Many vision problems do not require surgery for correction. In these situations, vision therapy is typically an option. Vision therapy enhances the neurological connections between the eyes and the brain. This can directly influences sight based on how the brain interprets the images is receives. A healthy connection between the eyes and the brain is essential for good eyesight.It is designed to resolve vision problems that can contribute to learning disabilities and reading difficulties. This therapy can also be used an effective treatment for problems like lazy eye, crossed eyes, or double vision.
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. 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 sessions lasting 30 minutes to a full hour. The exercises are designed to continue until visual processing problems show improvement.
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 focuses on improving vision problems that may interfere with learning 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, Dr. Davis will determine whether or not vision therapy is the recommended treatment for your vision problems.
Is there scientific evidence that it really works?
It does work. Studies on vision therapy show it is effective in improving the lives of patients. Data shows that this therapy can improve visual function enough to keep it from interfering with a patient's ability to absorb information and learn. In its own sphere, this therapy is as effective as physical therapy or occupational therapy. For more information and research, please visit www.covd.org or www.oepf.org for more research and information.
Who is a candidate for vision therapy?
Anybody at any age who has been determined to have a visual problem, developmental delay or variable visual performance in school, work or play can benefit from vision therapy. Individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injury may have very symptomatic vision dysfunctions resulting in headaches, fatigue and blurry or double vision.
Will vision therapy help my eye turn (strabismus)?
Vision therapy presents a non-invasive scientifically proven alternative to strabismus surgery. Vision therapy enhances the communication between the eyes and the brain, which can both enhance surgical outcomes or eliminate the need for surgery all together. For more information about the risks of strabismus surgery, click here.
Examples of distinct populations that benefit from Neuro-visual Therapy:
- Learning Disabled
- Developmentally Delayed
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Acquired Brain Injury