Yes, a lot of patients will come in and tell me that they've had one neurological problem.

This story is a great example of how we helped a patient with Lymes Disease.

Why is it important to go to a neuro optometrist?

A patient recently had Lyme disease that was causing significant problems for him. Upon arriving, he said he had not seen an eye care professional for quite some time. Learn how lyme disease can cause vision problems.

First step, comprehensive eye exam:

My first concern was checking his eyes, making sure everything looked okay, which it did, and then checking his vision. He was 20/20 and didn't have a prescription, so everything was fine. In many doctors' offices, they would have told you, "You're fine, go home. There is no problem with your eyes.”

Second step, neuro optometric evaluation

Neuro-optometrists, or behavioral optometrists, look into patients' visual system a little deeper. With this patient, we reviewed his eye teaming skills (how the eyes work together), his eye movement skills, and his focusing skills. When we examined those, we saw he had serious convergence deficits. It's called convergence insufficiency, and it makes his eyes work much harder to work together when looking at near objects. Because of this extra effort, when you're reading or looking at something up close, you become tired easily. You might be exhausted after 15 minutes, or maybe your productivity drops, while during the first 15 minutes you're working efficiently. Initially, you might be attentive and alert, then after 45 minutes, not so good after an hour, really not good.

My recommendation was that he begin vision therapy. He has only seen me a couple of times so far. During the first couple of weeks, one of the early things we did was practice teaming, which addresses the reason for his visual symptoms.

How do you test for eye teaming issues?

One of the things we do to test for teaming in the office is the red and green test. A light box is used, along with a special filter that adds red and another that adds green. Patients look through green and red filters mounted on the light box. From this, I can tell what each eye is seeing and if both eyes are working at the same time as a team. When both eyes are working together, the patient should see an X with alternate red and green colors. In that case, the circle and the square will still exist. This tells me the patient has a functioning visual system that uses both eyes simultaneously. That's the first step in our process of what we look for and what we look at when conducting a full eye exam that goes beyond just eye health.

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