What Is Vision Therapy?

State-of-the-Art Vision Therapy Services in Aurora

VISION THERAPY: (also known as vision training, visual training, visual therapy, eye training, behavioral optometry or neuro-developmental vision rehabilitation):

Vision therapy can be described as physical therapy for the visual system which includes the brain and eyes. Through a series of progressive therapeutic procedures (eye exercises), patients develop or recover normal visual skills. Vision therapy is remarkably successful in rehabilitating all types of binocular vision impairments including amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus, esotropia, exotropia, hyperphoria, or loss of binocular fusion due to hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness) or astigmatism in one eye. In regards to the development or recovery of binocular vision, Vision Therapy is much more successful than surgery or glasses alone.

Who Can Benefit From Vision Therapy?

Patients of all ages can benefit from Vision Therapy. The nature of the therapy program varies with the condition treated. For example, a three year-old child with amblyopia, or "lazy eye", might have the better eye patched for a short period of time. An eight year old with strabismus "crossed eye", may require therapy for a period of a year to to gain BOTH cosmetic and visual benefits (the two eyes will appear straight AND will be used as a binocular team for normal vision). A 30 year-old computer programmer may require three to six months to solve a visual problem causing significant eye strain. A 30 year-old with strabismus who had two or more unsuccessful surgeries as a child might require two or more years of therapy. For information on patients with dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, and other conditions related to visual perception and information processing, see add-adhd.org.

Vision therapy can improve visual skills such as stereopsis, binocular coordination, binocular fusion, eye teaming skills, convergence, visual acuity, focusing skills, stereoscopic vision, depth perception, eye tracking, fixation skills, visual form discrimination, visual memory, hyperopia, and visual motor integration (balance, body coordination, hand-eye coordination).

Is Vision Therapy New?

Although Vision Therapy is currently an Optometric specialty, it is actually an outgrowth of orthoptics. Orthoptics, which literally means "straightening of the eyes", was introduced to this country by physicians in the late 1800's. As physicians became more focused on eyeglasses, medication , and surgery, the benefits of orthoptics were taught to fewer and fewer practitioners. However, optometrists in the mid 1900's took the best that orthoptics had to offer, and pioneered the development of Vision Therapy.

What's Involved In A Vision Therapy Program?

Patients typically come to the office twice weekly for 30 - 45 minutes each visit. In addition, homework is given to be done at home 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.


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