What is Vision Therapy?
A child or an adult may have 20/20 eyesight with or without glasses, but still have poor visual skills. Having 20/20 eyesight has little to do with how the brain is integrated, information is processed or how information is understood. The difference is critical. Poor visual skills are the most overlooked reason why a child may struggle in school as our eyes are the primary source for gathering information in learning.
The visual abilities are the skills which give us the power or the means to take in information through our eyes. The visual sensory system is composed of the following categories:
- Visual Acuity – The sharpness or clearness of sight.
- Binocular Skills – These are neuromuscular abilities controlled by the muscles inside and outside the eye networking with the brain.
- Accommodation – Ability to focus in order to see clearly at different distances.
- Vergence System – Eye teaming, crossing and uncrossing.
- Ocular Motor – (eye tracking) Accurate and quick coordination of eye movements.
- Eye Hand Coordination
- Perceptual Skills – Visual information processing skills that allow the brain to organize and interpret information that is “seen”, and give it meaning.
The good news is that these visual abilities are LEARNED skills. This means they can be developed and improved with optometric vision therapy. Through a series of progressive therapeutic procedures, the visual system and the visual control centers of the brain learn a new habit of how and when to respond automatically and efficiently.
Vision therapy is remarkably successful in rehabilitating all types of vision impairments including, but not limited to amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (eye deviations in, out or up), ocular motor problems, eye teaming and focusing problems. Vision therapy is much more successful for these kinds of diagnoses then surgery or glasses alone.
- People of all ages can benefit from Vision Therapy
- People who are struggling academically
- People who have suffered a closed head injury or from stroke.
- Athletes who want a competitive edge.
- People who experience eye fatigue from near work such as lawyers, secretaries etc.
Patients typically come to the office once or twice weekly for 50 minutes each visit. In addition, homework is given as reinforcement of what is learned during the office therapy sessions. Commitment to the therapy program, and maintaining a schedule of weekly visits, is important in the success of the program.