Vision therapy is a customized approach to teaching the brain to control the eyes for optimal visual processing. Both children and adults can benefit from vision therapy in 30-minute or 60-minute sessions approximately once a week. Children who undergo vision therapy often show improvements in concentration, learning, and reading.
Many parents have heard of self-directed eye exercises that they complete at home with their child. The marketers of these programs claim that doing the exercises increases the strength of eye muscles. However, muscles in the eyes are already quite strong.
The goal of vision therapy is to tap the power of neuroplasticity to improve the way the eyes and brain work together. For example, difficulty tracking words on a page is one problem that vision therapy can address.
Vision therapy is not about improving visual acuity, since a prescription for glasses or contact lenses can do that. People can even have 20/20 vision and still struggle with visual skills. Unfortunately, school vision screenings rarely pick up on these problems because they only test visual acuity.
Visual processing problems are not nearly as easy to detect as basic vision issues like farsightedness. Here are some signs that parents and teachers can look for in children:
Becomes confused with similar words like was and saw
Loses their place while reading, repeats words, or omits words
Poor depth perception
Reading comprehension issues and/or not reading at grade level
Reverses letters, especially those with similar shapes like b, d, p, and q. May also write similar numbers backwards, like 6 and 9.
Struggles when changing focus from near to far work
Struggles with spelling
Undergoing vision therapy in Red Bank, NJ can be a helpful intervention for dozens of eye-brain communication problems. Here are some of the most common conditions we see among our vision therapy patients at Bright Eyes Optometry:
3D vision difficulties and problems with depth perception
Amblyopia (lazy eye)
Convergence insufficiency: This condition causes tracking difficulty with near tasks. Anxiety and concentration difficulties are common effects of untreated convergence insufficiency.
Coordination problems between the eyes and hands
Eye teaming and tracking problems where the two eyes do not track an object or words at the same time.
Visual processing and perception problems
Our team of optometrists prepare individualized vision therapy sessions for every patient to help improve processing speed, tracking, eye-hand coordination, and address other goals. We use a variety of tools to meet each patient’s specific targets. Some of these included filters, prisms, lenses, and occluders. Depending on the age of the patient, we may send home additional exercises to work on between vision therapy sessions.
Computer-based vision therapy exercises range from simple to complex depending on unique factors such as age, visual acuity, and specific visual processing problems. The exercises are engaging and interactive to hold the patient’s attention throughout the whole session. Please contact Bright Eyes Optometry to learn more or schedule an initial consultation.