Vision therapy is treatment using lenses and prisms to improve the way eyes team together, foster smooth accurate movements when tracking moving objects and words on a page. It is designed to resolve vision problems that can make it harder or uncomfortable to use our vision to do computer work, school work, driving, or sports. This therapy can also be used as an effective treatment for problems like lazy eye, crossed eyes, or double vision.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT VISION THERAPYThere is more to vision therapy than simply strengthening the eyes. It also enhances the neurological connections between the eyes and the brain. Eyes are the windows of the brain. The brain directly influences sight based on how it interprets images received. A healthy connection between the eyes and the brain is essential for good eyesight.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the nature of vision therapy:
HOW DOES VISION THERAPY WORK?
It uses progressive vision exercises performed by an optometrist or under the direct supervision of your optometrist. Each set of exercises is tailored to meet the individual visual needs of a patient. These exercises are done in office 1-2 times per week in sessions lasting 45 minutes. The exercises are designed to continue until visual processing problems have improved as much as possible with the goal of reaching normal scores on all eye teaming and tracking assessments.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE VISION EXERCISES?
Vision exercises are designed to help patients improve basic visual skills that allow the eyes to send clearer, more accurate images the brain. These exercises can improve visual efficiency by changing how a patient interprets images. This helps them see and understand images correctly.
DO THESE EXERCISES SIMPLY STRENGTHEN EYE MUSCLES?
The goal of optometric vision therapy (VT) is not to strengthen eye muscles. Your eye muscles are already incredibly strong, and the vision problems VT aims to treat are rarely caused by muscle weakness. Instead, vision therapy aims to retrain the learned aspects of vision through the recently-understood concept of neuroplasticity, the ability for our brains to create new connections from birth through adulthood.
WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP IN A VISION THERAPY PROGRAM?
At Visionary Optometry, a developmental or rehabilitation vision evaluation requires 3 appointments. The first, is a comprehensive vision exam, the second is specialized vision testing for eye teaming, usable visual fields, standardized tracking tests, and visual perception. The third appointment is a conference with Dr. Ceonzo, where she can explain the tests, their findings, and what the best next steps should be.
IS THERE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE THAT IT REALLY WORKS?
It does work. Studies on vision therapy show it is effective in improving the lives of patients. Data shows that this therapy can improve visual function enough to keep it from interfering with a patient's ability to absorb information and learn. Click the link below to see numerous articles about vision therapy.https://www.covd.org/page/research
WHO TYPICALLY NEEDS VISION THERAPY?
It can be a useful tool for helping children and adults alike. Children with learning or reading problems can benefit from the vision boost these exercises provide. Eyeglasses are not the solution when the problem is visual processing. These problems can't be detected without tests done by an eye doctor. Adults can see vision improvement through this therapy as well. It can help curb eye-strain related vision processing problems brought on by working with computers all day.
WHO IS VISION THERAPY FOR?
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, and these skills can also be improved later in life at any age.
It is estimated that 1 in 4 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 a developmental optometrist checks all aspects of eye health, vision, and visual skills, and can ensure you or your child are not struggling unnecessarily with an undiagnosed vision problem.