Your body can tell where it is in space with the help of three things: Your proprioceptive system (touch), your vestibular system (balance and spatial orientation), and your ocular system (sight). They function together like a three-legged stool: If one system is damaged or weakened, your sense of space topples over and causes you to not feel comfortable in space, or worse.
As an optometrist, Dr. Collins concentrates on the ocular system, but she does not neglect the other systems when treating patients who she realizes may have problems with them. For instance, patients with problematic vestibular systems may suffer from certain background sounds and overwhelming noise, and Dr. Collins in some cases may recommend that they use noise-reducing (or noise-cancelling) headphones. Such headphones can help a patient focus cognitively and focus their energies on the ocular system. They can also serve as a component of an individual’s therapy after a concussion or other brain injury.
Some patients will benefit from using the headphones most of the day. Others can keep them on in certain situations when many people are talking at once, such as at a crowded restaurant or at a family get-together. School and work can also be very overwhelming, with distracting fluorescent lights and the buzz of computers causing constant irritation. In such cases, noise-reducing headphones can allow one to concentrate, use a computer, and read uninterrupted for longer periods of time. For some patients, they can also prove beneficial while driving, especially as they would not block out the noises of a person talking directly to the patient, or of a car horn.
Noise-reducing headphones can be purchased through Kissel Eye Care or elsewhere. While high-quality headphones are not inexpensive, they can pay for themselves many times over in the sense of comfort and overall wellness that they can provide a patient who suffers from noise.