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Vision Therapy

Vision Therapy Is Effective Treatment

Vision therapy -- a type of physical therapy for the eyes and brain -- is a highly effective non-surgical treatment for many common visual problems such as lazy eye, crossed eyes, double vision, convergence insufficiency and some reading and learning disabilities. Many patients who have been told, "it's too late," or "you'll have to learn to live with it" have benefited from vision therapy.

In the case of learning disabilities, vision therapy is specifically directed toward resolving visual problems which interfere with reading, learning and educational instruction. Optometrists do not claim that vision therapy is a direct treatment for learning disabilities.

Vision and Autism/ADHD
Visual problems are very common in individuals with autism and Vision Therapy activities can be used to stimulate general visual arousal, eye movements, and the central visual system. To learn more visit covd.org.

Visual Rehabilitation for Special Populations
Vision can be compromised as a result of neurological disorders or trauma to the nervous system (such as, traumatic brain injuries, stroke, whiplash, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, etc.). Vision Therapy can effectively treat the visual consequences of trauma (including double vision).
To learn more about brain injuries and vision, visit braininjuries.org.

What is involved in a Vision Therapy program?

Vision therapy is --

  • a progressive program of vision "exercises" or procedures;
  • performed under doctor supervision;
  • individualized to fit the visual needs of each patient;
  • generally conducted in-office, in once or twice weekly sessions of 30 minutes to one hour;
  • sometimes supplemented with procedures done at home between office visits ("homework");
  • (depending on the case) prescribed to --
    - help patients develop or improve fundamental visual skills and abilities;
    - improve visual comfort, ease, and efficiency;
    - change how a patient processes or interprets visual information.

Vision Therapy Is Not Just Eye Exercise

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 is not to be confused with any self-directed program of eye exercises which is or has been marketed to the public. Vision Therapy is supervised by optometric vision care professionals and many types of specialized and/or medical equipment are used in Vision Therapy programs, such as

  • prescription lenses (regulated medical devices);
  • therapeutic lenses (regulated medical devices);
  • prisms (regulated medical devices);
  • optical filters;
  • eye patches or occluders
  • electronic targets with timing mechanisms;
  • computer software;
  • vestibular (balance) equipment

The first step in any Vision Therapy program is a comprehensive vision examination. Following a thorough evaluation, a qualified vision care professional can advise the candidate as to whether Vision Therapy would be appropriate treatment.