Many vision problems do not require surgery for correction. In these situations, vision therapy is often the best option. Vision therapy is a form of physical therapy used on the eyes and brain that 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.
What is 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. If your brain is a house, then your eyes are the windows, and just as bad windows can change what you see from inside the house, a poorly designed house can be just as detrimental. Vision therapy is designed to clean up your windows as well as increase your ability to see through them from inside. To put it simply, your brain directly influences your sight based on how it interprets the images it receives. A healthy connection between the eyes and the brain is essential for good eyesight.
Common Questions about Vision Therapy
Here are the answers to some 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 specific visual needs of the patient. These exercises are done 1-2 times per week in sessions lasting from 30 minutes to a full hour, and are designed to continue until improvement is seen.
What is the purpose of the vision exercises?
Vision exercises are designed to help patients improve the basic visual skills that connect the eyes with the brain. These exercises can improve visual efficiency by changing how a patient interprets images, allowing them see and understand images correctly.
Do these exercises simply strengthen eye muscles?
Nothing about vision therapy is centered on strengthening eye muscles. Those muscles can be strengthened through orthoptics. This therapy is all about 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, your eye care provider will determine if you can benefit from this form of treatment.
Is there scientific evidence that it really works?
Yes, there is. Studies on vision therapy have shown that it is effective in improving the lives of patients, and the data has proven that this therapy can improve visual function enough to keep it from interfering with a person's ability to absorb information. In terms of effectiveness , this therapy is comparable to physical therapy or occupational therapy..
Who typically needs vision therapy?
It can be a useful tool for helping children and adults alike. Children with learning or reading problems can especially benefit from the vision boost these exercises provide. When the problem is visual processing, eyeglasses are not the solution, and due to the nature of this issue, the problems can not be detected without tests done by an eye doctor. Adults can also see vision improvement through this therapy. Additionally, it can help curb eye-strain related vision processing problems brought on by working with computers all day.