What is Vision Therapy?
Optometric Vision Therapy is a
progressive program of vision procedures performed under the supervision of an optometrist who has been trained in Behavioral
(also known as Developmental) Optometry. Each therapy program is individualized to fit the visual needs of that particular
patient. The sessions are conducted in-office, in once or twice weekly sessions of 45 minutes and they are usually supplemented
with procedures done at home between office visits.
A learning-related visual problem directly
affects how we learn, read, or sustain close work. Visual problems in any of the following areas can have a significant impact
- eye tracking skills - eyes following a line of print
teaming skills - two eyes working together as a synchronized team
- binocular vision - simultaneously
blending the images from both eyes into one image
- accommodation - eye focusing
- visual-motor integration - eye-hand coordination
- visual perception - visual memory,
visual form perception, and visualization
As vision and learning are intimately connected,
a vision problem can be easily mistaken for a learning problem. Youngsters with visual problems can be misdiagnosed as having
Learning Disabilities, ADHD, or Dyslexia. There are various reasons for this misdiagnosis. For example, children who have
learning-related visual problems cannot sustain their close work at school. They may be misdiagnosed as ADHD because children
with ADHD also can't sustain attention on their work. Same behaviors, different diagnosis.
is Neuro-Visual Rehabilitation?
Following a neurological event such as traumatic brain injury, multiple
sclerosis or even a cerebrovascular accident, patients may experience vertigo and dizziness that affects balance, stability
and movement in space. Often these difficulties relate to Post Trauma Vision Syndrome (PTVS). Patients who have PTVS have
unstable ambient (peripheral) visual processing. A common symptom is extreme difficulty with orientation and mobility when
there is random movement in the patient’s periphery.
Visual balance disorders can also be caused by Visual Midline Shift Syndrome (VMSS),
oculo-motor dysfunction in fixations, nystagmus, and disruptions of central and peripheral visual processing.
Visual neglect is a perceptual loss of vision. The person is unaware of their sight and will ignore or
not attend to vision on the affected side.
Prescription lenses with or without the addition of prism and visual rehabilitation
activities either at home or in-office are all beneficial treatment strategies.