Many vision problems do not require surgery for correction. In these situations, vision therapy is typically an option. Vision therapy is a form of therapy used on the eyes and brain. It is designed to resolve vision problems that can contribute to learning disabilities. This therapy can also be used as an effective treatment for problems like lazy eye, crossed eyes, or double vision.
Common Questions about Vision Therapy
Vision therapy enhances the neurological connections between the eyes and the brain. Eyes are the windows of the brain, which 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 activities performed under the supervision of your eye care provider. Each set of activities is tailored to meet the individual visual needs of a patient. These activities are done 1-2 times per week in sessions lasting 30 minutes to a full hour. At A B See Vision Therapy Center, activities are also sent home so patients can continue to work between in-office sessions. The activities are designed to continue until visual processing problems show improvement. We also may use lenses, prisms, tints, occlusion, light therapy as other tools to enhance the vision activities for increased success in therapy.
What is the purpose of the vision activities?
Vision activities are designed to help us improve basic visual skills that connect the eyes with the brain. These activities can improve visual efficiency by changing how a person interprets images. Vision therapy activities help us see and understand images correctly, judge space and interpret perception.
Do these activities simply strengthen eye muscles?
Nothing about vision therapy is centered on strengthening eye muscles. This therapy is all about improving vision problems that may interfere with learning by strengthening the neurological pathways between the eyes and the brain. Visual problems are found in the interpretation by the brain of the message received from the eyes and in the instructions the brain then sends back to the eyes.
What is the first step in a vision therapy program?
A comprehensive vision health exam is necessary before starting therapy. Following the vision exam, your eye care provider can determine whether or not this type of therapy is the recommended treatment for your vision problems. After your eye health examination you would call our office for a visual developmental evaluation.
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. One example of proven efficiency is the CITT Study (Randomized Clinical Trial of Treatments for Symptomatic Convergence Insufficiency in Children) published in the Archives of Ophthalmology 2008. The objective of this study was to compare vision therapy, pencil push-ups and placebo vision therapy as treatments for symptomatic convergence insufficiency in children 9 to 18 years of age. The study showed conclusive evidence that in-house vision therapy was the proven choice for students who could not turn their eyes inward for reading. The results overwhelming supported in-office vision therapy as more effective then pencil push-ups or placebo therapy.
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 activities 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. Persons suffering from brain injuries such as strokes, TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), concussion, surgery, Parkinson's, MS and other neurological conditions may also benefit from vision therapy.