Vision therapy is a doctor-supervised, non-surgical and customized program of visual activities designed to correct certain vision problems and/or improve visual skills.
Unlike eyeglasses which simply compensate for vision problems or eye surgery that alters the anatomy of the eye or surrounding muscles, vision therapy aims to "teach" the visual system to correct itself.
Unlike other forms of exercise, the goal of Vision Therapy is not to “strengthen” eye muscles. Your eye muscles are already incredibly strong. Vision Therapy should not be confused with any self-directed program of eye exercises which is or has been marketed to the public. Vision Therapy does not eliminate the need for distance glasses and is not suitable for every patient with any of the above diagnoses or symptoms.
Vision Therapy is not a “cure” dyslexia or ADHD. It can alleviate symptoms that may be similar to symptoms of dyslexia or ADHD. If a child has an occasional double vision while reading, her eyes jump around the page, or he has trouble keeping his eyes “in-focus” up close, that child will exhibit symptoms such as slow reading, low attention while reading, poor reading comprehension, or even letter reversals. When the act of reading is so difficult visually, most children will get frustrated easily and avoid reading or homework at all costs. When we help them improve their visual skills – tracking, coordinating the eyes, shifting focus quickly, etc. – then we often see improvement in behavioral symptoms.
Vision therapy is safe, drug-free, and effective for both children and adults! While visual acuity (the "20/20" part of vision) requires glasses to improve, visual skills such as tracking together along a line of text must be learned during development, these skills can also be improved later in life at any age.
It is estimated that 1 in 10 children have a vision problem severe enough to affect their learning in school, but school vision screenings can miss up to half of these problems. A comprehensive vision exam with a developmental optometrist checks all aspects of eye health, vision, and visual skills, and can ensure you or your child is not struggling unnecessarily with an undiagnosed vision problem.
Common diagnoses that are treated with Vision Therapy:
Convergence Insufficiency (difficulty bringing eyes together to a near point)
Accommodative Disorders (difficulty changing or holding focus from near to far)
Eye Tracking Disorders (difficulty with smooth or rapid eye movements)
Strabismus (including Intermittent Exotropia or Esotropia)
Binocular Vision Dysfunction (difficulty coordinating the eyes together)
Diplopia (double vision due to the eyes not working well as a team)
Vision Information Processing Disorders
Blurry or uncomfortable near vision
Double vision, words might run together or separate
Head tilt while reading or watching TV
Holding reading material close to the face
Headaches and/or eyestrain
Skipping lines or words when reading
Poor hand-eye coordination
Designed for amblyopia, strabismus, and vergence disorders, Vivid Vision is a state of the art virtual reality training to improve these vision disorders. We utilize this equipment and program in our Vision Therapy sessions. For more information, check out this video from an optometrist in Florida utilizing this system.
Reading is the gateway to knowledge, insight, and joy. But for many students, that gateway is never opened. They may show progress reading aloud, but when reading on their own they often struggle, fall behind, and lose interest in reading entirely.
We utilize a Visagraph system to measure the child's eye movements and check their tracking ability. We are looking to see if their eyes track across the page efficiently and effectively for their grade level and reading ability. Reading Plus is one of the programs that we utilize alongside our other vision therapy programs to help improve the tracking ability and the reading ability in children.