In late October 2014, I was in an automobile accident where my truck was T-boned at an intersection. I started my recovery therapy a week after my accident but did not get diagnosed with a concussion until December. My physiotherapist recommended that I see Dr. Jefferies. She stated that Dr. Jefferies deals with patients who have had a concussion and would be able to assess my vision. At the appointment, Dr. Jefferies checked many aspects of my vision and determined that I required two pairs of glasses; one pair for distance and one for reading. She also recommended a program of 30 weeks of vision therapy sessions to improve my vision. After 30 sessions, my vision had dramatically improved.
Dr. Jefferies and her staff were amazing throughout my 30 sessions and I am very grateful for what they did for me. They were always pleasant, professional and I received excellent quality of care. I would recommend anyone with a concussion or other vision problem to go see Dr. Jefferies. Based on my recommendation, my Occupational Therapist has referred a number of her other patients to see Dr. Jefferies.
I suffered a concussion playing hockey and had difficulty focusing, reading, head pressure, ear ringing, dizziness and fatigue. It was noticed by my physiotherapist that my left eye was not tracking well and she recommended Dr. Jefferies. Most of the symptoms have been corrected through visual rehabilitation therapy. My focusing ability has dramatically improved, my head pressure has greatly reduced, and dizziness doesn’t occur anymore. I am also able to concentrate and read with greater efficiency. Janet, my vision therapist, was very knowledgeable and personable. She was able to push me in a positive way but remain empathetic. The home-based therapy was great but it does require motivation to continue practicing. Vision therapy is a great process for someone who is motivated to get better.
I was involved in a car accident and suffered ‘Post-Concussion Syndrome” with double vision. My symptoms included double vision, nausea, headaches, mental confusion, and inability to tolerate light or multiple sensory stimuli. I could no longer drive my car, work, participate socially, or even read basic forms. I was unable to perform any physical activity. Everything was extremely difficult. It turns out you need your vision for everything!
I found the staff to be extremely helpful, patient and understanding. Janet, my vision therapist, was fun-loving; sharing her sense of humour helped to lighten what would have been a difficult and sometimes frustrating process. Janet was extremely patient and encouraging. Dr. Jefferies was completely professional and very approachable. She was also calm, understanding and very knowledgeable.
Vision therapy has given me my life back. Headaches, nausea and the double vision are now minimal. I am able to tolerate multiple stimuli, lights and have better mental focus. I have yet to return to work but I feel confident that I will be able to do so now that my vision has improved. My recovery has been a journey and I am glad that Dr. Jefferies and Janet have been on this journey with me.
Anyone who knew me before November 21, 2013 would say I was a “supermom” and a real “go getter” with an infectious zest for life. I juggled three jobs with ease: I managed two publications for Ottawa Public Health meeting my deadlines ahead of time, I worked as an occasional teacher with the OCDSB and loved the chaos, and I was a fitness instructor with GoodLife Fitness. I also juggled two kids in competitive hockey and trained both their teams.
On November 21, 2013, my life as I knew it changed. While teaching a gym class, I was unexpectedly hit in the head with an overhead volleyball serve. I was diagnosed with a concussion following headaches, major fatigue, aversion to light and a feeling of being in a “fog” cognitively.
I was eventually referred by Dr. Marshall (at the Rehabilitation Centre of The Ottawa Hospital) to Dr. Jefferies for a “Binocular Vision Assessment” in the summer of 2014. Dr. Jefferies explained the injury had caused my brain and eyes to no longer communicate well together, which made me feel sick (dizziness, nausea, fatigue) all the time. I would require vision therapy to improve my visual processing skills and to make visual-auditory and visual-motor integration more comfortable. She indicated that the therapy would also aim to improve saccadic function for improved visual comfort and visual spatial orientation, and it would help improve my convergence function. She explained that we needed to retrain my eyes one at a time to work with my brain, and then together.
I cannot say enough about Dr. Jefferies. She is a true professional who understands brain injury patients and what is needed visually and cognitively to rehabilitate them. She is extremely knowledgeable. It did not take her long to be able to “read me” in terms of when I would “check out” cognitively during vision therapy sessions. She is beyond patient and explains things so well without making me feel like I am “slower.” She is empathetic, kind and compassionate, and her office was and continues to be one of my “safe places.”
Vision therapy is a commitment requiring daily homework to achieve the best results. Dr. Jefferies is committed 100% to her patients, and I will forever be indebted to her for all the great work and devotion she has shown me. I noticed many amazing improvements in my vision throughout Vision Therapy.. such as finally being able to sit at a computer to write a testimonial without needing to take breaks between paragraphs or requiring someone else’s help!
I required vision therapy because I suffered a severe concussion and had many vision issues such as vision distortions, dizziness and blurred vision. I also had severe daily headaches. I also could not tolerate lights, sounds or any electronic devices. After my vision therapy sessions, my vision has completely gone back to how it was before my injury. I didn’t start vision therapy until more than a year after my brain injury and I wish I had started sooner. I fully believe that vision therapy fixed me. My vision got better, my headaches went away, and I could see and feel the difference in my eyes. Vision therapy brought back the “me” I was before my brain injury. I am so very grateful to Dr. Jefferies and my vision therapist. I would recommend vision therapy to anyone!
Allen & Fran
My husband, Allen, suffered two strokes back to back which left him with many serious complications, double vision being one of them.
Dr. Kristel Jefferies saw him about five months after his stroke and identified that his double vision involved one image up high and the other image diagonally down to the opposite side. I thought this, in itself, showed an amazing ability to understand his condition. Her tests were very thorough and like nothing we had experienced before, even during our visit with a local ophthalmologist.
She prescribed prism glasses which were prepared within a couple of weeks. She also added a fresnel lens to one eye. This stopped him from seeing double vision and enabled him to see one clear image instead. She recommended that he pursued a course of vision therapy with her vision therapists, possibly for as much as 30 weeks.
The vision therapy sessions involved all sorts of exercises and he was given a book with homework to do every week. He was very committed to doing the exercises at home and I think this is what contributed to his recovery, so much so that he had fully binocular vision after 20 weeks without the aid of prism or Fresnel lenses.
Allen’s fresnel lens was changed a couple of times during this period and then when vision therapy ceased Dr. Jefferies prescribed multi-focal lenses. He feels that his vision is almost perfect now.
Without Dr. Jefferies’ incredible ability to identify his double vision and without the therapies provided by our vision therapist, my husband would probably still not be able to see. This team is the best and we are so lucky to have it in the Ottawa Valley.
STRABISMUS AND AMBLYOPIA
Teagan & Tara
From Teagan: Dr. Jefferies has been a big part of my life. She has helped me to improve my vision and now I can see in 3D. I wouldn’t be able to do all of my activities including compete in trampoline without my improved vision. I would never want to go to a different eye doctor!
From Tara (Teagan’s Mom): It is hard to quantify how significant Dr. Jefferies has been to our family. When our child was first diagnosed with amblyopia, the outlook seemed very bleak due to the severity of her condition. We started working with Dr. Jefferies because she offered us hope that our daughter could recover the vision in her weak eye. Dr. Jefferies is extremely knowledgeable about the most recent developments in vision therapy and was able to help our daughter achieve stereo vision, something that was originally thought by other health care professionals to be unachievable in our case. I recommend Dr. Jefferies as much for her ability to care for her patients as her ability to treat them. She has always shown great kindness and compassion to our child as they have worked closely together over the past 4 years. Our family is deeply grateful for the work that Dr. Jefferies has done to ensure the best results for our child’s vision.
Dr. Jefferies works with the whole family to support her patients. As we were striving to improve my child’s vision, Dr. Jefferies answered countless questions both in person and through email. I always felt that we had access to all of the latest research and resources through Dr. Jefferies. She helped me to feel empowered to help my child improve her vision by equipping me with the knowledge and materials to work with her at home. I am very proud of the progress made with my child’s vision and am grateful that Dr. Jefferies has been so accessible throughout my daughter’s treatment.
I have had a left eye turn since i was born. I had strabismus surgery when I was two years old to align the eyes, but the results were not as we had hoped and I continued to have an eye turn.
I was often questioned, or even bullied, about my eye turn growing up. This made me lose confidence and made me feel different than my peers. Direct eye contact was a major struggle for me.
I knew I had vision problems but i never understood the depth of it until I met Dr. Jefferies. She is kind, compassionate, devoted, knowledgeable and thorough with her work.
Dr. Jefferies guided me through the vision therapy process step-by-step. She taught me by the “how” and “why” of my vision and also how to make my eyes work together as a team. Learning how to control my eye turn and better my vision has been a big confidence boost. After hard work and devotion on both of our parts, I have met the goals we set for my vision at our first consultation.
I am very thankful for all that Dr. Kristel Jefferies and our Vision Therapist, Janet Howse, have done for our 9-year-old daughter. Their professional manner, as well as their regular assessment and feedback, contributed greatly to our daughter’s recovery.
When she came for an eye exam in August 2016, our daughter presented with multiple symptoms, including double vision, problems focusing her eyes, and tracking issues, all of which resulted in difficulty reading and comprehending written text. As a parent, and as an elementary school teacher, I am aware of the importance of the ability to read properly, to be able to follow a written text, so as to have an understanding of what is being read. Children with reading difficulties usually struggle in school and give up trying to read or comprehend any written information.
She needed specialized glasses with prisms in the lenses and coloured clips, which were a very good, but temporary, solution. It was recommended that we proceed with Vision Therapy, and we found that it made all the difference.
Our daughter very much enjoyed working with Janet during the weekly therapy sessions, and we worked on the exercises and activities to be done at home on a regular basis. It was not an easy process, but it had amazing, permanent results. After a few months, she no longer needed the specialized lenses and clips. She no longer had double vision and had started to enjoy reading again.
With the professional and caring guidance of Dr. Jefferies and Janet, she has now completed her therapy and is able to focus her eyes, read with precision, and comprehend what she is reading, as her eyes are able to work together properly, and not skip words or lines of text.
I would strongly recommend Vision Therapy with Dr. Jefferies to anyone with vision issues, including post-concussion. As a parent, and as a teacher, the ability to read properly is immeasurable and can affect not only the enjoyment of reading, but also all aspects of learning and a child’s overall success at school.