Vision Therapy or Vision Training is much more than just “eye exercises”. It is a progressive method of retraining how the brain, eyes and body work together. It can be useful for both children and adults. Vision Therapy may be used to improve: eye aiming (tracking or following with the eyes); visual attention (fixation & use of peripheral vision); eye teaming (convergence or the ability to point both eyes accurately at the same time); focusing (ability to change focus from far to close); strabismus (eye turn); amblyopia (lazy eye/ poor eyesight); and visual information processing.
Vision therapy is individually programmed and delivered. To ensure successful outcomes, all of our Vision Training programs are custom-made and individually prescribed for each and every person. Diagnostic testing, training procedures and the use of lenses and prisms may be integral components of the successful treatment of a vision problem. The frequency of consultation, the amount of home training and the duration of a course of vision therapy will vary depending on the nature and severity of the problem being treated and the specific needs of the patient.
Our vision therapy room is filled with lots of wonderful equipment to help our kids and adults achieve better use of their vision while having fun!
Unfortunately, like all skills and for various reasons, there is sometimes a delay in a child’s course of development of their visual skills. These delays can cause problems with a child’s learning ability.
Your child’s vision may be clear enough and they might have 20/20 eyesight, but they may not have developed the appropriate visual skills for learning and reading. When reading, it is necessary for a child to keep their place along a line of text (tracking skills) as well as keeping the page in focus at the same time (focusing skills). They need to then be able to analyse the letters within the word (horse or house?) and make sense of what they read. Reading is a very complex task!
To read left to right partly requires tracking skills but also involves visual-spatial skills. It is important to understand that reading from left to right is actually a culturally and educationally imposed requirement. In many cultures, reading is vertically arranged or in some cases, is arranged from right to left.
The level of demands on visual skills required for reading increases throughout a child’s learning years.
Convergence insufficiency is a condition where the brain cannot use two eyes together well for near working distances. It can result in symptoms of blur, headache, double vision, words moving on the page, eyestrain, and difficulties with attention and concentration.
Our focus system is like a camera. We need to be able to change focus depending on where we’re looking, maintain clear focus at a particular point (a word on a page) and rapidly change focus from one point to another (copying from the board to the book).
When these skills are not well developed, energy is directed away from the brain and learning, and concentrated on trying to keep our eyes working. This is a lot of hard work and can make reading and learning laborious and tiring.
Vision Therapy can assist, overcome or minimise some learning difficulties by improving how efficiently our eyes work.
Difficulty using two eyes together can result in strabismus or amblyopia. The brain effectively dulls the input from one eye into the brain, resulting in poor eyesight, visual function, and sometimes strabismus. Sometimes strabismus may occur without amblyopia (reduced eyesight), but this often occurs when the strabismus alternates from one eye to the other. Amblyopia may also occur without strabismus.
There are many types of strabismus. Some forms are best treated by Vision Therapy used in conjunction with spectacle aids and prisms. Others are best treated by surgical intervention. Strabismus is one of the most complicated visual adaptations that can occur in the human binocular system. It is not always simple to treat and treatment may be lengthy and require a number of different approaches.
The ultimate goals of vision therapy in turned or lazy eyes is to have eyes that work together, look straight, to have well developed depth perception or 3D vision and to have strong visual efficiency skills so that we can function well with our vision without fatigue.
Typically, vision therapy for such patients will progress through a series of activities such as monocular (using one eye) and bi-ocular (using both eyes) skills and then fusion (putting the images from both eyes together) and binocular (using both eyes together in all directions of gaze) skills.
We use the latest equipment to help develop 3D vision in the vision therapy session, using a 3D TV and goggles. We want vision therapy to be fun too!
Have you ever heard someone say ‘that player has great vision’?
Sports commentators often describe a player’s ability to accurately judge where other players or the goals are without looking, as ‘great vision’.
This ability has nothing to do with the player’s ‘clarity of vision’; it is about peripheral awareness and efficient visual function. Some sports people have these skills naturally, others need to learn to develop them!
Vision training activities are a structured series of exercises designed to maximise the efficiency of specific visual skills required for all different types of sports.
So if your sport involves vision (and let’s face it – most do) then consider a vision examination about your specific sport and its visual requirements.
Benefits of Vision Therapy
Typical improvements noted as a result of our vision therapy program include:
- improved concentration;
- increased interest in reading, along with better comprehension and speed;
- improved focusing ability and control;
- reduction or removal of eyestrain or headaches symptoms following visual tasks;
- reduction in light sensitivity;
- improved depth perception;
- improved night vision;
- clearer vision;
- improved peripheral vision awareness or spatial awareness.
- gain straight looking eyes in strabismus.