What is Vision?
To understand vision therapy, we must first have an understanding of vision. We often say vision is more than 20/20 meaning good vision entails much more that the acuity of our eyesight. Vision, as one of our senses, is the complex process of being able to perceive the world around us with our eyes and form an understanding of what is seen with our brain. Many factors contribute to this process such as ability of our eyes to work together as a team, the ability of our eyes to focus at various distances, ability of our neurological pathways between or brain and eye to transmit what is seen, eye muscle coordination and much more. If any one of these systems is disrupted, a poor visual experience may result leading to a variety of symptoms. So while a child may “see” 20/20 or pass a vision screening, that doesn’t necessarily conclude they are experiencing good vision.
After a comprehensive eye exam is performed to rule out any eye health or acuity problems, further evaluation can determine if there are any other aspects of the visual system might be disrupted. A prescribed vision therapy program can then aid in correcting or improving certain dysfunctions of the visual system.
What is Vision Therapy?
Vision therapy is a prescribed program utilizing a variety of neurosensory and neuromuscular activities tailored to an individual’s needs to aid in developing vision, rehabilitate or enhance visual skills. Vision therapy is an effective treatment option for many vision problems and can aid in vision development, much like physical therapy can be for physical development.
Vision therapy is aimed at enhancing the neurological connections between the brain and the eye and the brain’s ability to control eye movements, eye alignment, eye tracking and eye teaming as well as visual processing. The length and course of a program will vary from patient to patient as every patient’s symptoms might vary in type and degree. As new visual skills are developed, those skills are reinforced with repetition so they can gain endurance and become automatic.
What does vision therapy treat?
Vision therapy treats a variety of vision problems including:
- Binocular Vision Disorders
- Accommodative disorders
- Convergence Insufficiency
- Visual Information processing disorders
- Ocular motor dysfunction
What symptoms might benefit from vision therapy?
- Transient blurry vision
- Pain in the eye or around the eye
- Difficult maintaining attention
- Eye turns
- Low vision
- Double Vision
- Motion Sickness
- Poor academic performance
- Difficulty visually tracking or following objects
- Loses place when reading
- Skips words when reading
- Head tilting/turning
- Closing or Covering one eye to see better
Who can benefit from vision therapy?
Patients of any age can benefit from vision therapy although the goals and expectations might vary depending on the circumstance. School-aged children up to adults have been treated at our office with great success. Many special-needs populations can also benefit from vision therapy.