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Founded in 1994, the Head Trauma Vision Rehabilitation Unit (HTVR) at University Eye Center provides comprehensive ocular and visual services to individuals with acquired brain injuries.

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Head Trauma Services

Strokes, motor vehicle accidents, falls, physical assaults, pedestrian accidents or brain surgery can often disrupt the visual process and interfere with information flow and processing in the brain. Our staff optometrists seek to enhance the patient’s visual capabilities to improve daily activities and quality of life. We serve as a resource for rehabilitation hospitals and centers, physiatrists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, neuropsychologists and other rehabilitation health care professionals throughout the New York Metropolitan area.

The HTVR Unit maintains its leadership in optometric care by using state-of-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitative measures. Team members are actively involved in research and continuing professional education.

Symptoms experienced by most individuals who come to the Unit include one or more of the following:
  • Reading difficulties
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Aching eyes
  • Visually induced headaches
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Light sensitivity
  • Loss of visual field
  • Double vision
  • Comprehension difficulty

Some patients come to the Unit several years after their initial injury or trauma. Visual and ocular problems were either overlooked during initial treatment of the injury or did not become apparent until time elapsed.

Evaluations
An initial consultation at the HTVR Unit consists of a personal interview with a visual rehabilitative optometrist including a comprehensive review of the individual’s visual problem and medical history. Numerous diagnostic tests relating to ocular motor function, refractive status, accommodative status, visual field and ocular health are conducted. Two to three visits may be required to complete the evaluation. With the patient’s written authorization, a report can be sent to the referring source.

Comprehensive evaluations include:
  • Refractive evaluation
  • Ocular health assessment and management
  • Diagnosis of diplopia (double vision), visual field defects and visual neglect
  • State-of-the-art visual field evaluation
  • Electro-diagnostic assessment of eye movements
  • Visual skills evaluation

Treatment
After reviewing the findings from the comprehensive evaluation, a management plan is developed which may include special prism spectacles, vision therapy, referral and follow-up with other professionals involved in the patient’s care. The patient is periodically reevaluated by the HTVR team to monitor and, if necessary, alter the individual treatment plan to achieve the most favorable outcome.