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Neurological Vision Impairment

Many people who have vision impairment as a result of a brain injury find their eyes may still function well but the messages being transmitted to the brain can be misinterpreted.

O & M instructor working with a client with neurological vision impairment

 

One of the most common forms of neurological vision impairment is Homonymous Hemianopia. Surprisingly, those with a neurological disorder, often may not realise their sight is compromised.

Warning signs can include:

  • ƒBeing confused and easily disorientated,
  • ƒHaving difficulties when reading.
  • ƒBeing overwhelmed or anxious in crowded or busy places or bumping into people or things.
  • ƒCrossing roads unsafely.
  • ƒLacking confidence when using
  • public transport.
  • ƒExperiencing double or blurry vision.

How to seek help for a neurological vision impairment?

While individual requirements may vary, training programs are available which teach people how to compensate for their vision loss and restore their confidence.

Part of training includes scanning strategies or, if required, a mobility aid.

Training ranges from walking safely around the home through to using public transport and travelling in a busy city environment.

Support is always provided until the person feels confident. even in familiar places.

Elderly gentleman walking on footpath

 

Things you should know about neurological disorders and training programs:

  • ƒTraining programs are designed according to individual needs.
  • ƒEarly referral is recommended to help develop safe and consistent scanning.
  • ƒEducation, support and training are provided for the person, family and carers regarding the nature of this type of vision loss.
  • ƒThe person will be assisted wherever they are.
  • This may be in a rehabilitation ward or at home.
  • ƒTraining ranges from walking safely around the home through to using public transport and travelling in a busy city environment.
  • ƒSupport is provided until the person feels confident.
  • ƒFollow-up visits are offered to ensure compensatory scanning strategies are effective and safe.

ƒGuide Dogs Australia works with other rehabilitation professionals particularly when cognitive, physical and/or behavioural challenges are present.

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