What is Vision Therapy ?

Vision Therapy Is Effective Treatment

Vision therapy -- a type of physical therapy for the eyes and brain -- is a highly effective non-surgical treatment for many common visual problems such as lazy eye, crossed eyes, double vision, convergence insufficiency and some reading and learning disabilities. Many patients who have been told, "it's too late," or "you'll have to learn to live with it" have benefited from vision therapy. In the case of learning disabilities, vision therapy is specifically directed toward resolving visual problems which interfere with reading, learning and educational instruction. Optometrists do not claim that vision therapy is a direct treatment for learning disabilities.

What is involved in a Vision Therapy program?

Vision therapy is --

  • a progressive program of vision "exercises" or procedures;
  • performed under doctor supervision;
  • individualized to fit the visual needs of each patient;
  • conducted in-office, in once or twice weekly sessions of 30 minutes to one hour;
  • sometimes supplemented with procedures done at home between office visits ("home reinforcement" or "homework");
  • depending on the case) prescribed to --
  • help patients develop or improve fundamental visual skills and abilities;
  • improve visual comfort, ease, and efficiency;
  • change how a patient processes or interprets visual information.

Vision Therapy Is Not Just Eye Exercises

  • corrective lenses (regulated medical devices);
  • therapeutic lenses (regulated medical devices);
  • prism lenses (regulated medical devices);
  • optical filters;
  • eye patches or occluders
  • electronic targets with timing mechanisms;
  • computer software;
  • vestibular (balance) equipment
  • visual-motor-sensory integration training devices

The first step in any Vision Therapy program is a comprehensive vision examination. Following a thorough evaluation, a qualified vision care professional can advise the candidate as to whether Vision Therapy would be appropriate treatment.

  • Vision Therapy

    Vision Therapy is a progressive treatment plan used to correct or improve specific dysfunctions of the vision system through a carefully programmed arrangement of visual challenges, activities or drills.

    The goal of vision therapy is to allow you to have a natural, automatic use of the visual process, which in turn will allow you to function more effortlessly in visually demanding activities at school, work, or in sports.

    Vision therapy is helpful for:

    • Children with learning disabilities such as reading, visual processing, and eye tracking problems, as well as attention disorders
    • Lazy eye (amblyopia)
    • Crossed eye (strabismus)
    • Sports vision enhancement
    • Recovery from acquired head injury or stroke

    Diabetic Retinopathy

    If you have diabetes, you probably know that your body can’t use or store sugar properly. When your blood sugar gets too high, it can damage the blood vessels in your eyes. This damage may lead to diabetic retinopathy. In fact, the longer someone has diabetes, the more likely he is to have retinopathy.

    BUT...Maybe Euell Gibbons was right about the benefits of eating pine trees.

    Pycnogenol, an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, improves microcirculation, retinal edema and visual acuity in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, according to study a conducted at G.D’Annunzio University in Chietia and Pescara, Italy.

    Twenty-four diabetic patients were given three 50mg Pycnogenol tablets in the morning after breakfast, with 22 other receiving a placebo. The regimen lasted three months.

    After two months, visual acuity improved from the baseline measure of 14/20 to 17/20 in 18 of the 24 people in the Pycnogenol group. The placebo control group showed no control group showed no improvement.

    Reduction of retinal swelling also occurred, possibly due to improved retinal blood circulation.

    Fortunately, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by using common sense and taking good care of yourself.

    1. Keep your blood sugar under good control
    2. Monitor your blood pressure and keep it under good control, or seek appropriate care
    3. Maintain a healthy diet
    4. Exercise regularly
    5. Follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter

    Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment:

    95 % of those patients with significant diabetic retinopathy can avoid substantial vision loss if they are treated in time. The possibility of early detection is why is it so important for diabetics to have dilated eye exam at least once a year.