What is Vision Therapy?
Vision Therapy is an individualized, supervised, neuromuscular treatment program designed to improve visual function and visual information processing over time. It enables an individual to learn more efficient ways to perform visually and can correct visual-motor and perceptual-cognitive deficiencies. These are conditions that cannot be treated with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.
Vision Therapy sessions include procedures designed to enhance the brain’s ability to control:
Eye focusing abilities.
Eye movements, eye tracking and/or
Visual processing (including visualization,directionality, and visual perception skills).
Visual-perceptual and integration skills and endurance are developed through the use of specialized computer and optical devices, including therapeutic lenses, prisms, and filters. During the final stages 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 involves much more than just seeing objects and letters clearly from a distance of 20 feet. It can best be defined as the ability to take in visual information, process it and obtain meaning from it quickly and easily. This complex process is learned, starting from birth. It is crucial for maximum achievement in the classroom and while playing sports. Vision Therapy can help those individuals who lack the necessary visual perceptual and functional skills that aid in effective reading, writing, and learning (i.e., eye movement and focusing skills, visual memory skills, etc.).
Strabismus is the medical term for eye conditions commonly known as eye turns, crossed eyes, wall-eyes, wandering eyes or wandering eyes. Vision Therapy can help these individuals with a misalignment of the eyes to improve how they look cosmetically as well as how the eyes function overall including eye teaming and tracking. Vision Therapy programs offer high success rates for Strabismus.
We recommend a vision therapy evaluation as the first line of treatment before considering eye surgeries which can lead to permanent scarring, double vision, over-correction of the eye turn and a lowered prognosis post-surgery with vision therapy. In many cases, multiple surgeries are required leading to increased risks. If surgery is the end choice, it can always be performed at any time throughout the treatment process.
Amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye, is an eye condition characterized by reduced vision not correctable with glasses or contact lenses and is not due to an underlying eye disease. The brain, for many differing reasons, does not fully acknowledge the images seen by the amblyopic eye. Vision Therapy can help those individuals with a lazy eye to help improve the vision, tracking, focusing and form recognition of the lazy eye as it tends to be lazy in every way.
Vision Therapy can help those individuals with poor eye tracking skills that can results in skipping or jumping of words while reading, loss of place often, difficulty copying from the board and even poor concentration.
Accommodative and Vergence problems
Vision Therapy can help those individuals with poor eye focusing and eye teaming skills which can lead to symptoms such as blurred or doubled vision after a short period of reading, tired eyes, headaches, slow reading speed due to the amount of effort needed to see and reduced comprehension. 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.).
Stress-induced Visual Difficulties
21st century lifestyles demand more from our vision than ever before. Children and adults in our technological society constantly use their near vision at work and at home. Environmental stresses on the visual system (including excessive computer use or close work) can induce eyestrain, headaches, and/or visual difficulties which can be effectively treated with corrective lenses and/or Vision Therapy.
Visual Rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury which results in inefficient visual information processing
Vision can be compromised as a result of neurological disorders or trauma to the nervous system (such as, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, stroke, whiplash, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and cervical trauma syndrome). Vision Therapy can effectively treat the visual consequences of brain trauma including double vision, visual information processing delays, attention or concentration difficulties, midline shifts, visual field loss or visual spatial confusion.
Sports Vision Improvement
Strong visual skills are critical to sports success. Not much happens in sports until your eyes instruct your hands and body what to do! Vision Therapy can successfully improve eye-hand coordination, depth perception, visual reaction time, peripheral awareness, eye teaming, focusing, tracking, visualization and visual attention. Vision Therapy has helped many children and adults enjoy newfound Success with Sports and Coordination!