Vision therapy is a treatment plan that is intended to develop and improve a patient’s visual skills and abilities to improve visual function. You may also hear Vision Therapy referred to as VT. Although most commonly associated with children whose visual skills are still naturally developing, adults can also benefit from vision therapy.
Any patient who does not have good visual skills could find themselves suffering from a range of unpleasant symptoms, including headaches, eye fatigue, stiff neck and double vision. Fortunately, vision therapy is a simple, painless series of eye exercises designed to help the patient's specific visual needs and skills so they can overcome any issues that they may have been experiencing.
Vision therapy has been shown to be an effective way of developing and improving the following visual skills, all of which are important for day to day life:
Tracking: This is the ability to follow a moving object smoothly and accurately with both eyes. Examples of this are moving traffic, reading or tracking a ball coming towards you.
Depth perception: This is the ability to judge relative distances of objects and and move accurately in a 3D space. For example, depth perception is needed to be able to walk down a flight of stairs.
Peripheral vision: This refers to the area around your central vision. We need to be able to assess what’s happening in our peripheral vision while simultaneously paying attention to things directly in front of us.
Visual Acuity at different distances: This is the ability to see clearly enough to identify and understand objects and text at both near and far distances and to focus smoothly back and forth.
Fixation: This enables patients to quickly and accurately find, focus on, identify and understand stationery objects one after the other.
Binocular vision: This refers to the ability to have both eyes working together in perfect synchronization.
Shifting focus: Patients with this skill can look quickly and focus smoothly at different distances without momentary blur.
Visualization: This is a valuable visual skill that enables patients to form, understand and retain images in their head.
Vision therapy is generally conducted as an in-office treatment, under the close supervision of your vision therapist and eye doctor. Each vision therapy treatment plan is personalized; tailored to the specific individual needs of each patient. Most patients can expect to schedule hour appointments once or twice a week. You may also be given specific exercises to complete at home, which will support the progress that you are making during your in-office appointments. The components of Vision Therapy Treatment are non-invasive and drug-free, making VT suitable for the vast majority of patients, regardless of their age, health and history. For many people, vision therapy is a safe alternative to conventional eye surgeries.
There are various techniques that can be involved in vision therapy. These include, but aren’t limited to:
By attending regular vision therapy appointments, patients can see an improvement in their reading ability, comprehension and visual comfort and experience an overall improvement with the ease in which they use their eyes for daily activites. If you are interested in Vision Therapy, please consult with Dr. Kubota.