Like many skills, visual skills are developed. Since they are developed, they can generally be improved through proper therapeutic techniques. In vision therapy, the optometrist prescribes visual tasks to be practiced under controlled conditions with the direction of one of our vision therapists. Repetition of these tasks enhances vision by coordinating and improving eye movement, focusing ability and helping proper eye-hand coordination develop as needed.
Each patient and their diagnosis is unique. Because of this each course of treatment is developed specifically for each patient. Vision therapy uses a combination of exercises and techniques paired with specialized equipment to create a therapy to address your child’s underlying challenges in the areas of eye teaming, focusing, and tracking. In most cases, a patient meets with our vision therapists once per week. Length of therapy program varies depending on diagnosis severity and home therapy completion.
Home therapy completion is essential to the success of vision therapy. Each week home therapy is assigned to help your child progress through his or her treatment program efficiently. Your child will work on these exercises between therapy sessions at home. This home therapy includes a computer software program that helps our vision therapy team track progress and provide supplemental activities for areas the patient is struggling most.
“Ever since I can remember I struggled with concentrating while reading. Any kind of reading was hard for me whether it was reading teachers notes on a white board, reading a text on my phone, or keeping my place in a book. Words were blurry or double and I constantly felt like I was straining to even decipher the letters and because of this I had regular headaches. I continually told my mom, “I think I need glasses” but I never did, and still don’t. I figured straining my eyes and headaches were just always going to be a part of my life.
Then I left for college and the amount of notes and reading that was required exhausted my eyes to the point I was getting headaches even more regularly. Concentrating and keeping up in class was near impossible due to not being able to focus in on the board and my notes quickly enough. I was then diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 18 and put on medication. The meds didn’t seem to do much at all to help my concentration so I stopped taking them. I tried my best but the reading workloads got larger every year and I ended up leaving school.
Recently I found out I have a convergence insufficiency. Dr. Sis explained to me what this meant and it all started to make sense. Vision therapy has improved my life in many ways! I no longer have to deal with blurry double vision and constantly losing my place while trying to read. Headaches are rare for me now, and my ADHD symptoms have also improved. I even started reading books in my free time again, which is something I hadn’t done since I was 14 years old. I looked forward to every therapy session with Dr. Sis, she really cares about your progress and is a joy to be around. My only regret is not knowing about my convergence insufficiency sooner!”