How Vision Therapy Can Improve Quality of Life.
The goal of Optometric Vision Therapy is not to strengthen eye muscles. Eye muscles are already incredibly strong. Since two-thirds of all information humans receive is visual, it is essential that visual skills are efficient. Even for youngsters, these basic visual skills are necessary to perform tasks such as focusing, reading, walking and using a computer.
Vision therapy can be performed to improve general visual comfort and efficiency as well as alter visual processing. People of all ages for a rich variety of reasons will ask for vision therapy or be recommended for vision therapy. The following is a look at the different types of vision therapy that exist and the types of visual skills they can develop and enhance:
The Types of Vision Therapy
The primary types of vision therapy an optometry office will offer:
- Orthoptic vision therapy: This type of therapy consists of a series of exercises that an optometrist will ask to have performed over the course of several months. These exercises are typically done once a week in an office setting with some exercises recommended for more frequent performance at home with the goal of improving binocular function.
- Behavioral/perceptual vision therapy: These are another style of eye exercises that are designed to improve visual processing as well as visual perception.
- Post Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or Concussion Rehabilitation: Our team is experienced in neuro-optometric rehabilitation and treats conditions such as double vision, eye strain, headaches, dizziness and poor memory, along with many other symptoms that can be common after a TBI.
- Myopia vision therapy: This type of vision therapy is primarily for the prevention or the correction of nearsightedness, known medically as myopia.
The Visual Skills That Can Be Developed and Enhanced via Vision Therapy
As noted above, people may seek out an eye doctor for vision therapy for several reasons. The following is a look at some of the most common visual skills that can be developed as well as enhanced via professionally led vision therapy:
- Tracking. Commonly requested by athletes, tracking is the ability to follow objects with both eyes.
- Depth perception. This is the ability to accurately see and move within a space as well as the ability to judge the relative distances of various items in one's field of vision.
- Binocularity. This is the ability to use both eyes together and work as a team. People with binocular issues can see blur, double, have light sensitivity or experience headaches.
- Peripheral vision. Another type of vision therapy commonly requested by athletes, this skill is the ability to monitor and interpret what is happening outside the central visual task.
- Near vision and/or distance acuity. The first is the skill of seeing things close to you while the latter is the skill to see things at a further distance.
- Perceptual skills. These skills help to understand and recognize visual information. These are the most basic visual abilities required for learning and reading.
- Eye-Hand Coordination. The ability to use the eyes to guide the hands in both gross and fine motor activities. These skills are critical for sports, building, drawing, and handwriting development.
Vision therapy is:
- A progressive program of vision procedures
- Performed with a vision therapist under doctor supervision of the treatment plan
- Individualized to fit the visual needs of each patient
- Generally conducted in-office, in once or twice weekly sessions of 30-40 minutes
- Supplemented with procedures done at home between office visits
Optometric Vision Therapy is supervised by vision care professionals and many types of specialized medical equipment can be utilized, such as:
- Therapeutic lenses
- Occluders or patches
- Electronic targets with timing mechanisms
- Balance boards
Call Saline Optometry / Chelsea Eyeglass Co.
Are you interested in learning more about the various skills you can enhance via vision therapy or want to schedule an optometry consultation with your local eye doctor? Contact our Chelsea or Saline team today.