There’s a lot more to a properly functioning visual system than just having 20/20 eyesight.
Some visual conditions cannot be treated adequately with just glasses, contact lenses, or patching. These conditions are best resolved through a program of Vision Therapy.
What is Vision Therapy?
Vision Therapy is an individualized, supervised, treatment program designed to correct visual-motor and/or perceptual-cognitive deficiencies. The Program is prescribed by our optometrist. The activities and training is administered by one of our Vision Therapists. The program includes procedures designed to enhance the brain’s ability to control:
- eye alignment
- eye teaming
- eye focusing abilities
- eye movements / tracking
- eye-hand coordination
- visual processing
Visual-motor skills and endurance are developed through the use of specialized computer and optical devices, including therapeutic lenses, prisms, and filters. During the final phase of therapy, the patient’s newly acquired visual skills are reinforced and made automatic through repetition and by integration with motor and cognitive skills.
Who benefits from Vision Therapy?
Children and adults with visual challenges, such as:
- Learning-related Vision Problems
Vision Therapy can help those individuals who lack the necessary visual skills for effective reading, writing, and learning (i.e., eye movement / tracking, focusing skills, convergence insufficiency, accommodative fatigue, eye-hand coordination, visual memory skills, etc.).
- Poor Binocular Coordination
Vision Therapy helps individuals develop normal coordination and teamwork of the two eyes (binocular vision). When the two eyes fail to work together as an effective team, performance in many areas can suffer (reading, sports, depth perception, eye contact, etc.).
- Strabismus (Crossed Eyes, Eye Turns) and Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
Vision Therapy programs offer much higher cure rates for eye turns and/or lazy eye when compared to eye surgery, glasses, and/or patching, without therapy. The earlier the patient receives Vision Therapy the better, however, our office successfully treats patients of all ages.
- Stress-induced Difficulties – Blurred Vision, Eyestrain, Headaches, Dizziness, etc.
21st century life demands more from our vision than ever before. Many children and adults constantly use their near vision at school, work and home. Environmental stresses on the visual system (including excessive use of computer, tablet, phone, or any digital device) can induce blurred vision, eyestrain, headaches, etc.
- Developmental / Behavioral Challenges (ADHD, Dyslexia, etc.)
Vision Therapy proves to be very beneficial for patients suffering from Developmental Delays, Visual Perceptual Visual-Motor Deficits, Attention Deficit Disorders (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Dyslexia. Many children suffering from ADHD or Dyslexia symptoms mimic the same symptoms of very common vision problems. In fact, a significant number of the patients who we work with exhibit dyslexic-type symptoms. Many of these kids have problems with reversals, omitting letters, repetitions, or transpositions when reading or writing. These symptoms seem like dyslexia to an observer. But after we address the underlying issue (convergence insufficiency, accommodative fatigue, amblyopia, or other binocular vision disorder), the dyslexic-type symptoms are eliminated. So while dyslexia has nothing to do with eyesight, the symptoms that it causes are the same symptoms that are correctable with vision therapy to address binocular vision disorders.
- Visual Rehabilitation for Special Needs – Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Concussion, Stroke, Birth Injury, Brain Damage, Head Injury, Whiplash, Cerebral Palsy, MS, etc.
Vision can be compromised as a result of neurological disorders or trauma to the nervous system. Vision Therapy can effectively treat the visual consequences of brain trauma (including double vision). Our visual system includes the brain as well as the eyes. The eyes are actual physical extensions of the brain. Some binocular vision disabilities also involve problems with how the brain processes the visual information coming in through the eyes. So for individuals who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury or other neurological disorders, by utilizing the eyes to help rehabilitate the visual system, these symptoms can be relieved.
- Sports Vision Enhancement
Strong visual skills are critical to sports success. Not much happens in sports until your eyes instruct your hands and body as to what to do! Accurate vision and athletic visual skills can be measured, developed, and enhanced through Vision Therapy. We can measure and successfully improve eye-hand coordination, reaction time, peripheral awareness, eye teaming, focusing, tracking, and visualization skills. In addition, as mentioned above, athletes who have suffered from Concussions typically exhibit neurological and visual symptoms (blurry vision, double vision, motion sickness, light sensitivity, etc). Visual Rehabilitation is a common way of improving the athlete’s function, ability, and overall quality of life.
After Vision Therapy, our patients have achieved:
- Better academic performance
- Improved grades / test scores
- Better reading ability and comprehension
- No longer losing place when reading
- Improved handwriting
- Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem
- Better eye-hand coordination
- Improved athletic performance
- Increased depth perception
- And many MORE achievements!
For more information or resources, visit these websites:
- College of Optometrists in Vision Development: http://www.covd.org/
- Vision Therapy: http://www.visiontherapy.org/
- Vision Checklists: http://www.children-special-needs.org/parent.html
- Vision Therapy Success Stories: http://www.visiontherapystories.org/
- Vision Rehabilitation: http://www.braininjuries.org/