What Is Vision Therapy and How It Can Help
Updated: Oct 19, 2022
Vision therapy is also known as visual therapy, vision training, or visual training, and is abbreviated as VT. It is ocular therapy that is part of orthoptics -- a branch of vision care that concerns specific eye issues related to eye movement, alignment, and vision. Unlike standard care and assessment with optometry, vision therapy has some debate surrounding it as to whether it is effective or not. This therapy involves the supervision of an eye health professional and a customized program of visual activities that serve to correct vision problems and improve visual skills. It is considered to be physical therapy for the eyes that concerns changing the anatomy of the eye and its muscles. Despite the debate, it can help patients with overall visual comfort, movement, and issues affecting their learning and has been shown to offer dramatic results.
Vision therapy can be used to correct a host of ocular problems such as amblyopia, eye movement disorders, focusing disorders, and binocular vision problems.
Amblyopia (Lazy eye)
Lazy eye is an issue with vision development where the eye has trouble with normal visual acuity. It is also affected by the brain’s inability to use both eyes in unison and is often developed by significant differences in prescription between the two eyes, crossed or misaligned eyes, and obstruction of vision in early childhood. In this case, a binocular approach to treatment is effective. This can involve patching the better-seeing eye, binocular vision activities, and a program involving visual activities related to eye tracking, focusing, and hand-eye coordination.
Eye movement disorders
Eye movement disorders encompass double vision, involuntary eye movements, and shaky vision. Treatments with vision therapy can include using corrective lenses to straighten the eyes and reduce focusing efforts, lenses called prisms to control the light entering the eye, eye exercises that focus on visual-motor-skill and endurance.
Focusing (accommodative) disorders
Focusing, or accommodative disorders, concern a difficulty switching focus between near and far and back. Treatment with vision therapy might include corrective lenses to reduce eye strain or activities like pencil pushups and computer vision therapy.
Binocular vision problems
Binocular vision refers to how well the eyes work to produce a three-dimensional perception of the world. It involves depth perception and converging and diverging of the eyes. Problems can include eyestrain, double or blurred vision, visual fatigue, headaches, or dizziness and can be corrected with activities to improve three-dimensional vision and break down sensory adaptation.
Vision therapy is a great way to deal with ocular issues under the supervision of an eye health professional. It is supported by evidence-based research and supplemented with the use of tools like filters, lenses, and prisms. Beneficial to patients of all ages and individualized, this non-invasive solution to retrain aspects of vision through neuroplasticity.
Prairie Eye Care provides customized care for eye health, using state-of-the-art equipment and strategies to help you maintain optimal eye health. With a top-notch team of professionals, the clinic provides testing like visual field testing, occupational eye exams, and more, to meet all your ocular health needs.