Most people do not know what exactly vision therapy is. When most people think about vision therapy, they think of someone exercising their eyes, much like physical therapy is akin to bodily exercise. That image is partly correct, for sometimes there are special aspects of vision therapy that help exercise the eye muscles. It takes a specially trained optometrist, like those at the North Bay Vision Center, to determine what kinds of vision therapy are needed.
The What and Why of Vision Therapy
Vision therapy's goal is not strengthening the eyes. One goal of vision therapy is to help prevent or delay the need for some types of eye surgery. The main goal of vision therapy is to make sure both eyes track objects equally and correctly, at all distances. This may involve special eyewear and/or special in-office eye therapy sessions.
Contrary to some myths, vision therapy cannot solve refractive errors in vision or prevent a person from needing eyeglasses.
Eye-tracking problems in a child may be misinterpreted as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. If a child’s eyes are not tracking the words on a page, the child cannot participate in many class activities and may become easily bored or distracted. Normal eye vision exams rarely detect eye-tracking problems. An eye doctor with orthoptic training can diagnose and treat childhood eye-tracking problems.
Reasons for Vision Therapy
Many conditions require vision therapy:
- Wandering eye, or lazy eye (amblyopia or exotropia, types of strabismus)
- Crossed eye (esotropia, another type of strabismus)
- Eye-tracking problems
- Double vision (convergence insufficiency)
- Certain types of eye post-surgical recovery
Types of Vision Therapy
Some types of vision therapy may be done with non-standard prescription glasses or contact lenses. The strength of these may be changed over time, depending upon how your condition improves. Patients may use various types of exercises using expensive, specialized equipment.
Our optometry center uses vision correction devices like:
- Corrective lenses (standard prescriptions)
- Therapeutic lenses, often very different from normal glasses
- Prism lenses
- Optical filters
- An eye patch which forces the neuromuscular system to work with a problem eye
- Brock strings, which can assist in vision tracking
- Vectograms, tranaglyphs, and stereo objects, which cause the eyes to properly sense differences in symmetry
- Electronic targets with mechanical timing mechanisms, which assist the eyes to work together for motion tracking
- Visual-motor-sensory integration devices to help eye, hand, and body coordination
At the North Bay Vision Center in Rohnert Park, we have specialist eye doctor in many areas of optometry. Come see our optometrist for your vision needs. Give us a call at (707) 584-7294 to set up an appointment.