapy evaluation will help determine if you would benefit from adaptive equipment, vision rehab, or a referral to an optometrist or ophthalmologist to increase your independence and help you continue to do the things you love to do.

Visual rehabilitation available in Gillette, Wyoming

If you’re suffering from visual dysfunction or impairment, contact the occupational therapists at CCH Rehabilitation Services in Gillette, Wyoming. Contact us at 307.688.8000. Our compassionate and experienced staff helps each patient, in a team-oriented atmosphere, reach their goals. Visit www.cchwyo.org/rehab to learn more about treatment options.