Welcome to the Visual System Center
The human visual system is complex. The problems that can develop in our visual system require a variety of treatment options.
Visual conditions we treat include:
- 3D/Stereo Vision
- Acquired Brain Injury
- ADD/ADHD & Vision
- Amblyopia or Lazy Eye
- Autism & Vision
- Blurred Vision
- Diplopia & Double Vision
- Dyslexia & Vision
- Focusing Problems
- Hyperopia or Farsightedness
- Learning Problems
- Sports Vision
- Strabismus or Crossed Eyes
- Traumatic Brain Injury
About Our Expert
Trent Cole, O.D.
Dr. Cole is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Practice Management, Inc. Dr. Cole has been practicing comprehensive eye care in Minnesota for 15 years. He provides comprehensive eye care at all three locations in Oakdale, Cottage Grove and Woodbury. Dr. Cole is passionate about providing neuro-optometric rehabilitative vision therapy to adult and pediatric populations with binocular vision dysfunction.
Dr. Cole serves as a vision consultant resource for numerous local school districts and is a resource for Children’s Hospital Occupational Therapy services. He is co-founder of the Minnesota Vision Coalition, which works to improve children’s vision through legislation in Minnesota. Locally, Dr. Cole serves on the Executive and Education board of the Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Cole is a member of the American Optometric Association, Minnesota Optometric Association, College of Optometrists in Vision and Development and Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association.
Dr. Cole loves to spend time with his children, being outdoors and traveling.
Comprehensive Eye Exam
We provide comprehensive eye exams for children and adults. We recommend all children have their first eye exam between the ages of 6 months to one year, then again at age 3, then before entering school, and finally every 1 to 2 years throughout childhood and young adulthood. Regular eye exams are important for everybody, regardless of your age or your need for visual correction. During a comprehensive eye exam, we will not only check your need for glasses or contacts, but also evaluate your entire visual system and do a full ocular health examination. There are many underlying visual deficiencies that the patient may be unaware of and can only be detected in a comprehensive eye exam. Also, many ocular and systemic diseases are symptom free and are diagnosed for the first time during an eye exam. We recommend eye exams every 1 to 2 years for all patients up to age 40. After age 40, we recommend annual eye exams.
Vision is a dynamic process that involves the integration of the brain, eyes and body. During the initial evaluation, I will evaluate refractive status (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism), test distance and near visual acuity and screen for signs of amblyopia or strabismus (crossed or lazy eyes). A complete assessment of the internal and external health of the eyes will take place.
Binocular Vision Exam
- Distance Vision: visual acuity (sharpness, clearness) at 20 feet distance.
- Near Vision: visual acuity for short distance (specifically, reading distance).
- Focusing Skills: the ability of the eyes to maintain clear vision at all distances.
- Eye Tracking and Fixation Skills: the ability of the eyes to accurately and efficiently follow a line of print.
- Binocular Fusion: the ability to maintain single vision.
- Stereopsis: the ability to experience depth perception and peripheral vision.
- Convergence: the ability of the eyes to aim, move and work as a coordinated team.
- Color Vision: the ability to differentiate colors.
Visual Evoked Potential
The purpose of these tests is to provide comprehensive information to assist your doctor in better planning your treatment (if needed) and monitoring the results.
VEP measures the electrical activity in the vision system. When light from an image enters your eye, it is converted into electrical energy at the retina and travels through the optic nerve to the visual cortex of the brain which processes vision. The Diopsys® NOVA-VEP test measures the strength of the signal reaching your visual cortex and how fast it gets there. The VEP technology helps determine how your eyes communicate with your brain in a way that no other instrument or vision test can.
Visual Processing Evaluation
Visual processing disorder refers to a reduced ability to make sense of information taken in through the eyes. This is different from problems involving sight or sharpness of vision. Difficulties with visual processing affect how visual information is interpreted or processed. A person with visual processing problems may have 20/20 vision but may have difficulties discriminating foreground from background, forms, size, and position in space. The person may be unable to synthesize and analyze visually presented information accurately or fast enough. The eyes look and the brain sees.
Vision therapy is a sequence of neurosensory and neuromuscular activities individually prescribed and monitored by the doctor to develop, rehabilitate and enhance visual skills and processing. The vision therapy program is based on the results of a comprehensive eye examination or consultation, and takes into consideration the results of standardized tests, the needs of the patient, and the patient’s signs and symptoms. The use of lenses, prisms, filters, occluders, specialized instruments, and computer programs is an integral part of vision therapy. The length of the therapy program varies depending on the severity of the diagnosed conditions, typically ranging from several months to longer periods of time. Activities paralleling in-office techniques are typically taught to the patient to be practiced at home, thereby reinforcing the developing visual skills.
Vision therapy is prescribed to treat diagnosed conditions of the visual system. Effective therapy requires visual skills to be developed until they are integrated with other systems and become automatic, enabling individuals to achieve their full potential. The goals of a prescribed vision therapy treatment regimen are to achieve desired visual outcomes, alleviate the signs and symptoms, meet the patient’s needs, and improve the patient’s quality of life.
Determine specific visual dysfunctions a patient is experiencing post ABI Design an individualized treatment program to improve daily function and patient’s quality of life Rehabilitation of not only eyesight but entire vision process.
An individualized treatment regimen that rehabilitates the entire visual system; from the eye and surrounding structures to rehabilitation and management of sensory processing, integration of visual sensation with input from other senses, organization of sensory input into visual percepts and the use of these percepts to support cognitive function.
Sports Vision Enhancement Training
Sports vision training works on improving the visual abilities of an athlete that are most necessary for excellence in their sport. Some of these abilities include eye-hand coordination, dynamic visual acuity, tracking, focusing, visual reaction time, and peripheral vision. All activities are done on a sport-specific basis with a custom-tailored program for each sport and athlete. Therefore, a program for a tennis player will emphasize eye-hand coordination and dynamic visual acuity, whereas a program for a golfer will concentrate on visual alignment and depth perception to see the breaks in the greens.
Many athletes are amazed at how we can predict their performance based on our findings from a visual screening. If you are having trouble getting to the next level in your particular sport, even after stepping up your practice, you might have a visual problem limiting your success.
Carey W. (patient's mother)
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