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The Sub-Specialty of Neuro-Optometry

We can help treat your acquired brain injury at Artisan Optics in Boise Idaho


A residency-trained neuro-optometrist is an optometrist who has completed an accredited sub-specialty residency in the examination, diagnosis, treatment and management of neuro-ophthalmic disease; collaborating with experts in the fields of neurology, neuro-radiology, neuro-ophthalmology and neuro-surgery. 



We can help treat your vision problems at Artisan Optics in Boise Idaho


Neuro-ophthalmic conditions are often complex, resulting from systemic disease or neurological injuries that manifest in the visual system.  These are vision problems that do not necessarily originate from the eyes themselves. Many vision problems relate to the nervous system and how visual information is received and processed – involving the eyes, brain, nerves and muscles. This causes vision problems for a person even though the structures of their eyes are completely healthy.


Neuro-optometry is a specific area of practice within the field of vision care that encompasses the assessment and treatment of:

  • Vision problems resulting from neurological disorders

  • Deficits in visual-cognitive processing

  • Vision problems associated with systemic disease

  • Eye misalignment (horizontal and vertical)

  • Vision problems resulting from trauma or injury

  • Diplopia (double vision)

  • Deficits in depth perception and 3D vision


A neuro-optometrist is an optometrist who, after graduating from optometry school, completed an additional year of sub-specialty education and residency training in the field of neuro-optometry.


A neuro-optometrist evaluates and treats patients who have visual symptoms resulting from:

  • Visual processing disorders

  • Brain injury

  • Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) / stroke

  • Double vision

  • Post trauma vision syndrome

  • Balance or mobility issues


A neuro-optometrist routinely manages vision problems resulting from injury or system disease or vision conditions that are developmental in nature.


It is currently reported that fewer than twenty percent (20%) of optometry graduates are accepted into a residency training program.  There are 280 optometry residencies nationwide covering eleven (11) areas of sub-specialty vision care; approximately 200 of these optometric residency programs are accredited by ACOE. 


Optometric residencies are accredited by The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) and certified as providing a level of educational effectiveness, integrity, and quality which entitles it to the confidence of the educational community and public they serve.  Accredited residency programs must meet rigid quality standards; provide a minimum of twelve months of supervised instruction and clinical care; and advance the graduate's preparation as a provider in preparation for working in hospitals, as a member of a multi-disciplinary provider team, and within the traditional medical model of patient care.


For consumers seeking vision care, it is important to compare education, training and competencies.  All optometrists complete a four-year undergraduate degree and then complete four-years of optometry school.  However, postgraduate training is not required. This is why the vast majority of optometrist provide primary eye care, rather than sub-specialty care.


All optometrists are licensed by state regulatory boards that determine scope of practice, which varies from state to state.  Most optometrists provide primary care and are trained to examine the eyes for visual defects, diagnose and manage eye disease and vision problems, prescribe corrective lenses (glasses and contact lenses), prescribe medications for some eye conditions and eye diseases, and provide certain types of treatment.


A neuro-optometrist is an optometrist who has completed a formal, ACOE accredited residency in neuro-optometry and is trained to assess and manage patients with:

  • Accommodation paresis / paralysis

  • Acquired brain injury (ABI)

  • Binocular vision dysfunction

  • Convergence insufficiency

  • Cerebrovascular accident (CVA)

  • Diplopia (double vision)

  • Oculomotor dysfunction

  • Post Trauma Vision Syndrome (PTVS)

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

  • Traumatic visual acuity loss

  • Vision problems resulting from systemic diseases

  • Visual field loss following an acquired brain injury

  • Visual-spatial dysfunction


In addition to completing an ACOE accredited residency program, some optometrists also choose to become Fellows of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO).  Fellows of the Academy are evaluated against the highest standards of professional competence and must complete a candidacy process that includes submitting written work demonstrating their skills as an optometrist and sit for an oral exam at the Annual Meeting of the Academy.  Approximately 10% of practicing optometrists in the United States are Fellows of the American Academy of Optometry.


If you, or someone you know, need neuro-optometric care it is important to look for an optometrist who has completed an ACOE accredited residency program in neuro-optometry and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.  This assures that you are working with a doctor who is trained and competent in the field of neuro-optometry. Working with a primary care eye doctor prevents you from receiving the specialized care you need. This can lead to missed diagnosis or mis-information about your chances to improve your vision.


An assessment with a neuro-optometrist, who is both residency trained and a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, is recommended for anyone who has any unexplained vision loss, double vision, headaches, visual field loss, an acquired brain injury (such as concussion or stroke), has a neuro-degenerative condition (such as Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, etc), has difficulty with balance or mobility or has eye teaming deficits.  Assessment and diagnosis is the important first step to treatment.


An assessment and diagnosis is the important first step to treatment at Artisan Optics in Boise Idaho


Posted by Artisan Optics at 8/2/2016 10:31:00 PM
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