When patients come to see us at EyeXcel, or they see our website or Facebook page, the following question is a reoccurring theme. “What is Vision Therapy?”
…and even more so, “Can vision therapy help me (or my child) see?”
As for the answer to the first question, optometric vision therapy is a progressive program of vision activities performed under direction by your optometrist. The one-on-one program is customized and adapted to fit the visual needs of each patient. The therapy sessions are conducted in office under the supervision of a vision therapist.
Unlike normal “exercise” or physical therapy, the goal of optometric vision therapy is NOT to strengthen eye muscles. Your eye muscles are already some of the strongest muscles in your body. Instead, vision therapy aims to re-train the learned aspects of vision through neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to be molded and redesigned. Vision therapy should not be confused with any self-directed program of eye exercises. In-office vision therapy is supported by ongoing evidence-based scientific research.
In regards to the second question…it depends! Vision therapy works for people of all ages and walks of life. However, it can only be recommended and programmed by a licensed optometrist.
If you have any of the following symptoms, we suggest you schedule an evaluation to find out if vision therapy can help:
- Double vision
- Difficulty reading
- Inability to focus
- Frequent headaches
- Dizziness or vertigo
- A “lazy eye” or one eye that does not see well
- Depth perception issues
- Skipping or reversing letters and words when reading
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Vision changes following an injury or stroke