Vision Therapy FAQ

Vision Therapy

What is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy improves ocular motor skills, ocular alignment and visual perceptual skills.  Vision therapy consists of activities presented in a developmentally appropriate, progressive manner, under the supervision of your eye care provider. Each set of exercises is tailored to meet the individual visual needs of a patient. 

Does vision therapy make my eye muscles stronger?

There is more to vision therapy than simply working to strengthen eye muscles.  It also enhances the neurological connections between the eyes and the brain. Eyes are the windows of the brain. The brain directly influences vision based on how it interprets images received.   The goal of vision therapy is to train the brain to; better control the eye muscles, better process visual information, and to enhance the integration of vision, auditory and sensory motor.

Who benefits from vision therapy?  

Vision therapy has a wide range of applications.  Anyone who wants to improve their functional visual skills is a good candidate for vision therapy!  Traditionally, vision therapy has been used to treat lazy eye and crossed eyes.  Amblyopia (lazy eye) responds very well to vision therapy and those with strabismus (wandering, crossed eyes) can often avoid surgery by doing vision therapy. 

In the 1950's there were advancements in understanding child development and learning emerged.  Vision therapy was recognized as a powerful tool in helping children with vision related learning difficulties.   

More recently, neuro science has discovered that the brain is "plastic", meaning, it is capable of learning new skills throughout life.  During this same time period, much has been discovered about the affects and related symptoms of acquired brain injuries.  Those who have had a concussion, stroke or other forms of acquired brain injury often have symptoms that respond very well to vision therapy.  

Computer eye strain:  people who spend 2 or more hours using their eyes for "screen time" often develop headaches and eye strain.  Vision therapy can alleviate symptoms.

Athletes, do you want to improve your performance?  Pro and college sports teams often include vision therapy actives into their workouts.  Vision therapy improves speed of focus, depth perception and visual reaction time.

I don't have any of those problems, I just want to get rid of my glasses, can vision therapy help. 

Myopia aka near sighted:  If you wear glasses because your vision far away is blurry, vision therapy can help stop the progression of your myopia and can help reduce your myopia.  There is also a special contact lens fitting called orthokeretology, that can help reduce your myopia.

Hyperopia and astigmatism:  These refractive errors, typically do not respond to vision therapy.

Presbyopia "my arms are too short".  Presbyopia is a natural loss of flexibility  of the crystalline lens that occurs with age.  Vision therapy actives can help slow the progression of Presbyopia, but Presbyopia cannot be prevented

What is the first step in a vision therapy program?

A comprehensive vision exam is necessary before starting therapy.  During a general exam, your optometrist will determine if vision therapy is a good option for you.  if so, a vision therapy exam will be suggested.  The vision therapy exam will give your doctor the information they need to prescribe your individual therapy program.

What is vision therapy like?  Vision therapy can be done at home or at a vision therapy center.  It is our experience that a combination of in-office and home based vision therapy provides the best results.  Depending on your vision issue and goals, a vision therapy program may be a single session to teach you the exercises to do at home, or your doctor may feel you would benefit  from an office based therapy program.  In-office therapy sessions range from 45-60 minutes, while home based therapy is typically 15-60 minutes daily.

Vision therapy; improve your vision naturally !!

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