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What is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy (VT) is an individualized treatment program prescribed to eliminate or improve certain vision conditions. Vision therapy teaches patients to relearn or enhance the use of various eye muscles that are not functioning correctly or coordinating well together.

When is vision therapy needed?

Young girl doing a vision exercise

Vision therapy has been shown to help patients who suffer from certain conditions such as:

  • Lazy eye (amblyopia)
  • Crossed eyes (strabismus)
  • Focusing (accommodative) issues
  • Eye teaming
  • Eye movement disorders
  • Visual perception disorders
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Learning-related vision disorders

Oftentimes with children, parents or teachers may notice students are skipping lines while reading, have poor reading comprehension, their homework takes longer than it should, they reverse letters, or they have a short attention span. While many of these symptoms can be attributed to learning disabilities, in some instances it may be a vision-related problem, which vision therapy can help correct. In other cases, children or adults may experience eye strain, headaches, inability to focus at work, or general discomfort reading for long periods of time. These problems commonly affect adults who work with computers for several hours each day.

Before VT can be prescribed, a comprehensive eye exam must be performed by an optometrist to determine if any of the complaints/vision problems the patient is experiencing can be corrected with glasses/contacts or if vision therapy is indeed needed.

How is Vision Therapy Performed?

Young girl doing a vision exercise at TEIVision therapy is not something that can be done once to fix all of the eye-related problems someone is experiencing. In most cases, the optometrist and patient set a goal at the beginning of the therapy sessions about what they would like to accomplish.

Vision therapy is performed weekly in the optometrist’s office using many types of specialized equipment such as corrective lenses, prism lenses, optical filters, electronic targets, computer software programs, balance boards, visual-motor-sensory integration training devices and more. All the devices used in the exercises aim to help each individual patient improve coordination of their eye movements. Homework assignments ranging in length from 15-30 minutes for four to five days a week are common to ensure progress continues in between office visits.  

Good vision is the key to a child’s academic success. According to experts, nearly 80 percent of learning is visual. Many children with learning-related vision problems are falling behind in school subjects like reading and writing, requiring special education services in the classroom, but the vision aspect of the disability is not or has not been addressed. Vision problems can be corrected and do not have to be a roadblock to learning. Besides helping to treat some vision problems related to schooling and learning, vision therapy can potentially help individuals of all ages perform everyday tasks more comfortably, with better success and help them succeed both academically or professionally.

Request an Appointment for Vision Therapy