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Success Stories, Traumatic Brain Injury

‘Hard to Believe!’ Glasses Aid Full Recovery from Head Injury

Patient calls Mind-Eye Science ‘Cutting Edge’ and the Brainwear ‘Magical’

Can a pair of eyeglasses relieve symptoms of a head injury so completely that the patient feels 100 percent – maybe, 110 percent – recovered within a matter of just months?

For Eleanor Thomas of Ingleside, Illinois, the answer is yes. Eleanor says the eyeglasses prescribed by the Mind-Eye Institute – Brainwear -- completely relieved the fatigue, light and sound sensitivities, headaches, and concentration problems that vexed her for several years following a concussion.
“When I compare how I feel and what I can do today with my life before the injury, I have to say I am 100 percent back to my normal self. In fact, I think I feel even better than I did before my injury,” smiles Eleanor, who calls the Mind-Eye glasses “magical” and describes the science practiced by the Mind-Eye team as “cutting edge.”

Indeed, the Mind-Eye Institute, based in Northbrook, Illinois, is an advanced optometric practice, internationally known for its use of therapeutic eyeglasses and other advanced optometric tools to manipulate the amount, angle, and intensity of light passing through the retina. Such manipulation can create changes in the brain function of patients struggling with the symptoms of traumatic head injury, concussion, stroke, and neurological disorders. Retinal stimulation also has proven effective in building undeveloped visual processing skills in children – and adults – with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other learning difficulties.

Environmental signals (in the form of light) enter the retina and convert to electrical signals, which propagate through neurons and interact with key brain structures. These retinal signals affect not only the visual cortex but other, significant regions of the brain as well, linking with structures like the midbrain, thalamus, hypothalamus, and brainstem, says Eleanor’s optometrists Carla Adams, OD and Deborah Zelinsky, OD. Dr. Zelinsky is founder and research director of the Mind-Eye Institute and a globally recognized retinal processing expert.

“Optical interventions, such as highly individualized eyeglass lenses, can selectively stimulate retinal activity, thereby influencing retinal processing and brain function and re-integrating a person’s senses, especially eyes and ears,” explains Dr. Adams.
Eleanor knew something was wrong a few months after striking her head on a door frame while exiting a rental car in the spring of 2019. “I was dizzy and a bit confused when the accident first occurred but did not experience a lot of other symptoms – at least, not right away. At the time, I was not even thinking I had just suffered a concussion.”

But over time, “I realized I was not feeling like myself and eventually thought, ‘something is horribly wrong.’ I was becoming extremely fatigued, out of breath, by simply going up and down stairs as if I had just run a mile. In fact, any kind of exertion – physical or mental – tired me. I would get so sleepy that I would fall asleep in the middle of the day.”

Eleanor developed debilitating headaches, light and sound sensitivities, brain fog, concentration problems, and time-management difficulties. “I had a hard time keeping track of things and juggling multiple responsibilities” – all of which affected her work as a data analyst. “Fortunately for me, I had just started working from home, so I was able to cope with these symptoms.”

Most distressing to Eleanor was the inability to exercise regularly, including participation in her favorite hobby – riding horses dressage-style. Dressage is often called the “ballet of horseback riding” because rider and horse perform a series of movements, prepared and predetermined through careful training. “I have two horses stabled in Wisconsin and had to call the trainer several times a week to cancel my sessions because I just did not feel well enough to ride.”

Eleanor at first thought she might be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, but, finally, in 2020, a specialist queried her about a possible past head injury. “At that point, I started putting two and two together.”
Eleanor was in the process of researching her symptoms on the Internet, when she came across the book The Ghost in My Brain, from which she learned about the Mind-Eye Institute. Written by DePaul University Chicago professor Clark Elliott PhD, the book details the “painful, cognitive nightmare” Dr. Elliott experienced for eight years following a car crash and describes the symptomatic relief he attained from the advanced science practiced at the Mind-Eye Institute and at Designs for Strong Minds in Highland Park, Illinois.

At her first appointment at the Mind-Eye Institute, Eleanor underwent extensive testing, including evaluation of her ability to reach out and touch a ringing bell with eyes closed. Called the Z-Bell Test™, the patented, Mind-Eye diagnostic tool helps determine whether the environment is in sync or plain confusing for a patient. A Mind-Eye optometrist puts different lenses and colored filters across the patient’s closed eyes until the patient can touch the bell. Even with eyes closed, light stimulates the retina.
Using individualized changes with brain glasses is what oftentimes brings relief to patients experiencing the headaches, brain fog, concentration and attention difficulties, and constant fight-or-flight stress due to brain injury or genetic mutations and disease. “It makes sense, since each person’s brain differs,” Dr. Zelinsky notes.

“Visual processing, when intact, enables people to understand and interact appropriately with the world around them. However, if brain circuitry is not synchronized because it is underdeveloped or, as in Eleanor Thomas’ case, disrupted by trauma or disease, people can become confused about their surrounding environment and exhibit inappropriate reactions and responses. If eyes and ears are not integrated, people have to continuously shift attention, and that effort becomes exhausting,” Dr. Zelinsky explains.

What amazes Eleanor is how quickly she was able to adjust to her Mind-Eye glasses. “Within three months of receiving that first pair of “brain” glasses, “my system changed dramatically.” Today, Eleanor reports being completely free of the concussive symptoms that plagued her.
When starting her journey to recovery, “I could not have imagined I would get back to where I was [before the head injury] and feel even better,” Eleanor says. ”Hard to believe a pair of glasses could make such a difference.”

Although Eleanor Thomas reports progressive symptom relief, her experience is not always the norm, nor is it guaranteed for every patient. Check out the Mind-Eye Institute at www.mindeye.com for additional information.