Vision therapy (VT) is meant to retrain certain learned aspects of vision through the concept of neuroplasticity. Unlike “eye exercises” marketed to the public, which are self-directed, in-office optometric vision therapy is conducted under the supervision of an optometrist. Additionally, it is supported by ongoing, evidence-based scientific research. Vision therapy is safe, drug-free, and is effective for both children and adults. It focuses not on visual acuity (the “20/20” part of vision), but aims to improve visual skills such as tracking along a line of text. This must be learned during development, but these skills can also be improved later in life. At Premier Eye Care, we provide vision therapy to help establish these skills in our patients in Calgary, AB.
The goal of vision therapy is not to strengthen eye muscles; these are already fairly strong. Rather, VT aims to help patients develop or improve fundamental visual skills and abilities. It consists of vision procedures that train the eyes to change how a patient processes or interprets visual information. The procedures are individualized to fit the needs of each patient, whether they are a child or adult.
Therapy is generally conducted in-office, once or twice a week. Sessions last 30 minutes to an hour and sometimes include homework. When successful, VT will improve visual comfort, ease, and efficiency. It should be noted that an estimated one in 10 children have a vision problem severe enough to affect their school performance. However, school vision screenings often miss these problems. Only a comprehensive vision exam with a developmental optometrist can check all aspects of eye health, vision, and visual skills. Without this, it is possible that you or your child will struggle unnecessarily with an undiagnosed vision problem.
This program uses a variety of tools, including therapeutic lenses, prisms, filters, occluders or patches, electronic targets with timing mechanisms, and balance boards. It can also use a variety of special tools that are designed for specific and unique vision therapy.
For more information on VT, contact our office in Calgary, AB. The professionals at Premier Eye Care are here to help you and your family achieve stronger visual skills and maintain eye health.