What is Vision Therapy?
Vision therapy is the art and science of developing visual skills to optimize vision, performance and comfort. Vision therapy treatment programs can be designed to improve vision in a number of ways: to correct lazy-eye (amblyopia), get the eyes to turn together simultaneously (strabismus), increase vision efficiency and reduce eye strain, or improve school performance by eliminating vision-related learning problems.
The goal of therapy is to teach the visual system to correct itself to provide lasting benefits.
How does Vision Therapy help?
Unlike other forms of exercise, the goal of vision therapy is not to strengthen eye muscles. Your eye muscles are already incredibly strong! Instead, vision therapy aims to re-train the learned aspects of vision by “rewiring” or rehabilitating the neural connections between the eye and the brain. This approach is also common to occupational therapy and speech therapy. These neurological changes in the brain, once thought to occur only during early childhood, have been demonstrated to occur in adults as well!
Our Vision Therapy Program
Vision therapy can include the use of lenses, prisms, filters and computer-assisted visual activities. Other devices, such as balance boards, metronomes and non-computerized visual instruments also can play an important role in a customized vision therapy program. It is important to note that vision therapy is not defined by a simple list of tools and techniques. Successful outcomes are achieved through a therapeutic process that depends on the active engagement of the prescribing doctor, the vision therapist, the patient and (in the case of children) the child’s parents.
The first step for any vision therapy program is a complete vision assessment to accurately diagnose a visual problem and determine whether vision therapy would be the appropriate treatment. Sometimes, further testing is recommended depending on the findings. A consultation to discuss the results and recommendations is then done with the parents. Progress evaluations are done every 12 sessions and then discussed with the parents to determine if further treatment is recommended.
What do we treat?
Strabismus / Amblyopia
Conditions where visual acuity, function, or alignment of an eye is significantly better than the other.
- Better Depth Perception
- Better eye-hand coordination
- Better cosmetic appearance
- Better clarity of vision and reduced double vision
Reading and Learning
Conditions where eye focusing, teaming, and tracking or visual perceptual skills affect the learning process
- Improve reading efficiency
- Improve reading comprehension
- Improve Spelling
- Improve Handwriting
- Improved Math Skills
Acquired brain injuries (Concussions and Strokes)
Persistent visual symptoms as a result of concussion and/or stroke
- Better eye-hand coordination
- Better tracking and focusing ability
- Better peripheral awareness
- Quicker reaction time
- Reduced headaches or double vision
- Less Screen Intolerance/dizziness
- Improved reading and less blurry vision
- Reduced light sensitivity
- Better spatial organization
Frequently Asked Questions
Our initial evaluations are typically 45-60 minutes long and will look at eye tracking, focusing, and teaming skills, as well as depth perception. Further testing to probe visual perceptual skills may be warranted.
The DVA is comprised of a series of tests that are designed to identify strengths or weaknesses in the areas of visual motor integration, visual perception (including visual memory, form perception, visual discrimination, directionality/laterality, auditory/visual integration), visual spatial skills, as well as auditory analysis screening.
The time required for the DVA is usually 90 minutes and is done one-on-one between the doctor/therapist and the patient. Parents are asked to wait in the reception area during this testing. Following the assessment, a report review session will be arranged to discuss the findings and outline options for treatment.
The vision therapy patient will go through an individualized program of exercises and procedures that help develop or improve fundamental visual skills and abilities, as well as improve efficiency and comfort.
Our Vision Therapy sessions are booked 60 minutes at a time and are one-on-one. 45 minutes will be dedicated to active therapy. 15 minutes at the end will be used to go over the daily “homework” to reinforce the visual skills learned in sessions.
Many techniques and equipment will be used throughout the course of therapy such as corrective and therapeutic lenses, filters, prisms, eye patches, and visually directed games and exercises. Some will be done in free space and some will use advanced computer-based programs and software that we have in office.
The length of therapy will vary depending on the condition as well as the patient’s motivation and commitment to completing home exercises. Typical programs run between 12-36 in-office sessions.
We thoroughly evaluate visual skills, as these can often affect one’s ability to learn. For example, deficits in visual skills could cause difficulties in reading (losing place, skipping words, blurriness, headaches, fatigue, tired eyes, etc.), or writing (difficulty with coloring, staying on the line), or in sports. Even if the patient can see well, there may be other significant visual problems hindering one’s ability to learn. To thoroughly diagnose learning disabilities or dyslexia, a full psycho-educational battery of testing and consultation must be given. Our doctors are able to network and consult with other professionals, schools, hospitals and/or treatment centers.
Vision therapy is typically not covered under health plans or MSP. Some extended health plans may cover a portion of the evaluation and/or treatment if there is a specific eye muscle problem or as a result of a motor vehicle or work-related injury.
The initial assessment cost is $200. If additional testing is required, there will be an extra fee. The cost of the Vision Therapy program will depend on the assessment results.
You do not need a referral. To better understand your situation, our staff will help you book a vision therapy assessment appointment where our doctors will determine the best course of action for you, and will ask for you to complete a vision therapy questionnaire before the day of the assessment.
Eyelab uses state-of-the-art equipment to develop a highly customized and personalized treatment plan for your child. Each child is unique, so each non-invasive treatment will be tailored according to your child’s myopia profile. Our doctors have dedicated many years of training to learning this craft and are certified to provide the best possible care of myopia management for your child. This clinic was built especially for pediatric care in mind
Ready to try out Vision Therapy
or curious to learn more?
Request an appointment and we’d love to help you out!