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Success Stories, Traumatic Brain Injury

She’s Skeptical, But Drives 350 Miles Anyway to Find Relief

Now, JoAnn ‘Telling Everybody’ How Mind-Eye Glasses ‘Calmed My Brain’

JoAnn King was initially skeptical. The Mind-Eye Institute would probably prove just another dead end. Still, she drove the 350 miles anyway from her central Iowa home to the Chicago suburb of Northbrook. She was willing to do anything that could bring her relief but did not dare hope that her five years of struggles with vertigo, balance and concentration problems, and sensory overload might end in the small, nondescript clinic offices of the Mind-Eye Institute.

That was a day in May 2021. “Today, a year later, I am about 95 percent back to normal. I have my life back. I have hope; I have excitement. I can shop again, which I had been unable to do for years, and do gardening work with my daughter. I am even considering the possibility of going back out [into the world] and working again,” says JoAnn.

She calls “amazing” what the highly individualized Mind-Eye “brain” glasses and colored filters have done for her “in just a year” and says she would not be where she is now – near full recovery — had “my fears and skepticism stopped me from listening to my daughter and making that first appointment at Mind-Eye.”

In fact, JoAnn’s daughter, Emma King-Lund, is the one who first learned about the Mind-Eye Institute after reading a respected neuroscientist’s quote during one of her science classes in college.

“The scientist referred to something called the Mind-Eye Institute,” says Emma. “I wanted to check it out. So, I went to the Mind-Eye web site, looked at the patient testimonials, and saw someone who had been helped after struggling with the same unexplained vertigo my mom was experiencing. All the science behind what the Mind-Eye was doing [for patients] made sense. I encouraged my mother to contact them.”

JoAnn did – somewhat reluctantly. What followed was extensive testing and both a validation and diagnosis of JoAnn’s problems. “I was told my symptoms likely developed as the result of a concussion from earlier in my life. My eyes and ears were no longer in sync. The information coming through them did not match. The episodes of dizziness were my brain’s way of protecting itself – and me. The brain would become so overloaded and overstimulated that it would go into protective mode.”

Most important to JoAnn was the Mind-Eye Institute’s desire to help her. “They listened to me without judgment. I was a big puzzle that Dr. Zelinsky and her team were determined to figure out.”

That “Dr. Zelinsky” is optometrist Deborah Zelinsky OD, founder and research director of the Mind-Eye Institute. She and her team are internationally known for use of therapeutic eyeglasses, colored filters, and other advanced optometric tools to modify the amount, angle, and intensity of light passing through the retina, changing brain processing. These changes can often help patients suffering from symptoms of traumatic injury, concussion, stroke, and neurological disorders. Using light to activate 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.

“A 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, emotions, and thinking,” Dr Zelinsky says.

“If central and peripheral eyesight fail to interact properly, or, as in JoAnn’s case, 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, triggering the production of stress chemicals, which in turn can cause decision-making abilities to suffer.”

No argument about that from JoAnn, whose symptoms came on suddenly. “I was just relaxing, watching some television after work one day, when everything started to spin. I could not walk. I was running into walls,” JoAnn recalls. She felt better the next day and returned to the medical office where she was an employee. “But that afternoon, the dizziness returned. I was holding onto my desk for balance.”

As her symptoms progressed, JoAnn developed light and sound sensitivities – “sounds became overwhelming, and I had to construct a canopy over my desk at work to block out the fluorescent lights.” She struggled with headaches, concentration, extreme exhaustion, use of words, sudden emotional changes, and time management. “Logical next steps no longer seemed that logical anymore,” she says.

Even going to the grocery store proved too much for JoAnn’s overstimulated brain. “I would start scanning grocery shelves to find an item and have to cling to the shopping cart because I became so dizzy. And, then I would experience a headache that felt like someone was pressing down on my head. I had to get out of the store.”

The combination of symptoms eventually forced JoAnn to take short-term disability and finally quit her job entirely.

“I found a physical therapist who helped me with my balance but only to a point,” JoAnn says. “After about two years I gave up. I resigned myself to thinking that this is the way it was going to be, and I would have to manage the problems on my own.”

But daughter Emma did not give up and pushed JoAnn to what eventually would prove to be a life-renewing appointment at Mind-Eye. “My mother would say, ‘I am fine,’ but I told her, ‘You are not fine,’” Emma relates. “She would always have to plan out what she was going to do and how she was going to do it [as a way of coping with her symptoms].”

Emma is impressed by how the Mind-Eye is connecting optometry with neuroscience to bring relief to patients. The optometrists there are “taking very new developments in neuroscience and applying them to real-world situations,” she says. “I wish other optometrists would get on board so that this advanced approach could become more widely available.”

Meanwhile, Emma’s mom is “telling everybody” about the Mind-Eye Institute. “I do not understand how it (the science) all works,” JoAnn says, “but these Mind-Eye glasses have calmed my brain. Today, I can do just about everything – wash dishes, mow the yard, go for a walk, and spend time shopping or gardening with my daughter. I am so grateful.”

The Mind-Eye Institute knows the importance of working as a team with other scientific and health care professionals. The Institute’s recognized expertise is in retinal processing, which can serve as a foundation for other brain functions. Although JoAnn King 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.