What you need to know about traumatic brain injury

All AOA members can now access brain injury manual

With increased awareness of traumatic brain injury (TBI), the AOA's Vision Rehabilitation Section has developed the new Brain Injury Electronic Resource Manual (BIERM). The manual, developed over six years, is a comprehensive resource to aid optometrists in evaluating patients with brain injury.

"The document offers clinical pearls and advanced evaluation techniques."

The manual is now available online to all AOA members.

"For the best patient outcomes, optometrists need to be involved with the rehabilitation team," said Maria Santullo Richman, O.D., member of the committee that developed the manual and chair of the AOA's Vision Rehabilitation Section. "In the past, few optometrists were on staff at hospitals or in rehabilitation centers. We wouldn't see these patients until much later in their care continuum. That's changing, and this manual reflects the optometrist's role in the rehabilitation model."

Clinical pearls for practicing ODs
"We took a hard look at research and clinical guidance on diagnosis of TBI," Dr. Richman said. "In turn, the document offers clinical pearls and advanced evaluation techniques for working with brain-injured patients."

The first section of the BIERM focuses on evaluation and assessment of common visual conditions associated with TBI, including binocular vision, accommodative, and eye movement disorders. To make it easier to use, it includes helpful elements such as a glossary, lists of commonly used equipment and an overview of the numerous tests involved in evaluation.

The work does not stop with the first volume.  A second volume in development will focus on treatment and management of brain-injured patients over time.

"Many ODs are already involved in caring for patients with brain injury, but there is still a lot of opportunity for others," Dr. Richman said. "Through this manual, we hope to make it easier for optometrists to help these patients—and give them a better quality of life."

For more information on TBI and other areas of vision rehabilitation, contact the AOA Vision Rehabilitation Section.

June 18, 2014

comments powered by Disqus