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Poor Handwriting, Poor Grades, & Headaches Are No Longer

Marin was 10 when her mother brought her in for a Vision therapy evaluation. Marin was not performing well in school, her grades were poor, even though she was bright. Her hand writing was poor. She also reported headaches that she just accepted as part of life. A vision therapy evaluation revealed that Marin had trouble using both eyes well together, that one of her eyes suppressed (stopped sending the brain an image, because she could not merge the pictures of her eyes when things were close to her.) She had trouble adjusting to seeing something close, then far away. For example, looking from her book to the board and back, was difficult because they were blurry upon changing her gaze. She also had trouble remembering what she had seen.

Marin is responding well to vision therapy. Her headaches have diminished significantly. She is very excited about her EOG’s (End of Grade testing) because she got the highest score or next to the highest on her tests. This was the first time she had done well on the testing. Her ability to look from near to far without blurriness has also improved.

If your child is struggling with poor handwriting, headaches, and poor grades, that may signify a learning issue that is vision related. Our eye doctors provide advanced vision therapy treatment in the Charlotte area. Learn more about vision therapy.

Chloe had Trouble Distinguishing Left & Right

Chloe was a 9 yr old with trouble in math, was clumsy, often running into things. She also had trouble with distinguishing Left & Right. A vision therapy exam revealed that Chloe’s eyes were not aligning when moving, especially when trying to look at objects close to her. She also had poor depth perception.

Chloe has done remarkably well since vision therapy. She reports that math is easier, She is running into things much less frequently due to her increased ability to merge objects and judge their distance. She scores perfectly on depth perception tests now. She is able to merge objects when close and keep them merged when they move. She is also made great improvements in her ability to process information obtained visually.

If you know someone having trouble with left/right, eye alignment, depth perception, give us a call or learn more on our vision therapy page.

After A Car Accident, Vision Therapy Helped Austin

Austin is a 33 year old male who came to us after a head injury from a car accident. Austin had typical symptoms of someone post concussion. He felt dizzy, had headaches & was nauseated when watching moving objects. His headaches were severe & debilitating. His right eye was not able to follow objects smoothly. He was also unable to diverge (merge the picture both eyes present the brain at a distance), or or converge (merge the picture both eyes present the brain close up) well.

Vision therapy was a challenge for Austin, due to the severity of his injury. Many activities caused an increase in symptoms initially. However, Austin was determined, and with adjustments was able to make great progress. His headaches & nausea diminished as he continued therapy.

To learn more about vision therapy after traumatic brain injury in the Charlotte area, visit our Neuro Optometry page

Ocular Migraines

Migraine Awareness Month:

An ocular migraine is any migraine headache that involves a visual disturbance such as flashes of light, seeing stars or zigzags or the appearance of blind spots in the visual field. Ocular migraines can interfere with your ability to go about your daily tasks such as driving, reading or writing, however, the visual symptoms don’t last long and do go away completely once the migraine has passed.

What is an Ocular Migraine?

The term ocular migraine may refer to a couple of different conditions. Firstly, migraines with auras often have eye-related symptoms that precede the actual headache. An aura is a physical symptom that is experienced usually within 5 minutes to an hour before a migraine comes on, and can include:

  • Blind spots (scotomas) or partial vision loss
  • Flashes of light, spots or zigzag patterns
  • Visual, auditory (hearing) or olfactory (smell) hallucinations or disruptions
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Mental fog, trouble finding words and speaking

These types of ocular migraines commonly appear by obstructing a small area of vision which spreads gradually over 5 minutes.

A second type of ocular migraine is when you actually experience temporary vision loss or disruptions (flashes, blind spots, zigzag lines etc.) during or immediately following the migraine headache. Ocular migraines can also sometimes appear without any head pain at all. They may also be called eye, ophthalmic, or retinal migraines.

What Causes Ocular Migraines?

Similar to classic migraines, the exact cause of an ocular migraine is unknown. Genetic predisposition seems to be a factor to some extent, and having a family history of migraines does put you at greater risk.

While they don’t know the cause, experts have seen that spasms in the blood vessels and nerve cells in the retinal lining at the back of the eye are associated with ocular migraine symptoms.

For some, there are certain environmental triggers, or a combination of factors, that cause migraines. These differ on an individual basis but can include:

  • Stress
  • Bright lights or loud sounds
  • Strong smells
  • A sudden or drastic change in weather conditions
  • Eating, or exposure to, certain food substances such as, alcohol, caffeine, nitrates, MSG (monosodium glutamate), artificial sweeteners and tyramine.

Since triggers are different for everyone it’s advised to try to identify yours by keeping a journal to track your environment, diet and lifestyle habits, when you experience a headache.

Treatment for Ocular Migraines

Treatment for ocular migraines is usually not necessary as the symptoms typically resolve themselves within 30 minutes. It is advised to rest and avoid doing things that require vision and concentration until the headache goes away and the vision symptoms cease. If you are experiencing an ocular headache:

  • Lie down in a quiet, dark room when possible
  • Massage or apply pressure to the temples and scalp
  • Apply a damp towel to the forehead

If you experience auras, taking a migraine medication when the aura occurs, can often reduce the intensity of the headache that follows. In other words, you can use the aura as a warning sign that a headache is coming on and treat it preventatively. Your doctor may prescribe a pain reliever for associated head pain and, if migraines are chronic, a preventative medication may be given.

It’s important to note that if you are experiencing any unusual visual symptoms or an increase in frequency or duration of symptoms, you should see an eye doctor right away to rule out any serious, vision threatening conditions. Symptoms such as floaters or flashing lights can also be a sign of a retinal tear or hole.

If you get migraines, among the best ways to prevent them are to keep your mind and body healthy by eating nutritious foods, getting enough rest and managing stress effectively.

Tadan Likes To Read After Vision Therapy

Tadan is a 7 year old baseball player who would become very frustrated in reading particularly.

His parents were frustrated as well because they knew that Tadan was a smart child, but he was several reading levels behind his peers. Tadan’s parents tried everything to get Tadan to read for fun in hopes that his reading ability would improve, but Tadan was not interested.

Upon further examination, it was discovered that Tadan was having headaches and trouble keeping his place when reading. He was diagnosed with both eye teaming and eye tracking dysfunctions. Vision Therapy was recommended to help.

After working with therapist, Janet, at Complete Eye Care, under the direction of Dr. Laura Ashe, Tadan now has less headaches. His parents are shocked that Tadan likes to read for fun now after Vision Therapy. Tadan’s dad also notes that his performance in baseball has greatly improved since finishing Vision Therapy!

Addison Shines After Vision Therapy

Addison is a 12 year old boy who is extremely intelligent, but was frustrated with school.

He complained about frequent headaches, trouble keeping his place when reading, and problems with balance.

Addison would notice that his right eye seemed to turn off or suppress at times. This made school work difficult for Addison. It was determined that Addison had a condition called Amblyopia, or lazy eye, in his right eye. Lazy Eye led to his problems of eye tracking, headaches, and balance issues. Addison completed a program of Vision Therapy here at Complete Eye Care. This was not easy for him and he had to work very hard in Vision Therapy to ensure that his right eye remained turned on. For Addison, headaches and clumsiness are a thing of the past. Addison’s mom says that he’s doing better in school and is a much more confident kid!

Vision Therapy Helps Jacobs Double Vision and Reading

Jacob is a young man who loves playing basketball and watching the Cleveland Cavaliers. He came into Complete Eye care because he was having double vision, and was having a hard time reading and copying from the board. It seemed that Jacob’s depth perception was off because he was frequently clumsy. Jacob would also reverse letters likes b’s and d’s. He did not want to tell his mom his problems because he did not want anything to be wrong with his eyes.

Jacob came into Complete Eye Care in July of 2017 for an annual pediatric eye exam. Dr. Ashe recommended that Jacob have a vision therapy evaluation to see if vision therapy would benefit him. Jacob was recommended vision therapy to help with his visual problems, and he worked with Vision Therapist Liz, with much success.

Following Jacob’s graduation from vision therapy, positive changes were noted. First of all, Jacob’s self-esteem improved tremendously. He no longer held his head down walking into therapy or talking with others. Jacob sat straight in his chair, while his head was no longer tilting. His reading became more fluent, and the double vision dissipated. He reported that his grades had improved and he could now see the board in class without any problems. Mom was excited to see Jacob’s handwriting become more legible and neat. Jacob is also doing better in basketball, which makes him happy. A job well done, Jacob!

Vision Therapy helped Drayton’s Amblyopia

Drayton is a 13 year old boy with a great sense of humor. He came for his annual exam in June of 2017 at Complete Eye Care. Drayton’s mom was worried about his right eye being affected by amblyopia (lazy eye). She was also concerned about his depth perception.

Drayton was having a difficult time seeing the smart board. He also could not see 3D. He had patched his non-amblyopic eye for 5 years without any improvement or success. Needless to say, his right eye was not working at all, the eyes were not working as a team, and were also not tracking well.

After completing vision therapy at Complete Eye Care guided by Dr. Ashe, and Liz, his vision therapist, Drayton’s right eye is now more active, and his eyes are working better together. His right eye is not shutting down and his depth perception has greatly improved. Drayton can see the smart board, and his tracking has improved his reading. Drayton can now enjoy 3D movies since completing vision therapy. We are proud of your hard work!

Baylee’s confidence soared with Vision Therapy

Baylee is a very happy 9-year-old girl. Baylee’s mom was frustrated with the struggles she was having with reading. Baylee would skip words, make up words when she didn’t know them and re-read lines a lot. The words looked like they were moving on the page, and she would see double. She could only read 10 minutes at a time but was required to read 20 minutes for homework and school.

Dr. Ashe found that Baylee’s eyes were not tracking and working together properly. She was having difficulty converging (moving the eyes in) and diverging (moving the eyes out) her eyes. Her eyes were fighting each other and not working as a team. Dr. Ashe suggested vision therapy under the guidance of Liz, one of the vision therapists at Complete Eye Care. Baylee enjoyed vision therapy, always coming into Complete Eye Care with a big smile.

After completing Vision Therapy, Baylee’s confidence soared! Her reading has improved and she is not making words up anymore. Baylee’s reading comprehension is much better, which was not the case prior. We are proud of your hard work and success Baylee!

Hannah No Longer Loses Her Place While Reading

Hannah is a happy, spunky 7-year old girl who lives in Mt. Holly, North Carolina. When we first met Hannah at Complete Eye Care for her annual pediatric eye exam, both Hannah and her mom complained that Hannah lost her place frequently when reading, even when using a guide such as her finger. She also had a tendency to confuse letters and words that looked similar. Hannah’s mom noted that her daughter’s reading comprehension was great when read to, but not nearly as good when Hannah read to herself. In addition, her spelling and handwriting were also lower than expected for such an intelligent child. Hannah received extra help at school as well.

Hannah did not need glasses and her eye health was perfect; however, it was found at the vision therapy evaluation that Hannah had trouble making the small reading eye movements needed to read with ease. This explained why she struggled to keep her place, even with her finger. Dr. Laura Ashe also identified problems with Hannah’s visual memory, which explained her poor spelling.

After completing vision therapy sessions at Complete Eye Care with vision therapist, Liz, Hannah successfully graduated from a program of vision therapy. Hannah, her mom, and her grandmother all noticed huge improvements in Hannah’s ability to keep her place when reading. She is able to spell without as much effort and frustration, and is not confusing letters and words that look similar as much! Hannah still receives extra help at school, but significantly less extra help than before vision therapy! Way to go Hannah! Don’t forget to watch Dr. Ashe’s interview with Hannah, her mom, and grandmother.

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