Frequently Asked Questions.
What should I expect during Vision Therapy?
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.
Therapy is accomplished under direct supervision of the optometrist once a week for 60 minutes at a time. Therapy is continued throughout the week with 10-20 minutes of 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, prism lenses, eye patches, computer systems, and visually directed games and exercises.
What are the Benefits of therapy?
To correct existing vision problems that are causing double vision, eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision or poor concentration.
To improve and enhance the ability to sustain clear comfortable vision during visually demanding tasks.
To develop the visual skills necessary to perform more effectively at school, work and other activities.
To prevent vision and eye problems from developing.
What is the duration of therapy?
The length of therapy will vary depending on the condition as well as the patient’s motivation and commitment to completing home exercises.
What is a behavioural or developmental optometrist?
A behavioural or developmental optometrist is concerned with prevention, remediation and enhancement of the visual system to achieve optimal function. In other words, the visual evaluation goes far beyond health checks and glasses. How comfortably and efficiently you use your visual system for the type of work, education, or sports activities you are involved in is of the utmost importance. Recommendations for special types of glasses (for example computer or sports) and/or vision therapy may be given.
I just had my eyes checked and everything was fine.
Although routine vision exams can thoroughly check eye health and assess near/farsightedness, they frequently do not include tests for many of the difficulties that can cause or complicate learning, such as tracking (following a moving object), focus flexibility, eye teaming, eye-hand coordination, visual perception, etc. Even with 20/20 visual acuity, this may give a false sense of security that “visual processing” is adequate.
What do you do differently than other doctors?
The first evaluation thoroughly investigates eye health, need for glasses, ability to track and move eyes accurately and efficiently, focusing, eye teaming, and depth perception. Then, depending on the initial tests, a second or third evaluation may be recommended. Follow up evaluations include tests for visual information processing abilities (what you understand from what you see), visual-spatial abilities, visual-motor integration, auditory-visual integration, and visual tracking abilities.
What is a Developmental Vision Analysis (DVA) and consult?
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), perceptual motor abilities, as well as auditory analysis screening.
The time required for the DVA is usually 1½ hours 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. At the completion of this testing, scores will be tabulated and then presented at a consultation with the doctor, the patient and/or the parents.
Options will be discussed as to whether vision therapy might be helpful or if referral to another professional (such as tutor, psychologist, occupational therapist etc.) is appropriate. A written summary report is also included that is useful for parents, educators, doctors, and others working with the patient.
Do you treat or diagnose learning problems, disabilities or dyslexia?
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.
Will insurance cover this type of treatment?
Visual perceptual therapy for learning disabilities or educational problems is not covered under health plans. Some extended health plans may cover a portion of the evaluation and/or treatment if there is a specific eye muscle problem.