Many vision problems do not require surgery for correction. In these situations, vision therapy is typically an option. Vision therapy is a form of visual 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 an effective treatment for problems like lazy eye, crossed eyes, or double vision.
Common Questions about Vision Therapy
There is more to vision therapy than simply strengthening the eyes. It also enhances the neurological connections between the eyes and the brain. What people don’t realize that your eyes developed during development from neural or brain tissue. The brain depends on your eyes to gather information properly so that the brain and process properly. It directly influences not just sight and how we see but also influences the interpretation of what we see. A healthy connection between the eyes and the brain is essential for good eyesight and visual processing.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the nature of vision therapy:
How does vision therapy work?
It uses progressive vision exercises performed under the supervision of your eye care provider and vision therapist. Each set of exercises is tailored to meet the individual visual needs of a patient. These exercises are done 1-2 times per week in office and sessions lasting 30 minutes to 45 minutes. The exercises are designed to continue until visual processing problems show improvement. Home support is provided to assist in the treatment and visual development.
What is the purpose of the vision exercises?
Vision exercises are designed to help patients improve basic visual skills that connect the eyes with the brain. These exercises can improve visual efficiency by changing how a patient interprets images. This helps them see and understand images correctly.
Do these exercises simply strengthen eye muscles?
Nothing about vision therapy is centered on strengthening eye muscles. These muscles can be strengthened through orthoptics if they need strengthening. This therapy is all about improving vision problems that may interfere with learning and processing by strengthening the neurological pathways between the eyes and the brain.
What is the first step in a vision therapy program?
A comprehensive vision exam is necessary before starting therapy. Following the exam, your eye care provider can determine whether or not this type of therapy is the recommended treatment for your vision problems.
Is there scientific evidence that it really works?
Yes, much literature and studies have been scientifically conducted and published to support the value of vision therapy. Studies on vision therapy show it is effective in improving the lives of patients. Data shows that vision therapy can improve visual function enough to keep it from interfering with a patient's ability to absorb information and learn. When compared to other therapies vision therapy is just as effective in treating vision conditions as physical therapy or occupational therapy is in treating the conditions in which they treat.
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 exercises 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.
Acquired or Traumatic Injury Patients
Vision therapy can also assist patients that have acquired brain injury due to strokes, accidents etc….. Double vision, vertigo, and decreased tracking skills are symptoms that an acquired brain injury patient may experience. Visual skills are vital to assisting individuals to carry out things in which they may have enjoyed doing, like reading or using the computer. Often times patients with acquired brain injury give up reading and doing near work. This sense of loss can contribute to depression. Vision therapy can help patients to retrain their brain to rehabilitate visual functioning thus allowing a patient to regain skills that allow them to read or do near work, this in turn can improve quality of life.