Has Headway finally recognised optometry. - Headway


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Has Headway finally recognised optometry.

pinkvision profile image

I kicked up a bit of fuss before about optometry and how effective it was dealing with visual issues and greatly reducing fatigue. I asked on this site if Headway would look into it and recommend it for people.

I am active on an American TBI site on facebook called 'The Ghost in My Brain' which deals mainly with visual issues after TBI. Below is a reply I got from someone in the UK looking to solve visual issues. This confirms that Headway is now giving advice about optometry. Could someone from Headway, a 'moderator', confirm this on this site. There are so many people who either don't know about this option or are too afraid to try it because it is not generally recognised by the NHS and think it is some kind of voodoo.

Thank you for your reply.

I was told about the BABO and Clive Elliot a few weeks ago from Headway, a charity for head injuries. A kind lady called me for free from Headway and we had a chat.

13 Replies

About time! X

Fingers crossed. It's been used for at least 30 years with fantastic results in the US.

headwayuk profile image

Hi Pinkvision,

Many thanks for raising this. We're aware of people having good outcomes from optometry so have been giving information about it through our helpline where appropriate. This is always alongside other approaches as recommended by the NHS.

As yet we haven't had chance to put together any further information on the subject but please be assured it's something we are aware of and will look at in more detail when we can. We're currently quite thin on the ground staff-wise as a result of this difficult period, so apologies that some things are taking longer than usual.

Best wishes,


pinkvision profile image
pinkvision in reply to headwayuk

Andrew, thanks.This is such good news. Apologies for being a pain in the butt with this. Following my experience with this and hearing from others in the UK and from the US and Canada and Holland there is something quite extraordinary going on in the field of neuro-optometrics. You could ask BABO themselves for information or talk to John Glover in Stockport or better still Dr William Padula and Dr Deborah Zelinski in the States. I'll attach a few links.

Thanks again this will make a difference for many people with helping to solve visual and fatigue issues. The release of cognitive and physical fatigue after visual treatment is phenomenal and is often instantaneous with just putting the glasses on.





The Cardiff school of optometry also have a testing service in their vision centre which is open to the public. May be you could look into a collaborative project with them.

Thanks again

twice profile image
twice in reply to pinkvision

This is great news about the glasses Well done to you

Amber-11 profile image
Amber-11 in reply to pinkvision

I am hoping to do go to Cardiff for help. my light sensitivity which triggers migrianes has got worse as lights have got brighter, and this limits me more socially as so many places have unshaded lights.

Compared to lights 10 years ago, LED lights are much brighter, a radio 4 programme said the lumens had increased by 300%; and supermarkets lights affected people's meletonium for several hours, after only 20 mins in a supermarket.I am not sure I can be helped as it is migriane/ headache as a direct result of tbi and rta, but it would be good to improve by glasses, and I think of going to Cardiff once the pandemic is better.

My other main trigger since tbi is migraines triggered by movement and exertion. I were dark glasses and a broad brimmed hat indoors unless the lighting is shaded and not bright.

Someone said there are new glasses for computer screens and blue light that have just been developed, he worked for a mobile phone company and got migrianes.

Sorry poor typing .

Amber-11 profile image
Amber-11 in reply to Amber-11

But even with the dark glasses and hat the lights are too bright, I also shut my eyes and sit down a lot, I really wish this did not happen. People do not like me wearing the hat glasses

pinkvision profile image
pinkvision in reply to Amber-11

Hi Amber. Issues with indoor lighting is a different ballgame from sunlight and daylight in general. Both LED and fluorescent lights are frequency lights, they flicker on an off between 40 and 60 times a second. The higher the flicker the brighter they are. You have to deal with the brightness and the flicker, the blue tints is to filter out certain wavelengths for general use. This does not solve the bright or flicker issue for people with BI. It seems people with BI can't process the flicker. For most normal people the flicker above 40 per second is imperceptable, but people with BI get a bad reaction to this. I have spoken to a friend of mine in the engineering department of my local university and asked him to try and solve the issue. Covid has stopped this for the moment but hopefully he will get on it when everything calms down. We have an idea on what to do but need to try it out first.

A really good idea would be to change the lighting in your house. Most of the modern lighting is LED and still some fluorescent, basically all tube lighting is frequency lighting. See if you can get lighting that emits a constant stream of light. Ask a local specialist for non frequency lighting. Get a few bulbs and try it out, then change if you need to just to see what happens. That's what I did.

Since getting my daylight glasses for visual issues, two different types over two and a half years the visual strain has reduced enormously. I was like you with indoor lights but the glasses had such a good effect with daylight that I think my visual processing improved and my time with indoor lighting is now longer. I basically avoided all these kinds of lighting when I was bad. I even arranged with the hospital to have any appointments first in the session. I would just turn up and go straight in at the time given to avoid waiting. You could also ask people to shop for you, the staff a a supermarket will do this for you if you show them your Headway card and explain the problem.

headwayuk profile image
headwayukAdministrator in reply to pinkvision

Hi, thanks very much for all this information. I was reminded by a colleague that we do mention this briefly in our vision factsheet so hopefully alongside the information from our helpline, that's something that will get people started. As I say we'll look into it further when we get to reviewing our information and your links will really help with that.

Thanks again,


pinkvision profile image
pinkvision in reply to headwayuk

Thanks I am grateful to you.

There's a BABO optometrist in Central Scotland, she's helped me alot. NHS normal practice and shop alongside specialist clinic as its not funded or recognized by them. Emma Drewery. Very pleasant lady.

I had a full optometry going over with the optometry department at Glasgow Calendonian University late 2019.The department is open to the public provided you don't mind students being present during the tests, they carry out some of the tests under supervision and the whole process takes around 3 hours. The clinic was brain injury specific.

I already have Irlen lenses after going through the intuitive colourometry tests via a high street optometrists in 2015 but wanted a full post TBI assessment. I just phoned the department and it took around a 6 month wait.

I found the whole experience worthwhile and was given some eye exercises to do at home.

The dyslexia and photosensitivity aside the professor there told me my 'eye apparatus' was good for someone my age but mentioned that the speed of processing visual info was a bit slow.

He seems very up to date on brain injury related optical issues.

There are three behavioural optometrists in Scotland with brain injury experience that I know of; Aberdeen, Oban and Bridge of Allan. You can pm me if you want their contact details as well as the guy at Glasgow Cally Uni.

Good info. The Caledonian University option, like Cardiff Uni, offering these is also good for further research. The important thing is to keep informing people that there's another weapon in the arsenal in the fight against BI symptoms.

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