Stephanie is a women’s softball pitching star-- or at least she was. She noticed that she was no longer seeing the ball. Her teammates joked that she might have had a cocktail before the games because she was not throwing her usual strikes and was obviously not seeing the ball correctly during the game. Her pitching and catching skills were decreasing while her frustration rapidly increased.
This scenario began to unfold after she was in a car accident three years ago. At the time, she thought she was fine and never went to the doctor to be examined. But three weeks after the accident, she had a near-miss with a truck that she never saw in her periphery. “I almost pulled out in front of a truck. That just wasn’t me and I knew something was wrong.” We know our own bodies pretty well if we listen. Yet, there was no diagnosis to explain what was happening.
Her vision issues and headaches were becoming more frequent and severe and she was referred to our office for an evaluation. Dr. Andrich prescribed vision therapy to improve her eye-hand coordination, help alleviate headaches and dizziness, and to improve sports functionality. Our therapist has given Stephanie activities to improve peripheral vision through auditory tapping to help her brain remember that there is something at the side of her eye to look at. She practices her exercises daily and she can now see things that previously were out of her field of vision.
After six weeks of vision therapy, Stephanie is now pitching again and has improved her eye-hand coordination. She realizes she sometimes has to work to see objects to the side and sometimes they seem to “flutter” in the field of vision, but the first time she noticed the difference, “I got goosebumps.” This softball season is a success story and she can’t wait for the upcoming volleyball season.
We know ourselves well and can notice changes when we listen to our bodies. Stephanie’s persistence to know herself and obtain satisfactory answers, and has given her positive results. Now she is looking forward to the volleyball season!
If you experience any kind of trauma, pay attention to your body. and learn to recognize changes. If you notice any changes in your vision following a concussion or some other head trauma, don’t ignore them: Immediately contact your eye care professional. Visual deficits related to a traumatic brain injury should be evaluated by an optometrist who is trained in the evaluation and management of eye and vision complications of concussion.