Vision Therapy FAQ

Vision Therapy

What is vision therapy? 
Vision therapy is a sequence of eye exercises that are used to improve the quality and efficiency of the visual system. It helps eyes work more efficiently so that you can perform daily tasks, like reading and writing more effectively.

Why would my eye doctor recommend vision therapy?
Vision is more than achieving and keeping 20/20 eyesight. Without an effective visual system, our balance, hand-eye coordination, reading comprehension, ability to drive or catch a ball are all compromised. Vision therapy can be recommended to strengthen the visual system to perform at its peak.

How common are eye-focusing and eye-teaming problems?
Studies suggest that 5-10% of current school-aged children have an eye-focusing or eye-teaming problem. These problems may be present even if the child shows sufficient visual acuity; i.e., they see 20/20.

Is there such a thing as being “too old” for vision therapy?
While it is best to catch certain conditions earlier for better outcomes, studies show that adults can also improve visual function with vision therapy. This can help at the work place, especially if your job is demanding on the visual system. This includes jobs with a lot of reading or alternatively jobs that require quick decision making based on visual cues.

What is the goal of vision therapy?
Vision therapy is done to help develop or improve fundamental visual skills and abilities. It is also done to improve visual comfort, ease, and efficiency. It does so by changing how the brain processes and interprets visual information.
What are some everyday tasks vision therapy will help me with? Vision therapy can improve reading speed and duration without fatigue. It can also improve willingness, comprehension and confidence with reading. It can decrease the overwhelmed feeling caused by crowded worksheets. In terms of sports vision, vision therapy can increase response time, awareness, hand-eye accuracy, scanning and tracking abilities and balance.

What can I expect from vision therapy services?
Vision therapy includes both in-office and home-based exercises. After a problem is identified, a series of exercises will be designed specifically for the individual to improve visual function.
What do vision therapy session activities involve? Corrective lenses, therapeutic lenses, prism lenses, occluders, and computer software to name a few, are used in vision therapy activities. Each patient’s vision therapy session is tailored to them, but in general, we work to create dynamic, all-encompassing eye exercises.

Does vision therapy help with my lens prescription?
For most patients the prescription is unrelated to eye tracking and teaming issues that vision therapy works to improve. The prescription in your glasses is to make images appear clearly. Therefore, the nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism remain unchanged after vision therapy. In the case of patients needing corrective prisms, vision therapy can help reduce or eliminate the need for prism. It is important to have an up-to-date prescription prior to starting vision therapy.

How do I get started?
Schedule an appointment for your binocular vision assessment. Your doctor will conduct tests as needed.

What is RightEyeTM?
It is an FDA approved non-invasive eye tracking system that can detect commonly undiagnosed visual impairment, functional vision performance, neurological impairment indicators amongst other assessments. A typical assessment takes 5-10 minutes to administer. RightEyeTM has four major assessment profiles to measure eye performance and compares it to standardized expected norms based on age. These areas are functional vision, reading, sports vision and brain health.

What is functional vision and how is it assessed?
Functional vision refers to the way an individual uses the vision they have in everyday life. This means measuring more than your visual acuity at an eye chart. It involves skills like tracking, focusing, eye teaming, and visual processing. Frequent headaches and problems with coordination can be examples of how a person’s health is affected by vision problems. Using in-office advanced eye-tracking technology we quickly and objectively identify a host of functional vision issues that impact quality of life.

How do we assess reading efficiency?
Using advanced technology, we can track eye movements while the patient is reading to determine speed, efficacy, comprehension and functional range. We can then rank reading ability against standardized norms and gives a percentile ranking of how your skills rate.

How does it assess sports vision?
Eye testing mechanisms that mimic the high-speed tracking, saccadic eye movements, and eye tracing, which are critical in sports performance, are measured and ranked against the abilities of over 3,000 professional athletes. Recommendations are then made to increase vision function to help you improve your performance during the game. What happens after assessment? Your doctor will evaluate the results from various tests and will diagnose any areas of needed treatment. Specific vision therapy techniques are prescribed to treat conditions and improve eye function. How do I improve my vision with vision therapy? Individualized vision therapy exercises are recommended and instituted by your doctor, targeting the areas that need improvement. Reassessments are done periodically to monitor improvement and change exercises as needed.

How long does vision therapy take to correct or enhance visual performance?
Vision therapy programs are individually designed for each patient based on the severity of the conditions being treated, the patient's motivation and readiness, and the number of therapy sessions the patient can attend. Therapy programs might range in duration from three to four months and may need extension and is determined case by case.

How long do the results of vision therapy last?
Most healthy vision therapy patients enjoy long term resolution of their visual problems. Generalizing the newly acquired visual abilities to the activities of daily life allows these new visual skills to become self-reinforcing. Efficient vision becomes a habit, as hard to break any other habit! Sickness, extreme fatigue or emotional trauma may cause temporary changes in visual skills. Patients with certain conditions may need to perform a minimum level of periodic maintenance therapy to sustain the high levels of visual performance attained during regular in-office or at-home therapy.

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