March Is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Awareness Month
NEW YORK (March 2, 2020) – During the month of March, Lighthouse Guild is offering free access to its one-hour online program on traumatic brain injury (TBI) and visual dysfunction. The program is designed for healthcare professionals, such as optometrists, rehabilitation professionals, and others.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines a TBI as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or penetrating head injury. Everyone is at risk for a TBI, especially children, and older adults. Healthcare professionals need to understand the range of visual dysfunctions that are associated with TBI. Lighthouse Guild’s new eLearning program discusses approaches for identifying and assessing visual dysfunction and impairment in patients with TBI, for differentiating visual symptoms from symptoms related to brain injury, and for addressing these symptoms.
The comprehensive program is presented by four health care professionals who concentrate their practices on treating patients with low vision: a neurologist, Helen Chang, MD; a low vision optometrist, Andrea Zimmerman, OD, FAAO; an occupational therapist, Inna Babaeva, OT, PhD; and a clinical psychologist, Laura Newman, PhD.
The objectives of the four-part program are:
• Identify visual dysfunctions and the associated symptoms commonly seen after TBI
• Describe basic approaches for assessing visual function in patients with TBI
• Describe common treatments for visual dysfunction and impairment related to TBI, including vision therapies
• Discuss the psychological impact of TBI and visual dysfunction
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Visual Dysfunction program can be accessed at https://www.lighthouseguild.org/healthcare-professionals/elearning/
Continuing Education Credits
• This activity, COPE Activity #118557, is accredited by COPE for continuing education for optometrists. Expiration date 11/19/22.
• This activity is approved by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) for 1 clock hour. Activity #60007914172, expiration date 12/14/21.
Andrea Zimmerman, OD, FAAO, said, “Vision impairment and visual dysfunction resulting from TBI is often neglected and attributed to loss in cognition or to the previous trauma. Treatment with various low vision devices and vision training can be helpful for improving the visual function and quality of life for these patients. It’s also important to realize that visual dysfunction may be created or exacerbated, particularly with mild TBI.”
Speaking of the psychological impact of traumatic brain injury and vision loss, Laura Newman, PhD, says, “TBI and vision loss can have a profound impact on emotions, self care, activities, relationships and identity. Healthcare professionals have a significant role in helping patients by allowing them to mourn their losses while at the same time enabling them to see that new gains can be made.”
About Lighthouse Guild
Lighthouse Guild is the leading organization dedicated to addressing and preventing vision loss. We provide coordinated care for eye health, vision rehabilitation and behavioral health as well as related services directed at prevention, early detection and intervention of vision disorders. Reducing the burdens of vision loss is the cornerstone of what we do. For more information, visit lighthouseguild.org.
Lighthouse Guild Offers Free TBI and Visual Dysfunction eLearning Course
for Healthcare Professionals During March