Specific eye movement exercises are prescribed for each patient and tailored to address their individualized neurological dysfunction. The following eye movements are measured and used as treatment therapies to rehabilitate problematic brain pathways:
To focus properly and maintain attention the brain must stabilize the gaze of the eyes, and control eye movement. Gaze stability deficiencies are one of the most common deficits seen in neuro-development disorders and decreased brain function.
Pursuits are slow and steady eye movements involved in tracking a moving object. The quality of smooth pursuits are essential to activities of daily living and everyday tasks. These are particularly important in reading and playing sports. Eye smooth pursuit mechanisms are used every time a person tracks or follows an object. Eye movement deficits can help in diagnosis by localizing the specific, minute area of neurological compromise which can then lead to proper rehabilitation of the decreased brain function and symptoms.
Saccades are fast eye movements which shift a person’s gaze from one object to another. Saccades can help determine the level of frontal lobe and brainstem function. The quality of movement of saccades must be fast and accurate. Saccades are also used in reading when shifting from one line of text to the next. If the quality of saccades is diminished, it can cause it to be difficult to read and retain information.
As the surrounding visual environment passes by, this eye movement that allows for continued proper vision. When OPKs are dysfunctional it can indicate poor brain function. Rightward OPK is generated by the right brain and leftward OPK is generated by the left brain. The quality of the OPK response can help us determine which hemisphere, or side of the brain, is not functioning optimally.
Vestibular Ocular Reflex
The vestibular ocular reflex should cause the eyes to move equally to the amount of head movement in the opposite direction. This reflex is poorly developed in children with neuro-developmental disorders.