What is vision therapy?

Vision therapy is an individualized treatment program prescribed to improve conditions like crossed-eyes (strabismus) or lazy eye (amblyopia) and to help you learn, relearn or reinforce specific vision skills. Such skills include eye movement control, focusing control , eye coordination and teamwork of the two eyes.

How does vision therapy work?

Like many skills, visual skills are developed. And since they are developed, they can generally be improved through proper therapeutic techniques. In vision therapy, the optometrist prescribes visual tasks to be practiced under controlled conditions. Repetition of these tasks enhances vision by straightening the alignment of the eyes.

What are some vision therapy procedures?

In addition to the use of lenses, prisms and filters, there are many different procedures that can be used in vision therapy. Some, using stereo-viewers or video games, may seem like child’s play. More sophisticated equipment and instruments are also used to increase the eye’s ability to see and the brain’s ability to understand the visual information.

How long does vision therapy take?

The length of time required for completion of a vision therapy program, including the number of visits per week, the length of each visit and the amount of out-of-office therapy, varies. This is dependent upon the type of vision problem(s) , how long the condition has existed, the motivation of the patient and the level of improvement desired.

A typical program may take from a few weeks to several months.

How will vision therapy affect my lifestyle?

Depending upon your vision condition, therapy can have a profound effect on your lifestyle. By undergoing vision therapy, you may find yourself looking at life in a whole new way. Your doctor of optometry can provide you with more specific information about how vision therapy can help improve your vision.

Want more information?

To read definitions of Vision Therapy by outside sources, see What is Vision Therapy? To browse through hundreds of stories written by parents, teachers, adults and children, go to a national catalog of Vision Therapy Success Stories. More information can also be found at College of Optometrists in Vision Development.