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Home » Neuro Optometry » John shares how any slight head trauma from a fall or concussion can affect your vision

John shares how any slight head trauma from a fall or concussion can affect your vision

thanks for taking the time to meet withus johni do appreciate it glad to do it um soi thought we could start with just alittle description about yourselfwhat you've been doing with your timelately and some of your visual needsokay uh i i'm a retiredmusic theory professor i taught thatsubjectfor 37 years andum so now i justevery day is like a weekend day i travela lot i read a lot i'minto photography i'm into jazz piano uhi like to cook i like to dance i do alot i'm leading a rich full lifei can say i like it that's an extensiveresume definitelyright i very well respected in yourfield i'd imagineand uh did you want me to say somethingabout thethe uh why i was brought here or whatbrought meto dr lawrence island right yeah we canget into that a little bitso yeah what what kind of happened thatdid bring you todr lawrence on that vision there ohtremendous coincidencei guess you want to say it or uhcarl jung would say uh synchronicitywhen you're ready for something tohappen and you're you're sensitive to ityou start to noticeconnections that you wouldn't otherwisenotice yeah soi was reading about the brain because inmy theory teaching umi got very interested in things likethe ability to read a musical scorequickly and get informationout of it quickly without necessarilyhaving to plod through it and figurethings outsure and so i was reading these booksabout the brainand then i had a lunch with afriend of mine and her husband and sheis raising her granddaughterand they were coming here because shewas identifiedthe girl she was i think maybe nine orten at the timeyeah was having reading difficulties andso as she described the kind of thingsthatmartha the girl was doingit sort of hit me that this is what iwas reading aboutin the in the books i was reading andthat connections you were talking aboutyeah and then alsothe fact that i uh suffer fromwhat i call a lazy eye had been for anumber of yearsyeah and so i thought actually cominghere would may notonly improve my sight but it would itwould give me someinsight into the kind of research i wasdoing professionallyand i can say right now that it's doneboth of those things but we'll get tothat later onum soso that's why i came here and embarkedon thetreatment schedule that i did soum being a music professorstudying theory doing research it soundslikethere was a lot of reading that neededto be done and not justreading for leisure but to also beefficient yeswhile you're reading and being able toaccurately umsee comprehend what you were righttaking a look atexactly yes yeah that makes sense umcould you describe some of the symptomsyou wereexperienced yes uh i found thatuh in reading situations andeven sometimes just general scene i wasclosing my left eye because it seemedthat i could see more efficientlywith one with my right eye and read andcomprehend more efficientlylike this so i'd be working on acomputer and all of a sudden i realizedthat you knowwhat what is this strain that i feelover here and i realize that i've beenshutting my eye for long periods of timeand uh theni guess it was a an eye examinationum i was told that i had this forbusiness or something i don't knowa lazy eye and they showed me how if icovered one eyeand then if i covered the weak eye andtook it awaythen the eyes would sort of try toconvergethat way so it was something when i toldmy friends i had lazy eye i coulddemonstratevery easily soand i knew that that was not efficientand i knew that my reading suffered myreading comprehension my reading speedbothsuffered as a result of that conditionsoi remember in my interview when i tookthe diagnostic test with dr ron zamashe said well what do you expect what doyou want to get out of this and i saidi wanted to have a younger brainso i in in some ways now that i'm morefamiliar with what goes on uh some waysi couldi can think that i do but in other waysi can just noticethat things are different so yeahthat's definitely one way to look at itjohn we're learning throughneuroplasticity andsome of the research you're doing andwhat's doctor's doing we can retrain thebrainyes that's the really exciting thing andwith my researchuh the techniques that i've developedyou know there's an awful lot ofresearch in musicuh testing a hypothesis yeahbut very little of it it's mostly withcollege sophomoresyou know who've had some music theoryand that kind of thing yeahand there as far as i know there's neverbeen a research study which sayswell why don't we teach them this wayinstead of that wayor try this new methodology and do abefore test and have to testactually applying the theories and whatit looks like yeah and soalthough i haven't i don't have thetraining to dothe the actual empirical studies theactual experimentsuh i've created something to teachstudents that could veryeasily be tested that waythere would be some problems but i thinkcould be tested that way and so uhvery excited about that definitely theother thingi will mention here is thatonce my training was underwayi was actually pretty early on i wasaskedif i had ever had any traumatic braininjury and i said nobut on the drive home i'm about an houraway from hereon the drive home i thought well youknow six or seven years agoi i fell on some icehard enough so i heard the back of myheadhit the pavement and i've clawed i don'tthink i've actually heard this storyyeahand so uh after discussing itmore here uh we came to the conclusionthat i probably had a mild concussionmild enough so that i you know i got upafter that icould see and i felt okay so i thoughtnothing of it butthis was maybe seven or eight years agoyeah and i startedto notice this lazy eye and stuff andthen i learned through my reading thatthe is it the occipital lobe is thecenter for vision is back thereuh yeahit sits right back there yeah where anduh and that the um theoral and the visual cortex are of coursework hand-in-hand very intimately and souhthat made sense to me that i hit i fellback i slid on some ice and just fellback straightthat that's something that might seemdone more than what we initially thoughtyeah yeah that's actually prettyrelatable to some of my visual thingsi've had a few concussions over my timeright you could just play sports sparksand we know what's going on incollege and professional football toowith impactinjuries definitely so so it sounds likesome things happened um recently overthe years you started noticing and beingaware of certain thingsthen you signed up for vision therapywith dr lorenzanoright and here we are with theconclusion of all thatwe're still doing some some things onthe side butcould you describe like what kind ofimpact vision therapy has had whetherit's good bad oranywhere in between yeah well let me sayupfront that i think ithas been very positiveit hasn't been without its surprises isay maybe you have setbacks becauseafter the first course of therapysessions there was a diagnostic test tocompare where i was with what i was atthe beginningand this astounding finding was that ihave severereading disability in my left eye andit was explained to me and it was hardsort of to accepti have certainly accepted enough that infact the reason for that was that mybrain was smart enoughnot to pay attention to what was goingon in my left eye so it was hardly usingmy left eye even if i was justlooking at it like i'm looking now andsaid oh i'm not going to pay too muchattentionyeah and so there was a great deal onthat side on the left eye sideshowing that i was even using that eyeand just to jump ahead at the at the endof additional training sessionsuh the diagnostic test that i had just aweek or so agoshowed that in in fact uh i'm using mymy comprehension and skills through botheyeshas improved a great deal so that's oneof the one of the benefits of thatone is that i don't think i was awarethat i wasseeing double vision as much as ithought i mean i could i can do thisright now and seetwo of you yeah it's very easy for me toswitch back and forthand um but i think i was this is the wayi was seeing a lotand my brain said you know we don't needthat double thingand so for instance when i'm drivingwhen i if i fixate on a telephone poleor a red lighti was seeing two of those and then as igot closer it would sort of mergeand so now i in fact when i drive ioften will pick auh signal light out in the middle of theroad and then fixate on it and make surethat i'm just seeing one thing as itapproaches in which is a lot like one ofthe exercisesi did uh so uhi s so that after that sort of uh shockof saying oh you know you're really badin your left eyebecause i expected to see oh well you'rea lot better than you used to bebut uh with it with the additionaltrainingand uh uh and the last the lastdiagnostic i haveshown that i have improved and i can uhi think i've just told you a few of theways that i haven't proven that i'maware of itand another thing that i was told by thetherapists i worked with before i workedwith you was thatin fact just knowing whatthe characteristics of my vision wereand being aware of them uh wouldn'twould make me improveand so i hope that's true and so nowthat i'm aware of it and icheck what i'm doing all the time thati'll continue toimprove in of things definitely i wouldagreeum with biata that um that their initialawareness is keyand um i i would definitely agree thatthat can lead to more improvements andit's just about creating a habit out ofthatyes and it sounds like you've done anawesome job with thatand it shows yeah and um it's it'sreally good to hear that umthis has been a positive experience forany feel that's benefited youoh yes um i wascurious what with your experience andthe symptoms that you were having wouldyou recommendthis kind of vision therapy for folks inmaybe similar situationsuh yes yeah very definitely i ithere are people you know who are leeryof such thingsespecially since this is a kind of a newway of treating thingsso i can think of a couple of friendswho i know well actually it's in acompletely different mode it's peoplewho are hard of hearingi have friends who are hard of hearingwhich say you know you know all thehairy names i either don't need them ori know too many people who don't likehearing aids and soi would be a little more elected torecommend this because you have to gointo it with a kind of a positiveattitude that it's going to bebeneficialyeah although there are certainly manyways to find outpeople's experiences besides thisinterview i mean there's a lot ofinformation out there that it isbeneficial so yeah i would certainlyrecommend itdefinitely oh i thinki got one more question for you johnwhat was your experience like workingwith dr lorenzana and her staffoh are we okay yes you are okayyeah let me say you know uh thetherapist i worked with before you meshe was she was a ratherwell let's say she was a little bitdistantuh and umshe she didn't really like to give a lotof informationso it was if you know don't worry aboutthat just do what i tell you and you'llget betterwhich is okay but one thing iespecially appreciate about you scott isishow supportive you've been and you'vegiven me a lot of encouragementand you're willing to explain things ididn't know that i was doing a brockstring exercise for 36 treatmentsuntil you i gave you the name of thingsthat i was doing yeah and i alsoappreciate howyour willingness to sort of communicateon a regular basis not just in thetherapy sessions with any questions iam actually giving guiding me things icould do at hometo perhaps improve things so yeah iappreciate that very very much yeahi would say primarily you know i totallydo right soi mean dr lorenzana has been you knowwonderful and very professional anddoing a diagnostic phaseuh the two of them i've had she was uhvery very helpful but i didn't see herreallybayata and you were the people i workedwithyeah and you know the staff out at theirdesk they'rethey're very helpful nice people so ialways enjoycoming here well that's that's reallyawesome to hear johnespecially come from you i hide you in averyhigh regard someone that'svery knowledgeable and like to me it'sbeen a privilege working with you andbeing part of this experience with youotherwiseand i definitely do it again but it itsounds like that umyou're going to be able to take thereins from here but again thatcommunication is always going to be openand if there'sanything that i can do or i'd be happyto welli'll take that under advisement becausei certainly you know thatthere i have gotten some insight intothe parallels betweenthis kind of treatment and the kind ofwork i was doing in music theory yeahand so um there may be some ways thatwe can actually complement our knowledgeboth of us benefit fromtreating the types of things we do soi'll certainly keep that your name is onmy listall right that sounds good did you haveany follow-up comments or anything youwanted toclose with any feedback ori do have a couple of things you knowvery minor thingsone is i've already mentioned that i wassort of uhi didn't know the names of things and sowhenpeople talked about them i really reallydidn't know what they were talking abouti would imagine that comes from dealingmostly with youngchildren right because the practice islargely with childrenyeah mostly patients yeah so i mean youdon't have togive names for all the kinds ofexercises they're doing whereas an adultmight be curious aboutknowing what that was and also if thisis not the fault of this ops at all someof thematerials you use need to be correctedyou need to go back to the manufacturertell them i'd be happy to be morespecific about that but these were justa fewa couple of things i know one inparticular you know i have trouble withthat that was you were vitavision whereyou hadum you had a middle click some and thenyou had the white circle and thenlike that frame wasn't there becausethen we had the position oneright that was frustrating for sure yeahbasically it wasthe the instructions where you will seetwo things and make some judgment onthose two thingsthen there would just be one thing onthe screen and sothat we cleared that up rather quicklybut stilluh it was confusing at the beginningyeah definitely yeah that'skind of a minor thing certainly wasn'tuma huge impairment to the treatment wellthat's itfair enough well again thank you foryour time john it's been great and yeahthank you for your timeshake hands on the screen