Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to adapt and change as a response to new experiences. Modern medical science has established that the brain can change and adapt long after it has developed. This allows the human brain to create new structural and functional pathways each time the individual learns something new. Thoughts, feelings, and actions help build new pathways.
Neuroplasticity is the ability of the nervous system to change, modify, or adapt throughout an individual’s lifetime. Also known as brain plasticity, it is highest during childhood. The changes in function and structure occur as a response to experiences.
The system creates or modifies neural pathways. This allows cells within the nervous system (neurons) to communicate with each other. The response is vital for the development of memory and learning new skills.
A child is not born with a fully developed visual system. Visual experiences over the first two years of a baby’s life shape the neural structure of the visual system. The child begins to develop eye teaming during the first few months, which impacts eye-hand coordination.
By eight months, the child begins to develop depth perception. By the time the child is one year, the visual skills have improved drastically. Any abnormal visual experience in the child’s formative years can affect visual system development. Such conditions include amblyopia and strabismus.
A child’s brain is highly plastic, making correction of vision disorders easier. These disorders include amblyopia, strabismus, and binocular vision. An adult’s visual system is less plastic, making it hard to correct abnormal visual experiences.
Adults who suffer brain injuries or a stroke need rehabilitation to enhance the plasticity of the visual system. Various factors that improve this therapy include:
Challenging new tasks and exercise
Getting adequate sleep
Eating a healthy diet
Neuroplasticity is instrumental in neuro-optometric rehabilitation and vision therapy. The ability to retrain the brain makes rehabilitation possible. Strengthening and improving the brain-eye neural connections stimulates the nerves that help with visual skills performance.
These include skills such as:
Patients with vision problems or reduced visual skills can enjoy this therapy.
Vision therapy retrains the brain to create new neural pathways. Neuro-optometrists help patients improve their vision. The goal of therapy is to improve and strengthen the brain-eye neural connections.
Patients with eye misalignment or binocular vision dysfunction can significantly benefit from this therapy. It works by stimulating the nerves involved with visual skills performance. The skills include focusing, eye tracking, stereopsis, and convergence.
Neuro-optometry benefits individuals who have suffered the effects of head injuries or traumatic brain injuries (TBI). These include concussions after strokes, car accidents, falls, and other incidents.
Patients with damaged visual skills can get help from specialized prism lenses, visual exercises, and other therapeutic devices. Vision therapists customize treatment plans for each patient.
For more on neuroplasticity and vision therapy, visit Holistic Vision. Our office is in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Call (267) 500-9600 to book an appointment today.