What is Vision Therapy?
Vision Therapy (VT) is a sequence of therapeutic procedures that help to develop efficient visual skills and processing. VT is individually prescribed according to the unique needs of each patient and is monitored by a doctor. A VT program can include the use of lenses, filters, occluders, specialized instruments and computer programs as well physical exercises that help to improve the strength and effectiveness of the eyes. Through Vision Therapy, patients learn to process and interpret visual information while learning to use their visual abilities in a new way.
Who benefits from Vision Therapy?
Vision Therapy has made a profound difference in people of all ages. Vision is our dominant sense and primary source for gathering information in learning. Eighty percent of what we learn is through our eyes which means vision and/or visual perceptual difficulties can have a great effect on how we read, learn and achieve academically.
Here are some of the many conditions which can be positively affected by Vision Therapy:
Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
Amblyopia is the loss or lack of development of vision in (usually) one eye and is often associated with crossed eyes. The disfunction actually occurs in brain, not the eye itself and is unrelated to any eye health problem. Amblyopia is not correctable with lenses but patients can benefit from Vision Therapy. Work to correct Amblyopia can be started at any age but early detection and action offers the best chances for a complete cure.
Strabismus (Eye Turn)
Strabismus, a misalignment of the eyes, is a condition in which the eyes do not fixate as a pair. With Strabismus, one eye can deviate inward, outward or alternate, giving the person a “crossed” look and can frequently lead to Amblyopia or “lazy eye.” Although surgery is sometimes required to help “align” the eyes more closely, it only offers a cosmetic solution and does not result in functional improvement. The brain is what controls eye alignment and, if for some reason it does not fuse the images from the two eyes into one (creating a 3D picture), Vision Therapy can be used to train the brain to do so. As with many eye conditions, early detection and action will result in the best results.
Diplopia (Double Vision)
Diplopia is the result of both eyes independently focusing on different images as opposed to both images being fused into a single picture by the brain. There can be many possible causes for diplopia but once the source is diagnosed, Vision Therapy can be very effective in correcting the condition.
Convergence Insufficiency occurs when your eyes do not properly align while focusing on a near object. When you read or look at a close object, your eyes should converge — turn inward together to align—resulting in a single image. Those who suffer from Convergence Insufficiency can experience double vision, strain, fatigue and poor reading comprehension. This is a common problem in children who have reading difficulty in school and adults who find themselves transposing numbers. Vision Therapy can greatly alleviate the symptoms that patients experience and can lead to more success in school, work and everyday life.
Learning-Related Vision Difficulties
Difficulties in reading, writing or learning can be the result of a vision problem. Many children diagnosed with learning disorders are experiencing them because of a vision-related problem, most of which can be greatly reduced through proper Vision Therapy.
Poor Binocular Coordination
Binocular Vision is the ability to align both eyes on a visual point and combine the images seen by each eye into a single multidimensional image. Vision Therapy can help patients with Poor Binocular Coordination to train their eyes to work together in this way.
Sports Vision Improvement
Vision Therapy can help athletes improve their perceptual speed, reaction time, 3D vision, peripheral awareness, and eye-hand coordination. We use the Nike Sparq Vapor Strobe training goggles in sport vision therapy to improve perceptual speed (anyone with a seizure disorder should not use these goggles).
Vision Rehabilitation After Injury
Vision Rehabilitation Therapy can be used to treat vision-related problems due to many conditions including neurologic disorders, whiplash, mild to severe traumatic brain injuries, stroke, anoxic injury, and cerebral palsy. Dizziness and disorientation (which are often attributed to vestibular issues) may be visually based and can be helped through proper Vision Therapy.
Visual Rehab for Special Needs
Autism, Down’s Syndrome, ADD, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Dyslexia and other Special Needs