vision therapy

Yes, I think anyone can benefit from vision therapy.

Amblyopia (lazy eye) in adults is correctable.

Lazy eye is just one of the many eye disorders that can be worked on with the help of vision therapy. Let’s look into this and work on correcting your vision today.

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What is Amblyopia?

I find this subject quite captivating as I believed that for many years this disorder was not correctable in adults. I am excited to say that things have changed and we are seeing an insurgence of optometrists utilizing the techniques I am presenting below to correct adult eye issues.

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During childhood, when the eyes are developing, nerve pathways between the brain and an eye might not be properly stimulated and the brain will favor the other eye creating a disorder of sight called Amblyopia. Some symptoms include a wandering eye, eyes that may not appear to work together, or poor depth perception. In some cases, both eyes may be affected. The good news is you can correct your vision today, regardless of your age. There is a treatment to improve your eye’s ability to work correctly. This is called vision therapy.

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What is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy was developed in the 1800’s as an extension of the traditional practice of optometry. It is fairly common to see a doctor working with children to correct some of the eye disorders but until not long ago, adults were overlooked. Knowing more about neuroplasticity has given adults a chance to correct lazy eye, crossed eyes and a range of other sight disorders.

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Oculomotor integration with the head, neck, limbs, and overall body with information from the other sensory modalities producing temporally efficient, coordinated behavior within a context of harmonious spatial sense under a variety of external and internal conditions and states.”

Kenneth Ciuffreda, PhD of Optometry from State University of New York College of Optometry

Phew! Those are some big words. What this means is that an optometrist can introduce different tools and therapies to help the brain and eyes work together more efficiently.

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This type of therapy helps the patient develop the visual skills necessary for good vision. Optical devices and exercises are used to improve the eye-brain connection in order to make eye movements easier. The patient learns how to correctly process the visual information that the brain receives from the eyes.

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neuroplasticity is the ability to change, grow and reorganize the networks in the brain.
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Because of the fascinating phenomenon of neuroplasticity, doctors have realized that correcting vision can be done at any age. The myth of not being able to correct a lazy eye (or many other visual disorders) as an adult, has been shattered. You can seek help and try to get your eyes to behave in a way that improves them. Correct your vision today.

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How long does it take to correct the eye?

Although there is some push back from ophthalmologists about vision therapy, some optometrists find it a valuable part of vision care and it should not be overlooked. Vision therapy can range from one session to 2-3 years. It involves office visits combined with at-home activities. Most programs last from 6-9 months. If your eyes are important to you and you think this would be a beneficial therapy, I would start now.

Who can benefit from vision therapy?

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Patients who could benefit from vision therapy are generally dealing with the following visual challenges:

Stress-induced vision problems:  Many of us do a large volume of work in front of a computer screen, thus there is an increasing number of people who experience eyestrain, headaches, and other visual-related difficulties.

visual problems during learning: conditions such as poor eye teaming, focusing, tracking, and visualization skills can all negatively affect learning.

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Lazy eye (Amblyopia) or crossed eyes: treating crossed eyes or lazy eyes can be accomplished with vision therapy instead of conventional surgery, glasses, or patching. Vision therapy is very effective for these conditions at an early age, but can yield results for patients of any age.

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Visual rehabilitation for special populations (brain injuries, stroke, developmental delays, multiple sclerosis, etc.): A trauma or neurological disorder to the nervous system can affect a person’s vision. This includes people who have developmental delays, strokes, cerebral palsy, whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, and other neurological ailments.

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Sports vision improvement: Even good vision can become better. Athletes often use vision therapy to improve eye teaming, focusing, tracking and visualization skills, eye-hand coordination, visual reaction time, and peripheral awareness.

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What types of things are included in vision therapy?

  • Use of therapeutic lenses
  • Prisms
  • Filters
  • Occluders or patches
  • Electronic targets with timing mechanisms
  • Balance boards
  • A variety of special tools designed for specific and unique vision therapy activities
woman with occluder during eye test in clinic
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In-office vision therapy is conducted under the supervision of an optometrist and supported by ongoing, evidence-based scientific research. It is important to see your optometrist for a more comprehensive experience to acquire good results. There are many places on the internet that claim to be a visual therapy program but you should see your doctor to make sure the exercises are actually correcting the problem.

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Steps to get started

  1. Locate a doctor of optometry near you.
  2. Book a comprehensive eye exam. Binocular vision evaluation can identify conditions that would benefit from treatment with vision therapy.
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In Conclusion

Imagine the benefits of improved vision. It is possible, at any age, to seek an optometrist and start visual therapy. Correct a lazy eye, get some depth perception, reduce headaches. This is a good idea and now you know that it is not just a therapy for children. Anybody at any age can look into this type of therapy. Hope it helps. Shannon

Oh, if you liked this blog, you may like this one or this one. Take care.

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