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Processing Disorders, Success Stories, Traumatic Brain Injury

Her One Goal Was Simply to Shop in a Grocery Store Again

Mind-Eye Glasses Bring Wilmington, Illinois Woman Relief – and Hope

Carol Schneider of Wilmington, Illinois had only one goal: regain her ability to walk through a grocery store, buy what she needs, and return home to make a meal for her family. But the symptoms from her traumatic brain injury – the severe depression and anxiety, the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the difficulties making decisions, and the fragile threshold for sensory overload – kept her from doing even these simple tasks.

That is until she received a very special pair of eyeglasses – brain glasses – from the Mind-Eye Institute in Northbrook, Illinois.

“During the summer of 2021, I started researching different treatments – out-of-the-box kind – for my traumatic brain injury and sensory issues. I came across the Mind-Eye Institute and went to the [Institute’s] website. There I watched videos of patients talking about their symptoms and their experiences at Mind-Eye. As I watched, I kept saying to myself, ‘That’s me; those are my symptoms,” Carol recalls.

The Mind-Eye Institute is 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 sensory manipulation creates changes in brain processing and can help patients suffering from symptoms of traumatic injury, concussion, stroke, and neurological disorders. Using light to stimulate the retina also has proven effective in building undeveloped visual processing skills in children – and adults – labeled with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other learning issues.

Environmental signals in the form of light enter the retina, which is part of the central nervous system, and eventually convert into electrical signals. Those signals propagate through neurons and interact with key brain structures that affect not just the visual cortex but other, significant regions of the brain, explains Deborah Zelinsky OD, founder and research director of the Institute.

“The mix of prescriptive lenses, filters, and prisms modifies the distribution of light on the retina. These modifications occur in both space and time, thereby altering the dynamic relationship between the mind’s retinal inputs and the body’s internal reactions and responses. The implication is that this retinal stimulation can promote changes in basic physical, physiological, and even psychological systems involved in motor control, posture, emotion, and thinking,” Dr Zelinsky says.

Now in her mid-fifties, Carol always suspected she had lingering issues related to a series of concussions that she had sustained some 40 years earlier as a teenager, “but I was managing them” — at least until serious illness occurred in her immediate family and caused her significant stress. “Then everything began flaring up at once. My life turned upside down. I developed severe depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I also began having cognitive issues and experiencing retrograde and anterograde amnesia. I could not remember how to cook. I could no longer work [as a deputy clerk in the Will County Clerk’s Office]. I forgot how to use a computer. I could not drive a car or sit down and read anything for more than 10 minutes.”

And just a trip to the grocery store often proved a nightmarish odyssey for Carol. “Just walking through the aisles of a grocery store was way too much,” Carol says. “The colors, the sounds, all the boxes [on the shelves], the movement around me – it was all so overwhelming. I would literally shut down from overstimulation, and my husband would have to get me out of the store.”

Even talking to someone for too long or riding as a passenger in a car would be enough to trigger sensory overload. “I would have to ride with my eyes closed or wear a sleep mask to block out light and the movement of passing scenery,” Carol relates.

At the Mind-Eye Institute, optometrists told Carol that “the information coming through my eyes in the form of light was not being processed appropriately by my brain, and my eyes and ears were out of sync. They said I would be prescribed brain glasses that would help re-balance my senses and activate my peripheral eyesight.”

“If central and peripheral eyesight fail to interact properly, or if eyesight and listening abilities are uncoordinated, a patient’s ability to visualize is often affected. People can become confused about their surrounding environment, have limited perception and awareness, and experience difficulties in learning, attention, reading, decision-making, posture, and balance because brain circuitry is not synchronized,” Dr. Zelinsky says. “Internal mismatches can put the body on overload and cause mental activities to suffer.”

Carol received her first pair of Mind-Eye glasses in January 2022, “and they made an almost immediate difference. I thought to myself, ‘Let’s take these [eyeglasses] for a test drive.’ So, I went to the grocery store, and, for the first time in more than a year, I was able to walk up and down the aisles without a problem. I could not believe it. I was so grateful, so thankful.”

Five months later, the glasses continue to promote improvements in her symptoms. “I can read for longer periods of time now, and my sound and light sensitivities have decreased. I can also go to a department store and shop, although I still have to do so carefully,” Carol says.

She adds, “The Mind-Eye Institute has been a lifesaver. [The team there] has given me hope. I feel like I have regained part of my life.”

Of course, Carol is realistic enough to know improvement moves forward by degrees, and she cannot simply rely on her optometrists to make it all happen. “I know recovery is a long road, and as a patient, I have to do my part in the process,” she states.

And should Carol be fortunate enough to achieve 100 percent recovery, “yes, for sure, I would love to go back to work,” she says.

The Mind-Eye Institute knows the importance of working as a team with other scientific and healthcare professionals. The Institute’s recognized expertise is in retinal processing, which can serve as a foundation for other brain functions. Although Carol Schneider has experienced significant symptomatic relief, her results are not always the norm nor are they guaranteed for every patient. Check out the Mind-Eye Institute website at www.mindeye.com for additional information.