Binasal Occlusion: Understanding Its Application and Benefits

Binasal occlusion is a technique used in neuro-optometric rehabilitation to reduce strain on the visual system, which can improve your gait and balance.

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Binasal Occlusion: Understanding Its Application and Benefits Optometrist
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In the United States, an estimated 1.5 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Over 50,000 people die from these injuries each year, 230,000 people are hospitalized and survive, and about 80,000-90,000 people experience long-term disabilities. According to the Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation Association 90% of TBI and stroke patients experience visual deficits following their injury. 

When a person suffers a traumatic brain injury, the brain's visual pathways can be disrupted. When nerve fibers within the brainstem are disrupted, the balance system and orientation systems are adversely affected. The experience of walking in unfamiliar environments or crowded areas, such as malls, can be overwhelming. The purpose of the binasal occlusion is to help with spatial orientation. Many patients have benefited from this treatment. When individuals walk using binasal occlusion, they report feeling more stable and secure. As a result of binasal occlusion, the patient is encouraged to rely more on their peripheral vision.

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How Long Do You Have to Wear Binasal Occlusion?

Typically, it is recommended to wear binasal occlusion for 2 weeks up to 6 months depending on the patient’s condition. Remember that neuro optometric rehabilitation is tailored to every patient.  With the introduction of other therapies and improvement of spatial orientation, the importance of occlusion decreases. In many cases, it is recommended to utilize this treatment several hours a day, and in some cases, the patient is encouraged to wear it the vast majority of the time. Our neuro optometrist will assess your condition and determine the appropriate duration for wearing binasal occlusion. Binasal prescriptions may be worn both for reading and for distance vision.

Binasal occlusion can enhance the effectiveness of occupational and physical therapy programs when prescribed by a qualified neuro optometrist.

What Do You Experience With Binasal Occlusion?

What Do You Experience With Binasal Occlusion?

An important benefit of binasal occlusion is that you are able to walk with a sense of increased visual stability. If you have trouble walking comfortably and do not have a steady gait, binasal occlusion may be of benefit to you. With binasal occlusion, patients often report that the floor is no longer moving, so they feel better. The use of yoked prisms or base in prisms can be combined with binasal occlusion in some cases to improve balance.

What Visual Conditions Can Be Improved With Binasal Occlusion?

What Visual Conditions Can Be Improved With Binasal Occlusion?

Binasal occlusion, under the guidance of a neuro optometrist, may be used to improve the following visual conditions:

  • Strabismus (eye turn)
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Visual discomfort
  • Convergence insufficiency (difficulty coordinating the eyes for near tasks)
  • Diplopia (double vision)
  • Hemianopsia (loss of vision on one side of the visual field)
  • Traumatic brain injury-related visual impairment
  • Binocular vision dysfunction, which can lead to the following symptoms:

It's important to note that binasal occlusion may not be appropriate for all individuals with these conditions and should be done under the guidance of our qualified neuro optometrist. Additionally, binasal occlusion is typically only one component of a larger treatment plan that may include vision therapy, specialized lenses and prisms, and other therapies.

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How is Binasal Occlusion Applied?

How is Binasal Occlusion Applied?

Several methods can be used to apply binasal occlusion as part of neuro optometric rehabilitation:

Sticker or patch: A small sticker or patch can be placed on the nose bridge of eyeglasses to block the nasal portion of the visual field.

Glasses with occlusion lenses: Glasses can be made with lenses that have one or both sides covered or partially covered to achieve the occlusion.

Tape: Some individuals may choose to apply tape directly to their skin to achieve binasal occlusion, though this method is less common and not recommended without the guidance of our qualified eye care professional.

The method of application will depend on the individual's specific needs and the recommendation of our eye doctor or vision therapist.

How can I find an eye doctor near me?

If you don’t already have a trusted optometrist, you could start your online search by typing in phrases such as "eye doctor near me," "neuro optometrist near me," or "eye specialist near me."

What Do You Experience With Binasal Occlusion?

Common Questions

If you have experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and are experiencing changes that are affecting your daily activities, such as difficulty reading or driving, it is important to see our neuro optometrist as soon as possible. If you are experiencing more complex or severe vision problems, or if your vision problems are accompanied by other neurological symptoms, such as changes in your balance or coordination, you may be referred to our neuro optometrist. If you are experiencing visual problems after a TBI, call your eye doctor to schedule an evaluation today.
Binasal occlusion is a technique that involves covering or blocking the nasal (or inner) portion of the visual field, which essentially blocks the input of one eye. This is commonly done by placing a small sticker or patch on the nose bridge of eyeglasses. Binasal occlusion is often used in vision therapy to improve binocular vision and eye coordination. Binasal occlusion is also frequently used by neuro optometrists in the treatment of spatial, balance, and gait problems following a traumatic brain injury or neurological incident.
Binasal occlusion may be used as part of the visual rehabilitation treatment plan for concussion, which is a type of traumatic brain injury that can affect vision. Binasal occlusion can help to reduce symptoms such as double vision or visual discomfort by limiting the input to one eye and reducing the demand on the visual system.
Occlusion glasses are a type of eyewear used in vision therapy, prescribed by an optometrist, that have one, both, or part of a lens covered, typically with a removable sticker or patch. They are used to create a temporary or partial loss of vision in one or both eyes. Occlusion glasses are often used as part of vision therapy and neuro optometric rehabilitation to treat conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (eye turn), or to improve binocular vision and eye coordination.
Suppression of binocular vision occurs when the brain actively suppresses the input from one eye in order to avoid seeing double. This is often seen in individuals with strabismus or other conditions that affect binocular vision. Suppression can lead to a decrease in depth perception and other visual issues, and can be improved with vision therapy.
Binocular vision is controlled by several areas in the brain, including the primary visual cortex, the visual association areas, and the superior colliculus. The visual cortex receives input from both eyes and combines the images to create a single, three-dimensional perception of the visual world.
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Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Services for Traumatic Brain Injury: Binasal Occlusion and Visual Conditions - Schedule an Eye Exam Today

Reach out to the listed practice either via a call or in-person visit to schedule a neuro optometric evaluation. The team of eye care professionals at the practice is ready and equipped to provide you with the care you need.

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