What is Vision Therapy?
Vision therapy (VT) or behavioral optometry is an umbrella term for alternative medical treatments involving eye exercises, based on the pseudo-scientific claim that vision problems are the real cause of learning disabilities, especially in children. Vision therapy is based on the premise that many learning disabilities in children are related to vision problems and that these can be cured with eye exercises.
The goal of optometric vision therapy (“VT”) is not to strengthen the eye muscles. Your eye muscles are already incredibly strong, and the vision problems that VT is designed to treat are rarely caused by muscle weakness. Instead, vision therapy aims to retrain learned aspects of vision through the concept of neuroplasticity.
Who is vision therapy suitable for? Vision therapy is safe, drug-free, and effective for both children and adults! While visual acuity (the “20/20” part of vision) is required to improve a pair of glasses, visual skills like following a line of text together must be learned during development. These skills can also be improved later in life at any age. It is estimated that 1 in 10 children has a vision problem severe enough to affect their learning at school, but school vision tests can miss up to half of these problems. A comprehensive vision exam with an optometrist examines all aspects of eye health, vision and visual abilities and can ensure that you or your child are not needlessly struggling with an undiagnosed vision problem.
There are three main categories of vision therapy:
- “Orthoptic vision therapy,” is a series of exercises which are typically performed weekly in the optometrist’s office for several months. Orthoptics eye exercises (orthoptics), are eye exercises to improve binocular function and are taught in the office and performed at home. Our team of Optometrists and Vision Therapists assess and measure ocular abnormalities, administer amblyopia treatment, and treat small intermittent symptomatic ocular abnormalities.
- Behavioral/Perceptual Therapy – Eye exercises to improve visual processing and/or visual perception
- Vision therapy to prevent or correct myopia (nearsightedness)
Problems vision therapy can correct:
- Amblyopia: Sometimes called “lazy eye”.
- Strabismus: Failure to keep the eyes properly aligned when reading despite appropriate alignment when looking at objects far away.
- Binocular vision problems: Eye strain and eye fatigue when reading.
- Eye movement disorders: Accuracy when reading or other close-up work.
- Accommodative (focusing) disorders: Near or Far focusing problems.
- Other problems: Visual-perceptual disorders, vision problems associated with developmental disabilities and problems with vision associated with a brain injury (such as from a stroke).
To learn more about our vision therapy programs contact A+ Vision at https://ocvision.net or call us at: (949) 364-4455. Optometric vision therapy is performed in our Ladera Ranch Optometry office under the supervision of Dr. Monique Nguyen.