Optometric vision therapy is a program of care used to develop, restore, or enhance visual function and performance. The goal of optometric vision therapy is to automatize normative function, not to strengthen eye muscles. The eye muscles are already incredibly strong. Vision therapy enables an individual to learn more efficient ways to perform visually. Vision therapy can improve visual function much like physical therapy can improve general motor function.
Functional visual problems that can be significantly improved through optometric vision therapy include:
- Ocular motility dysfunction - eye movement disorders
- Vergence dysfunction- inefficiency in using both eyes together
- Strabismus - misalignment of the eyes
- Amblyopia - lazy eye
- Accommodative disorders - focusing problems
- isual information processing disorders
- Visual sensory and motor integration
"What can I expect?"
Vision therapy procedures are conducted under the supervision of an optometrist and are individualized to meet the needs of each patient. Vision therapy is generally conducted in-office every two weeks for 30 minutes to one hour and is most often supplemented with procedures done at home between office visits. Therapy plans typically involve lenses, prisms, optical instruments, and specially adapted computers. The specific materials are less important than the feedback provided to the patient to enable change.
"What are the symptoms?"
Some of the common symptoms relieved through vision therapy include eye strain, visually induced headaches, inability to concentrate when doing visual tasks, and errors such as loss of place or reversals when reading or writing. More often, individuals have no recognized symptoms due to their avaidance of visually demanding tasks or an adaptation that decreases their performance.