For some vision problems, glasses or contact lenses may not be enough. Vision therapy can be an option to help correct for certain vision-related problems by training the eyes, brain, and visual system. At Premier Eye Associates, we offer vision therapy programs to help address a variety of vision problems, including crossed eyes or a lazy eye, double vision, or focusing and reading difficulties. Below are some frequently asked questions about the process of vision therapy.
Vision therapy uses an individualized in-office program of exercises and activities designed to address visual problems that cannot be fixed by glasses or contacts. A doctor or trained vision therapist works individually with the patient during office sessions that occur usually once or twice a week, and exercises are assigned to be performed at home. The goal of these exercises are to strengthen the visual system by improving ocular alignment, focusing ability, and visual processing ability. Throughout vision therapy, there will be evaluations to ensure that progress is being made and the exercises are appropriately addressing the underlying problems.
Most commonly, children participate in vision therapy. Vision therapy is not typically recommended for kids under the age of 5, because their visual system is still developing and growing. However, children as young as 6 years old can benefit from exercises to help strengthen their visual system. Beginning vision therapy at a young age can help children excel in the classroom by helping them learn more efficiently. If you are interested in vision therapy for your child, our doctors and vision therapists can help you decide when the timing is right.
Children are not the only ones who can benefit from vision therapy. Adults with vision-related problems may also find improvement in quality of life and visual performance by participating in a therapy program. Sports vision therapy is oftentimes a successful endeavor for adults, and vision therapy can also be helpful for adults who suffer from vision-related problems following a concussion or brain injury.
Vision therapy is goal-oriented, meaning the program can be continued until visual goals are met and underlying problems are no longer present. Most of the time, when the therapy plan is strictly followed, vision therapy takes a few months to complete, but improvements will be made each and every week. The length of therapy programs can be variable depending on how often in-office sessions are completed, and how regularly exercises are performed at home. In some cases of more severe vision-related problems, effective therapy may take up to a year or more, though most courses are shorter. Once the goal has been met and the vision problem is no longer present, further treatment is not usually needed, as vision therapy has shown to have long-lasting positive visual effects. Rarely, a “refresher-course” of vision therapy is recommended if symptoms arise down the road. However, this is an infrequent occurrence, and most patients who successfully complete vision therapy maintain their visual skills for life.