What is a Neuro Optometrist? What is Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation

Published on
March 2, 2022

Neuro optometrists specialize in diagnosing and treating neurological conditions that adversely affect the visual system. The Neuro Optometrist works with the patient's vision therapist to rehabilitate it with specific optical lenses called prisms and vision therapy that retrains the brain to perform visual tasks that were lost due to the injury. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation is a customized treatment plan for people suffering from visual impairment due to traumatic brain injuries, physical disabilities or other neurological issues such as strokes, Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis, Lyme Disease, Autism, and Diabetic Neuropathy.

Do all optometrists offer neuro-optometric rehabilitation?

It is important to distinguish between neuro-optometric rehabilitation, medical optometry, and vision therapy, since not all doctors who provide vision therapy or medical optometry are trained in neuro-optometric rehabilitation.
There are several incredible professional organizations that provide ongoing continuing education to optometrists in order to educate them on this specialty. In addition, colleges of optometry offer courses on neuro optometric rehabilitation. A number of organizations provide education on neuro optometric rehabilitation, including College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA) and Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF). The optometrists who work with patients with traumatic brain injuries collectively constitute a fairly small number. Most optometrists that do not specialize in neuro optometric rehabilitation will refer to someone who specializes in specialized prisms, specialized optics, therapy, and light therapy.


Dr. Ikeda’s experience in Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation

Dr. Ikeda has served in senior leadership roles in all three of the groups that provide much of the underlying scientific and clinical expertise in the field of neuro-optometry and vision therapy, including:

  • Past-President of Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF)
  • Past-President of the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association
  • Appointed to the American Optometric Association Vision Rehabilitation Committee and to the Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force

Dr. Ikeda’s clinical experience includes:

  • Neuro-Optometrist at Amplify EyeCare Of Greater Long Beach
  • Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD)
  • Clinical Associate Professor of the Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry
  • Charter Program Director for the Neuro Optometry Clinic at Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation (Pomona)
  • Provides clinical staff services at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (Downey); NeuroRestorative rehabilitation centers (Artesia, Garden Grove, La Habra, San Dimas)
  • Recognized as “Physician of the Year” by the Rehabilitation Nurses Society 
  • Recipient of “Founding Fathers Medal” for his continued service to NORA
  • Inducted as a Distinguished Practitioner into the National Academies of Practice (Optometry Academy) 
  • Recipient of the Founder’s Award by Western University of Health Sciences, College of Optometry

 

Which age group is most likely to be affected by post-traumatic vision syndrome?

Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome affects people of all ages, from young children to teens and elderly. Younger patients who were injured due to a fall, car accident, or sports injury is unfortunately an all too common cause of PTVS. PTVS is also extremely common in elderly patients, for example senior citizens that suffer from a stroke. As a result, we see a broad range of individuals who could present with a brain injury and could really benefit from Dr. Ikeda's expertise.

What are the most common vision problems that are experienced by patients referred for neuro optometric rehabilitation?

  • Ocular motility disorders
  • Dysfunction in the accommodative system
  • Bumping into things
  • Loss of some of the visual field (for example only seeing half of the world around you)
  • Binocular vision dysfunction
  • Central peripheral integration
  • Dizziness and Balance issues 
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty reading
  • Ocular Migraines 
  • Eyestrain
  • Attention difficulties
  • Glare and light sensitivity
  • Poor depth perception

Testimonials


  • I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.


    Claire A.

  • Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.


    Jim K.

  • My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!


    Teresa S.

  • The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.


    Joe M.

  • I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.


    Kayla W.

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