Vision Therapy

Vision therapy is a type of physical therapy for the eyes and the brain.  It is a doctor-supervised, non-surgical and customized program of visual activities designed to correct concerns within the visual system.  Because the eyes are an extension of the brain, the visual system includes the eyes and the connecting pathways through the brain to the visual cortex and other parts of the brain.  Our eyes help make “seeing” possible, but vision is actually reliant on this eye-brain connection. If there are any abnormalities with any aspect of the visual system, visual processing will be difficult or non-existent.

What Does Vision Therapy Treat?

Unlike eyeglasses and contact lenses, which simply compensate for vision problems that originate in the eye only (as opposed to the brain connection), or eye surgery that alters the anatomy of the eye or surround muscles, vision therapy actually aims to “teach” the visual system to correct itself.  Vision Therapy is most commonly used as a treatment option for amblyopia (“lazy eye”), strabismus (“crossed eyes”), and binocular vision problems (such as eye movement disorders and/or focusing disorders). Vision therapy can even address problems derived from a stroke or other brain injury as well.  We advocate the importance of treating the underlying condition through these natural options because it is often not necessary to use invasive treatments such as surgery.

When Do I See a Doctor About Vision Therapy?

Below are a few signs that you or your child may benefit from vision therapy:

  • Trouble finishing assignments in allotted time
  • Omitting or misreading words or letters
  • Loss of place while reading
  • Loses attention quickly
  • Blurred or double vision
child in school

When Do I See a Doctor About Vision Therapy?

Below are a few signs that you or your child may benefit from vision therapy:

  • Trouble finishing assignments in allotted time
  • Omitting or misreading words or letters
  • Loss of place while reading
  • Loses attention quickly
  • Blurred or double vision

If any of these symptoms are present, the first step is to schedule a comprehensive eye examination with one of our Optometrists at Advanced Family Eye Care.  Even if a child can see 20/20 on the Snellen eye chart, it does not ensure that the eyes work well together and are processing the information to the brain correctly.  Our Optometrists can perform a more extensive exam to also assess ocular motility and eye teaming.  If we feel that there could be a benefit from exploring vision therapy, a proper referral is made to our vision therapists at SightWork is set up for a more in-depth evaluation.

Does Vision Therapy Work?

Studies show that vision therapy is rooted in science and can help train your body and its abilities in the same way that physical or occupational therapy can. The important thing to remember is that vision therapy is not one set of devices or exercises. Vision therapy may include any number of activities or techniques put together by a qualified medical professional to address specific vision problems.
 
Overall, the goal of vision therapy is to treat vision problems that cannot be treated successfully with eyeglasses, contact lenses and/or surgery alone, and to help people achieve clear, comfortable binocular vision.  The earlier these problems area diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.  To learn more about vision therapy, contact us today.