Vision therapy uses eye exercises to treat certain vision and eye related problems. It is most commonly used to help children strengthen their visual skills, but adults can benefit from vision therapy as well. Many adults have gone their entire lives fighting to overcome visual problems, such as focusing problems or tracking issues. They may develop ways to compensate for their vision issues, but this can lead to an array of uncomfortable vision symptoms like eyestrain or fatigue, headaches, double vision, or blurry vision. Studies have shown that for some adults, vision therapy can be effective in addressing some underlying vision problems, which can relieve those uncomfortable and help improve visual efficiency.
In the early months and years of development, the visual system is in a phase known as the “neuroplastic” period. During this time, the visual system can be easily impacted, affecting future vision development. As we grow older, parts of our visual system become less neuroplastic, meaning they cannot be easily adjusted or changed. For this reason, catching serious vision problems like amblyopia or strabismus early in childhood is important, so that the necessary treatments can improve future vision development.
However, just because adults have a less neuroplastic visual system, does not mean that their visual behavior cannot be improved. Many visual skills in adults can be improved or enhanced by using vision therapy techniques. By completing exercises to reduce eyestrain and improve focusing ability, vision therapy can allow adults to use their vision to their full potential.
Convergence insufficiency is a focusing problem where the eyes struggle to move inward in order to focus on a close object. In this condition, near tasks such as reading or computer work can cause uncomfortable headaches, blurred vision, double vision, or even dizziness. It usually results in difficulty comprehending what has been read or cause short attention spans. Convergence insufficiency in adults can mean work tasks are difficult or impossible to complete. Vision therapy can help improve the focusing ability of the eyes, relieving many of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with reading. Several studies have shown that vision therapy is just as effective in treating convergence insufficiency in adults as it is in children.
Vision therapy can be used to improve the visual skills required to be an athlete. Sports vision therapy can help athletes improve on skills such as eye tracking, visual processing, depth perception, and visual-motor integration to maximize visual efficiency and improve sports performance. Vision therapy for athletes can be highly specialized depending on the skills that need strengthened or the visual demands of the sport being played.
Those who have suffered from concussions or other brain injuries may experience some changes in their vision, particularly in their focusing abilities. Vision therapy can be an effective way to strengthen visual skills after a concussion, and can be helpful in relieving some of the uncomfortable vision-related symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. If you have suffered from a concussion or brain injury, our vision therapists can work with you to help restore your visual skills and improve your visual efficiency.