What is Vision Therapy?

Optometrists provide vision therapy services

I’m sure you have heard of physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy, right? They all exercise a deficient muscle group and strengthen it to make it stronger and help the body perform better. Well did you know that there are eye exercises you can do to perform certain aspects of your vision, too? Yup, that’s right, my friends! It’s called vision therapy.

I specialized in Vision Therapy during my optometric training at UC Berkeley, and still practice it in my private office to this day. I mostly work with young children who are having trouble learning in school. It’s so rewarding to be able to help the little ones in their everyday tasks. I wanted to help spread the word about vision therapy so that more people around the world can benefit from this amazing program. Read on to see how Vision Therapy can change your life or the life of someone you love!

Vision therapy is safe, drug-free, and effective for both children and adults. While visual acuity (the “20/20” part of vision) requires glasses to improve, visual skills such as tracking together along a line of text must be learned during development, these skills can also be improved later in life at any age.

It is estimated that 1 in 10 children have a vision problem severe enough to affect their learning in school, but school vision screenings can miss up to half of these problems. A comprehensive vision exam with an optometrist checks all aspects of eye health, vision, and visual skills, to ensure your child is not struggling unnecessarily with an undiagnosed vision problem.

Learning Difficulties Can Be Due to a Vision Problem

The 5 most common signs that a vision problem may be interfering with your student’s ability to read and learn are:

      1. Skips lines, rereads lines
      2. Poor reading comprehension
      3. Homework takes much longer than it should
      4. Reverses letters like “b” into “d” when reading
      5. Short attention span with reading and schoolwork 

Don’t let poor vision affect your child’s life. Call an optometrist today.

While learning occurs through a number of complex and interrelated processes, vision plays a key role. Many signs, symptoms, and behaviors associated with learning disabilities are similar to those caused by vision problems. This is why it is so important that a comprehensive vision examination be part of the interdisciplinary evaluation of all children who are failing to succeed in school.

Vision Therapy Treats Vision Problems

Doctors of Optometry can take care of all your vision therapy needs

Vision therapy — a type of physical therapy for the eyes and brain — is a highly effective non-surgical treatment for many common visual problems such as lazy eye, crossed eyes, double vision, convergence insufficiency and some reading and learning disabilities. Many patients who have been told, “it’s too late,” or “you’ll have to learn to live with it” have benefited from vision therapy.

In the case of learning disabilities, vision therapy is specifically directed toward resolving visual problems which interfere with reading, learning and educational instruction.

What is involved in a Vision Therapy program?

Optometrists can provide advanced vision therapy treatment

Vision therapy is —

  • a progressive program of vision “exercises” or procedures;
  • performed under doctor supervision;
  • individualized to fit the visual needs of each patient;
  • generally conducted in-office, in once per weekly sessions of 20-30 minutes
  • supplemented with procedures done at home between office visits 5-6 days per week
  • depending on the case, the procedures are prescribed to:
    • help patients develop or improve fundamental visual skills and abilities;
    • improve visual comfort, ease, and efficiency;
    • change how a patient processes or interprets visual information.

Vision Therapy Is More Than Eye Exercises

Optometrists employ cutting edge treatment options

In-office Vision Therapy is supervised by vision care professionals and many types of specialized and/or medical equipment can be used in Optometric Vision Therapy programs, such as:

  • corrective lenses (regulated medical devices)
  • therapeutic lenses (regulated medical devices)
  • prism lenses (regulated medical devices)
  • optical filters
  • occluders or eye patches
  • electronic targets with timing mechanisms
  • computer software
  • balance boards (vestibular device)
  • visual-motor-sensory integration training devices

The first step in any Vision Therapy program is a comprehensive vision examination. Following a thorough evaluation, a qualified optometrist can advise the candidate as to whether Vision Therapy would be appropriate treatment.

Do you know someone that has undergone Vision Therapy? If so, share with me how it worked for them!

No Comments

Post A Comment