Why Vision Therapy?
For many patients with common visual problems such as amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), double vision, convergence insufficiency and some reading and learning disabilities, the use of vision therapy can be an effective treatment. 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, a non-surgical alternative for many issues.
In the case of learning disabilities, vision therapy is specifically directed toward resolving visual problems which interfere with reading, learning, and educational instruction. It is important to understand that vision therapy is not a direct treatment for learning disabilities.
What Does Vision Therapy Involve?
Vision therapy is individualized, performed in-office under an eye doctor's supervision, and involves a progressive program of vision exercises or procedures. Sessions are conducted once or twice weekly for 30 minutes to an hour and may also include at home reinforcement or “homework” between office visits.
Procedures are prescribed according to individual needs and can cover a number of goals, such as:
- Helping patients develop or improve fundamental visual skills and abilities;
- Improving visual comfort, ease, and efficiency; and
- Changing how a patient processes or interprets visual information.
Does Vision Therapy Strengthen Your Eyes?
Because eye muscles are already incredibly strong, vision therapy is not intended to strengthen your eye muscles. Eye doctors supervise in-office vision therapy and use various types of equipment for optometric vision therapy programs, such as:
- corrective, therapeutic or prism lenses
- optical filters
- balance boards
- occluders or eye patches
- electronic targets with timing mechanisms
- computer programs
- visual-motor-sensory integration training devices
The first step in any Vision therapy program is an in-person comprehensive eye examination. Following a complete evaluation, a qualified eye doctor can advise the patient as to whether vision therapy would be a possible treatment.
Find an eye doctor who conducts comprehensive eye exams.