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Why Vision Therapy?

Vision is much more than being able to see 20/20.  In order for the visual system to work properly, the eyes must work well as a team and the brain must be able to process the visual information that it receives properly.

If there’s a dysfunction in either of those skills there can be learning delays and/or eye strain that usually cannot be corrected with glasses alone.

Undetectable By Typical Vision Screenings

According to the American Optometric Association, 1 in 4 children has an undetected vision problem that affects their ability to learn. This is because typical school vision screening only screen for acuity, or seeing clearly. They don’t test for skills such as ‘tracking’ and ‘focusing’.

That’s why many children and even adults who have 20/20 eyesight actually have a Functional Vision problem. People lacking in these critical visual skills will have problems reading, writing, and may experience behavioral issues. they may experience symptoms such as headaches, sore eyes, and short-attention spans.

Functional Vision Evaluations

Only a Functional Vision evaluation will diagnose a Functional Vision problem. When a functional Vision problem is diagnosed Vision Therapy can help correct by retraining a person’s visual system to work properly.

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What Is Vision Therapy?

Good vision requires your eyesight, visual pathways, and brain to all work together. When they don’t, even a person with 20/20 eyesight can experience difficulty reading, writing and processing information.

Once a Functional Vision evaluation has been performed, and a problem is diagnosed, the doctor may recommend vision therapy.

Vision therapy helps the patient develop the visual skills necessary for good vision. During therapy optical devices and exercises are used to improve the eye-brain connection in order to make eye movements easier and more efficient. The patient learns how to correctly process the visual information that the brain receives from the eyes.

Who Needs Vision Therapy?

Patients who require vision therapy generally have the following visual challenges:

  • Learning related visual problems: conditions such as poor focusing, tracking, and visualization skill can all negatively affect learning.
  • Crossed eye or Lazy eye: vision therapy is very effective for these condition at an early age, and can still yield results for patients of any age.
  • Stress-induced vision problems: people who do a large amount of time in front of computer and device screens can experience eyestrain, headaches and other visual related problems.
  • Neurological disorders or trauma: people who have traumatic brain injuries, strokes, whiplash, developmental delays, or other neurologic ailments can be affected by Functional Vision problems.
  • Sports vision training: athletes often use vision therapy to improve eye-hand coordination, visual reaction time, peripheral vision, focusing and tracking.

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Diagnosing Vision Problems

The only way to ensure that all the essential visual skills are working correctly is by having a Functional Vision Evaluation.

Schools don’t provide these evaluations because a large percentage of students don’t have vision problems, and conducting these evaluation on every child would be costly.

Not all optometrist have the advance training or equipment required to perform a Functional Vision Evaluation, and often refer their patients to us for evaluation.

What Is A Functional Vision Evaluation?

The Functional Vision Evaluation is a series of tests based on the patient’s individual needs.

The doctor will first review the patient’s health and eye history with emphasis on the vision problems and symptoms, then will tailor the evaluation which includes tests on a wide range of visual skills.

The evaluation takes 60-90 minutes to complete.

Once the evaluation is completed, the doctor will review the results of the testing and create an individualized treatment plan. A patient Education Visit will be scheduled to present the results of the testing and the doctor’s recommended treatment plan.The purpose of the Patient Education Visit is to provide ample time to discuss the testing results and treatment plan as well as answer any questions that you may have.

Not Every Patient Requires Vision Therapy

The Functional Vision Evaluation is conducted to determine if there is a problem. It’s not uncommon for us to find that only a change in a glasses prescription is needed. But the testing is critical to get to the root cause of a child’s learning issues.

Insurance Coverage

The level of coverage provided in your health insurance policy determines whether the evaluation and resultant vision therapy is covered under the policy.We are happy to provide you with a preauthorization letter that you can give to your insurance company to determine your level of coverage. In the event you don’t have coverage, we have a variety of payment plans that can fit any budget.

Treatment Types

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Vision Therapy Treatment Program

An individualized vision therapy program is critical for effective treatment for vision problems. The recommended program will combine both office and home-based vision therapy that address a patient’s specific visual problems, delivers the most efficient results.

What Does The Program Include?

A typical vision therapy treatment program includes:

  • Activities to build or improve visual skills. Here patients perform certain visual activities and procedures that will help correct the visual functioning of their eyes. These will be performed both in our office and at home. Newly acquired visual skills will be reinforced and made automatic through repetition and by integration with motor and cognitive skills.
  • Office visits to build visual skills and keep patients on track. For best and most efficient progress, regular visits to the office are required. There are many important visual activities are done in the office with a vision therapist that cannot be done at home. Proper performance of supportive home activities is also monitored. Office visits are generally 45 minutes in length. Many patients come weekly but frequency of the visits will depend on the diagnosis and severity of the problem.
  • Use of various devices include but not limited to any of the following tools: Corrective lenses
    Therapeutic lenses
    Prism lenses
    Optical filters
    Brock strings
    Eye patches or occluders
    Vectograms, Tranaglyphs & Stereo objects
    Electronic targets with timing mechanisms
    Computer software
    Vestibular (balance) equipment
    Visual-motor-sensory integration training devices

What is the length of treatment?

The length of the treatment will vary, as will the exercises required. We will be building your visual-motor skills and endurance through the use of specialized computer and optical devices. Therapy programs can range in length from one session to 2-3 years. Most programs last between 6-9 months.

In order for the therapy program to be effective, it must be directed by an expert in the field of developmental optometry. A person’s visual system is very complex, and only a doctor with the appropriate training is qualified to determine which techniques should be used for your vision problem.