How Vision Therapy Can Help with a Variety of Eye Conditions

Vision therapy is a type of physical therapy, designed to help your eyes and your brain work together better. It’s often recommended for children who have certain conditions or learning disabilities, but can be an effective treatment approach for adults, as well.

Advantages of vision therapy

There are several benefits to vision therapy, regardless of whether it’s for you or for your child. For example, it’s a nonsurgical treatment, so you avoid all the risks that are inherent when you have a surgical procedure.

If you’ve ever been told it’s too late to address your vision problem, then vision therapy may be appropriate for you. There’s no deadline for this therapy’s effectiveness.

Your program of vision therapy is designed specifically to treat your problem. It’s not a one-size-fits-all treatment. Instead, our experts at Cooper Eye Center carefully craft your vision therapy to your needs.

Who may benefit from vision therapy?

It’s important to understand that vision therapy isn’t about making the muscles in your eye stronger, even though it’s a type of physical therapy. Instead, vision therapy helps improve vision skills, such as being able to follow a line of text. Such skills are usually learned during development, but can be improved at any time.

Often, vision therapy is recommended for children who are struggling to read or have other problems in school. There are three basic types of problems vision therapy can help with:

Oculomotor problems

Oculomotor problems are related to eye tracking, such as being able to look at a stationary target, being able to focus on a moving target, and being able to smoothly change focus from one target to another.

Accommodative problems

These problems have to do with how your eyes focus. Being able to focus on work that is close, and then switch to focus on something in the distance is an accommodative function. For example, if your child has problems when they look from work on their desk to work on the whiteboard at the front of the classroom, they may have accommodative problems.

Vergence problems

If your eyes don’t work together well, you have vergence problems. One example is convergence insufficiency, which is when your eyes don’t work together well. This is one of the most common problems that vision therapy is used to treat.

Many conditions involve these three types of problems, so vision therapy may be appropriate in a wide number of diagnoses, including myopia, strabismus, and amblyopia, among many others.

What to expect during vision therapy

Since your therapeutic program is designed specifically to address your needs, the number and length of visits varies. However, most people require one or two sessions per week, and most of your sessions will last around 30 minutes. You may also have exercises to do at home between appointments.

Vision therapy is more than eye exercises, though. During your therapy appointments, you may use balance boards or optical filters, or any of several other aids and devices used to provide the most appropriate therapy for you or your child.

If you’d like to learn more about vision therapy, or find out if it may be an appropriate treatment approach for you or your child, book an appointment at Cooper Eye Center online or by phone. We’re happy to answer questions and provide a consultation to discuss your individual circumstances.

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