Eye Therapy - Vision Therapy Exercises & Eye Wear
What is vision therapy?
Vision therapy is a progressive series of treatments and procedures designed to help individuals improve basic visual skills and abilities. The goal is to change how that individual perceives and interprets information provided by the eyes. Unlike eye exercises which simply improve the muscles of the eye, vision therapy is an individualized treatment program of activities supervised by an eyecare professional.
Who does vision therapy help?
Prescribed by an optometrist, a vision therapy program can help improve or correct conditions such as crossed eyes or lazy eyes. Children experiencing delays in visual skills development can learn or relearn focus control, eye coordination and vision accuracy. An Optometrist can assign age-appropriate visual tasks and daily exercises. Frequency and repetition can enhance visual skills, strengthening and improving movement of the eye or straightening eye alignment with regular practise.
Vision therapy can be effective regardless of whether glasses are needed or not. While it is most helpful when done before the age of eight, vision therapy can be successful in older patients as well.
When is visual therapy recommended?
When reading and learning difficulties in school occur, a thorough eye exam can be very informative. Proper 20/20 eyesight does not always equal good visual skills. Some challenges which can be treated with vision therapy can include:
- Convergence Insufficiency: When an individual can’t control eye movement to focus on an object within arm’s reach and will report seeing double or eye strain when focusing or reading at this distance.
- Binocular Coordination: When both eyes don’t work in tandem (eye teaming) it affects depth perception.
- Eye Focusing: An individual with perfect sight may not be able to focus on text for a sustained period of time, especially when shifting the line of focus from a Smart board to a notebook or laptop.
- Visual Perceptual Delays: Letter reversals, language retention, reading and math difficulties can be caused by information being scrambled from the eyes on the way to the brain.
- Eye Tracking Dysfunctions: When the mechanical process of reading from left to right is very difficult, it can affect reading speed and comprehension.
Diagnosis and treatment
Through a series of tests, an eyecare professional can determine whether vision therapy will help individuals with vision dysfunction. Therapy is not 100% guaranteed and most improvement is dependent on how willing the individual is to follow the program of therapy.
The program prescribed by an Optometrist can include the use of prisms, lenses and filters. Some therapies may seem like video games. The length of each therapy program varies with the type of condition experienced by the individual. By investing time into a properly prescribed program, individuals may look at life in whole new way.
If you are concerned about your vision and the health of your eyes, make sure to book regular visits with an Optometrist.