What Is Vision Therapy?

Therapeutic and developmental vision care is an expanded area of optometric practice focused on the visual system. Vision therapy is like physical therapy for the eyes. It improves visual function by training the brain to better control the eyes. It can also improve higher level brain skills such as visual processing. It 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.

Unlike eyeglasses and contact lenses, which simply compensate for vision problems, or eye surgery that alters the anatomy of the eye or surrounding muscles, vision therapy aims to “teach” the visual system to correct itself; Thereby strengthening the visual system as a whole.

Visual skills are like other coordination (or motor) skills – once they are learned, the brain retains that ability. Hitting a ball, riding a bike, tying your shoes, and writing are examples of motor skills that once learned, are retained for long periods of time. Vision therapy is eye-brain therapy that strengthens existing visual skills and enables new visual skills to be used easily and efficiently thus, enhancing learning and life.

Conditions Treated by Vision Therapy

Vision therapy is safe, drug free and effective not just for children, but also for adults! You may have heard of vision therapy as a treatment for children, but adults have as much need for this type of vision care as children. It's often effective for adults because they are motivated to see their visual abilities improve.

When someone has trouble using both of their eyes together or focusing for long periods of time, this isn't a problem that one simply grows out of. A child with a visual problem often will become an adult with a visual problem.

It is estimated that 1 in 10 children have a vision problem severe enough to affect their learning in school, yet a school vision screening has the potential to miss up to half of these problems. Our neuro-visual exams with our developmental optometrists will check all aspects of eye health, vision and visual skills.

Our developmental optometrists routinely prescribe vision therapy for the following conditions:

How A Vision Problem Can Affect Your Life

For your children, if you feel they are not achieving their potential or you have noticed some of the visual symptoms discussed here manifesting themselves, they should be referred for a comprehensive eye exam. The reason being that many of these problems will not be detected during a vision screening or routine pediatric health evaluation, and a child may not always know how to communicate their struggles.

​​​​​​​As an adult, you'll generally figure out a way to compensate for any visual problems so that you can continue doing your work. But, that may mean you come home from work extremely tired or feeling like you've just run a race when all you did was sit at a desk and computer. In either case, a developmental optometrist can give you the answers to questions you weren't even sure you were meant to be asking