I was a world competitive figure skater that suffered three concussions in three consecutive weeks. Embarrassingly, only one of them was due to a fall on a quadruple jump while training. My symptoms ranged from: double vision, dizziness, debilitating anxiety, depression, memory loss, confusion, and the list goes on. I had no idea I had such severe double vision until I started my vision therapy with Margaret. I was prescribed prism glasses at the start of the therapy. They literally got me back on my feet due to the dizziness I felt.
My brain just couldn’t process some basic functions most people don’t think about. I couldn’t communicate with people very well. Everyone spoke Chinese to me while they said I spoke Chinese to them. I couldn’t comprehend body language or facial expressions. One of the problems I didn’t realize I had was when I looked someone in the eye, their face would start moving and separating in the middle. I was constantly on edge and felt like everyone and everything was threatening my life. My reality as I had known it had completely shattered. I could barely walk, I couldn’t socialize with friends, it got so bad that I couldn’t leave my bed for months. I had lost everything!
The vision therapy helped me return very slowly to living my life. Even though I’m still recovering emotionally from three years of this torture, I have my life back. I feel like me again and not like a scared little squirrel all the time. I will admit that this therapy was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but I did it! I’m not trapped in a dark room anymore! I kept fighting by doing my vision exercises every single day. Now that I’m on the other side of the tunnel, I get to raise awareness of concussions and how they can be treated. I’m in a great position to help people who don’t know what’s wrong with them.
If someone is struggling long after they receive a concussion, they’re not going crazy. Nobody believed my symptoms were real. Even the people close to me thought I was exaggerating or just “being a baby”. The first person to understand was when I got my vision evaluated by Dr. Watt. I’m so lucky to have had such a supportive team, they were determined to NEVER let me say, “I’ll never get better”.
For nearly 50 years I have lived with various issues concerning my eyes: extreme nearsightedness, glasses, contacts, cataracts, dry eye- things that got better when I saw a doctor. In the last 10 years, I sporadically experienced double vision, severe headaches, couldn’t drive safely at night, difficulty merging in traffic (I couldn’t tell which lane the oncoming car was in), often missed that last step of the stairs, and many trips and falls, some even quite injurious. Numerous doctors gave me some relief, but it didn’t last.
When I experienced some traumatic life experiences, including an extremely stressful and active job, my brain finally said ENOUGH! The symptoms became debilitating: constant double vision, severe headaches, exhaustion from lack of sleep, stress, frustration, depression. I was broken. It took hitting bottom to allow me to look “outside the box” for help. An internet search brought me to Impact Vision Therapy. For the first time, a doctor was confident that he could help me GET BETTER! Dr. Watt explained the process of re-teaching by brain and everything made sense. I walked out of that initial visit feeling overwhelming relief that he could help me and didn’t think I was crazy or just OLD.
My therapists, Michelle and Margaret, really understood how difficult it was for me. Their positive attitude helped me through the ups and downs. Not only were they teaching me, but they were also cheering me on with support. I looked forward to my weekly sessions and often, a good dose of laughter. Thank you, so much, ladies!
Vision therapy has given me confidence and independence. I can safely drive longer distances at night, which my husband is very thankful for. I cherish being able to use both eyes at a theatrical performance! I am less stressed and have more energy, which makes me happier and extremely grateful. It is so AMAZING to see depth- the mountains, nature- it is like living in a Magic Picture every day! WOW! Vision therapy was an investment in myself. It is the best thing I have done in my entire life. I look forward to the next 20+ years!
You CAN teach an adult brain new tricks! I’ve had issues with dizziness and my vision for 13 years (a situation that began shortly after severe sinus infection with fever). I went to a number of specialists, but Dr. Watt saw something that no one else had seen. My eyes and brain were not working together well.
Some of the things I have dealt with over the years: headaches; blurry and sometimes double vision; feeling like I was on a boat even while standing still; images looking doubled, or as if they didn’t exactly line up; unable to drive long distances without my eyes getting extremely tired and blurry (this effect would last of r hours after I had stopped driving); visual overload in crowds or while looking at anything busy.
I never realized my eyes were each fighting to see, instead of working together as a team. Through the vision therapy at their office and the daily homework (yes, you have homework- give yourself the best chance to succeed and don’t skip it!) Dr. Watt and the amazing Sheila helped me retrain my brain and eyes to work together. Sometimes I could see a definite change during just one exercise.
Dr. Watt truly cares about his patients and his desire to improve the quality of life for each one of them is extremely evident. He thinks outside the box. Sheila was wonderful to work with, and very encouraging, especially when I had challenging days. She was patient and really took the time to individualize a program for me.
I am so thankful for this team and how they helped me. I rarely have headaches or double vision now, I feel more balanced, and I can function much more effectively, being able to make sense of what I’m seeing.
If you are an adult and think it’s too late for you, it’s not! Your brain is amazing and can do great new things!-Angie
Adult, Strabismus, Acquired Brain Injury
I had a stroke on Father’s Day 2015 that left me with double vision and corresponding loss of depth perception. I could not drive and had to patch one of my eyes in order to work. Fortunately I was able to get an appointment with my optometrist before the end of June. He prescribed prism glasses to help with the double vision, in fact, I needed three pairs of glasses because the degree of double vision varied by distance. With the prism glasses, I was able to see in order to drive again, but because I could not accurately judge distance, I never felt comfortable behind the wheel. Understanding the demands of my career, my optometrist recommended that I contact Impact Vision Therapy in the hopes that I could get back to my original prescription. My job requires that I read and process information very quickly, travel to customer sites for presentations, and create reports for leadership teams across my company. I met with Dr. Watt in mid-July. He confirmed the diagnosis “Alternating Esotropia with Diplopia”. Basically, my eyes no longer worked together so they were sending inconsistent images to my brain and since my brain had relied on input from both eyes for over 50 years, the result was double vision. Dr. Watt was very patient with my questions and optimistic that vision therapy exercises would help me learn how to see without the aid of prisms. My therapists, Kathy and Margaret, were so patient and kind and full of encouragement as I was often discouraged with my progress. I just wanted my eyes to work! There were a couple of plateaus during my seven month journey, and just as I was ready to accept the reality of my situation, Kathy and Margaret would use a different activity that would help me understand what I needed to do to continue improving. I am happy to report that I am able to see without the aid of prisms and can even enjoy 3-D movies! I will forever be thankful for the team at Impact Vision Therapy. -Melody
Adult, Balance Issues, Vertigo, Dizziness
I suffered from dizziness every day for 9 months, and no doctor could figure out what was causing it. A physical therapist recommended I try a visual therapy practice, and that is how I ended up with Dr. Watt. It makes perfect sense that “physical therapy” for your eyes would work just like it does for the rest of your body. I can’t tell you how happy I have been with the results of my therapy. My visual therapist, Margaret, was awesome!! I feel the evaluation and my treatment plan was explained thoroughly and have been so impressed with all Impact Vision Therapy has done for me! I would highly recommend them to anyone!
I had a car accident that resulted in a double concussion. I became sensitive to light so my husband had to put blankets over all our windows. I couldn’t drive, watch TV, text, work on my computer, listen to music, or talk on the phone. All I could do was lay in the dark, motionless with an extreme headache, nauseated, and dizzy. After a few weeks, I was afraid I would never be able to go back to work or live my life, my normal life, again.
After 6 months of chiropractic care, neuro-feedback therapy and skull therapy, Dr. Chris Castor at Manual Edge advised me to have my vision checked. He referred me to Dr. Tom Wilson, Pine Creek Vision Clinic.
Dr. Wilson tested my eyes and couldn’t believe how off the chart my double vision was. I was thinking, “What?! No wonder I am still so tired and dizzy!” My brain was working so hard to compensate for my weak eyes. I didn’t even realize I was seeing double! The first time I put on my prescribed prism glasses was like I was seeing everything in high definition. That brought some immediate relief. He referred me to Dr. Joshua Watt, Impact Vision Therapy. I came into Dr. Watt’s office still weak while experiencing headaches and dizziness if I did very much. I felt comfortable with him as he combined humor with his expertise telling me the results of the testing he performed. It was so interesting to hear how my brain and eyes needed to build a healthy relationship. I felt hopeful and was ready to begin vision therapy.
Dr. Watt, therapists, and office staff were always so encouraging to me. The therapy was hard work. Sometimes I wondered if I really was getting well. Then when I would have a progress check up with Dr. Watt, I would see the progress I was making each time. This spurred me on to work even harder. It has been 11 months since my accident. I am back at my job doing better than ever. I’m mountain climbing again doing all the things I love to do. I even just got back from taking our grandkids to Disneyworld. My eyes are actually better now than they were before the concussion!
I am so thankful for Dr. Watt’s practice. I truly believe it was the final piece of the puzzle to my concussion healing.