- eye alignment
- eye tracking and eye teaming
- eye focusing abilities
- eye movements
- visual processing
Visual-motor skills and endurance are developed through the use of specialized computer and optical devices, including therapeutic lenses, prisms, and filters. During the final stages of therapy, the patient’s newly acquired visual skills are reinforced and made automatic through repetition and by integration with motor and cognitive skills.
Who Does it Benefit?
Children and adults with visual challenges such as:
Learning-related Vision Problems
Vision Therapy can help those individuals who lack the necessary visual skills for effective reading, writing, and learning. This can include eye movement and focusing skills, convergence, eye-hand activity, visual memory skills, etc.
Poor Binocular Coordination
Vision Therapy helps individuals develop normal coordination and teamwork of the two eyes (binocular vision). When the two eyes fail to work together as an effective team, performance in many areas can suffer (reading, sports, depth perception, eye contact, etc.).
A common binocular (two-eyed) vision disorder and eye-teaming problem in which the eyes have a strong tendency to drift outward when reading or doing close work. If the eyes do drift out, the person is likely to have double vision. To prevent double vision, the individual exerts extra effort to make the eyes turn back in (converge). This extra effort can lead to a number of frustrating symptoms which interfere with the ability to read and work comfortably at near.
Amblyopia, Diplopia, Strabismus
Amblyopia (lazy eye), Diplopia (double vision), and Strabismus (cross-eyed, wandering eye, eye turns, etc.)
Vision Therapy programs offer much higher cure rates for turned eyes when compared to eye surgery, glasses, and/or patching without therapy. The earlier the patient receives Vision Therapy the better, however, our office successfully treats patients well past 21 years of age. Recent scientific research has disproven the long held belief that children with amblyiopa (lazy eye) can’t be helped after age 7.
Stress-related Visual Problems
Stress-related Visual Problems (blurred vision, visual stress from reading and computers, eye strain headaches, and/or vision-induced stomachaches or motion sickness)
21st century life demands more from our vision than ever before. Many children and adults constantly use their near vision at school, work and home. Environmental stresses on the visual system (including excessive computer use or close work) can induce blurred vision, eyestrain, headaches, etc.
Visual Rehabilitation for Special Needs
Vision can be compromised as a result of neurological disorders or trauma to the nervous system. Vision Therapy can effectively treat the visual consequences of brain trauma, including those individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, birth injury, brain damage, head injury, whiplash, cerebral palsy, MS, etc. As well as, developmental delays, visual perceptual visual-motor deficits, attention deficit disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.
Vision Therapy Program
The first step in Dr. Day’s and Dr. Hatanaka’s Vision Therapy Program is a comprehensive Vision Therapy Consultation. This consultation determines whether a patient can benefit from vision therapy. The testing goes beyond 20/20 to evaluate many important visual skills, such as:
- Visual Acuity at Near – Is vision clear and single at close distances? Clear sight at short distances is critical to reading, writing, close work, computer use, etc.
- Eye Teaming Skills – Do the two eyes aim, move, and work as a coordinated team? Weaknesses in binocular (two-eyed) vision and eye teaming skills can cause numerous difficulties, including convergence insufficiency and poor depth perception.
- Focusing Skills – Do the eyes maintain clear vision at varying distances? Rapid, automatic eye focus adjustment is critical to learning, reading, writing, sports, etc. Deficiencies can cause visual fatigue, reduced reading comprehension, and/or avoidance of close work or other activities.
- Eye Movement Skills – Do eye movements show adequate muscle control, tracking, fixation, etc.? In the classroom, normal eye movements allow rapid and accurate shifting of the eyes along a line of print or from book to desk to board, etc. In sports, efficient eye movements contribute to eye-hand coordination, visual reaction time, and accurate tracking.
- Reversal Frequency – Is confusion or reversal of letters or words (b, d; p, q; saw, was; etc.) within the normal ranges for a given age? Past the age of seven, frequent visual and written reversals might indicate a visual perceptual dysfunction.
Once a patient is identified as being able to benefit from vision therapy, a course of treatment will be presented. Although each program is tailored to the patient’s specific needs, most programs are structured along the following guidelines:
- A progressive program of vision activities or procedures performed under the supervision of Dr. Day by her vision therapy assistant.
- Sessions which are generally conducted during 45 minute in-office visits once weekly.
- As well as supplemental activities done at home to develop and reinforce skills. This homework may include a specialized computer program, free-space activities, and/or close-work activities.
These procedures are prescribed to help patients develop or improve fundamental visual skills and abilities; improve visual comfort, ease, and efficiency; and/or change how a patient processes or interprets visual information.