Vision is a learned skill involving over 20 different processes. We are constantly developing our vision throughout our lifetime.
Vision Therapy is a doctor-supervised, non-surgical and customized program of visual activities designed to correct certain vision problems and/or improve visual skills. It is intended to make the visual system more efficient.
Vision Therapy is based on the results of a comprehensive eye examination or consultation, and takes into consideration the results of standardized tests, the needs of the patient, and the patient’s signs and symptoms. The use of lenses, prisms, filters, occluders, specialized instruments, and computer programs is an integral part of vision therapy. The length of the therapy program varies depending on the severity of the diagnosed conditions, typically ranging from 3 to 12 months. Home support activities paralleling in-office techniques are typically taught to the patient to be practiced at home, thereby reinforcing the developing visual system.
Vision Disorders that can be helped by Vision Therapy include:
- Lazy eye (Amblyopia)- loss or lack of development of central vision that is unrelated to any eye health problem and not correctable with glasses or contact lenses
- Crossed eye (Strabimsus)- a condition where one or both eyes do not point in the same direction at the same time.
- Convergence Insufficiency- a common eye –teaming problem where the eyes do not work together up close
- Accommodative Insufficiency- a condition where the patient has the inability to sustain near focus for a period of time
- Oculomotor Dysfunction- a condition that can cause difficulty tracking due to poorly coordinated eye muscles
- Learning-related vision problems- a vision problem that adversely affects reading, writing, and learning
- Visual sequelae of concussion and/or brain injury
Learning Problems and Vision
Learning-related vision problems affect the way a child’s eyes work with each other, and they affect how the brain collects and interprets visual information
Learning-related vision problems can be as simple as an inability to see close-up (eye focusing problem), or as complex as a cognitive inability to “visualize” or interpret what their eyes are seeing. In many cases, a child’s visual abilities aren’t sufficiently developed for him/her to be able to read – or learn to read – effectively. Unfortunately, children with learning-related vision problems usually don’t tell a parent or teacher they have a problem. They don’t realize how they are supposed to see letters, numbers, or objects.
What causes learning-related vision problems?
Research indicates the problem can be due to a difficulty in either acquiring or processing the information we receive through our eyes. The visual skills needed to see effectively may be lacking or the brain may not be sufficiently trained to interpret what the eyes see. Without these abilities, the patient spends a lot of unnecessary energy just “looking at” and “decoding” the written word.
Vision Therapy can help those individuals who lack the necessary visual skills for effective reading, writing, and learning, including ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, poor reading comprehension and/or fluency, and tracking problems.
Does your child have learning related vision problems?
The following questionnaire can help identify a child who may be struggling with a vision problem that can be corrected with a program of vision therapy:
1. Physical Signs
One eye turning in or out
Squinting, eye rubbing or excessive blinking
Blurred or double vision
Headaches or dizziness after reading
Head tilting, closing or blocking one eye when reading
2. Performance Signs
Avoids “near” work
Frequent loss of place when reading
Omits, inserts, or rereads letters/words
Confuses similar looking words
Failure to recognize the same word in the next sentence
Poor reading comprehension
Letter or word reversals after the first grade
Difficulty copying from the chalkboard
Poor handwriting; misaligns numbers
Book held too close to the eyes
3. Secondary Symptoms
Smart in everything but school
Low self-esteem, poor self-image
Temper flare-ups, aggressiveness
Short attention span
Fatigue, frustration, stress
Answering Yes to 5 or more of the above statements may be an indication of a learning related vision problem.
Call VisionQuest Eyecare at (317) 865-6829 to schedule an appointment for a Binocular Vision Evaluation to determine if vision therapy may be the solution for you or your child’s symptoms.
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. The prevalence of concussion is increasing, especially in young athletes.
While studies show approximately 85% of concussions resolve within two weeks, 15% of individuals have persistent symptoms that last for weeks, months, even years. This condition is called Post-Concussion Syndrome.
Post-Concussion Syndrome symptoms:
- Double vision
- Blurred vision
- Decreased visual attention
- Poor visual memory
- Visual spatial confusion
Our office also treats patients that have suffered a brain injury from stroke, motor-vehicle accidents, and other accidents that can cause visual deficiencies, affecting one’s quality of life.
Visual skill deficiencies that occur after a brain injury respond well to in-office vision therapy treatment that is carefully introduced to retrain the brain. As we decrease the symptoms above, quality of life improves dramatically. After treatment, patients can return to school, work, and the field/court more comfortably, safely, and successfully.