Vision problems can significantly impact daily life. Difficulties with eye coordination and focusing make reading and comprehending written material challenging, leading to eye strain, headaches, and fatigue. Problems with depth perception and spatial awareness hinder safe navigation and participation in sports. Untreated vision issues affect children’s learning and academic performance, impairing their ability to write, draw, and participate in classroom activities effectively.
Fortunately, vision therapy can help improve these visual skills and enhance the brain-eye connection through targeted exercises and activities.
What Is Vision Therapy?
If you struggle to use your body correctly, you can go to physical therapy to regain mobility and flexibility. You perform a set series of exercises under the careful eye of a trained professional who monitors your progress and adjusts your treatment plan as needed. At the end of your therapy, you’re in better control of your body.
Vision therapy works with the same premise. Think of vision therapy as physical therapy for your eyes and brain. It’s a noninvasive program designed to improve visual performance by strengthening the connection between your eyes and brain.
Through a series of customized activities, you can improve your visual skills, leading to clearer, more comfortable vision.
However, while vision therapy can be excellent for addressing problems with the visual system, it can’t cure a problem that develops due to a medical condition or refractive error, and it isn’t a substitute for routine, comprehensive eye care.
How Does Vision Therapy Work?
Vision therapy trains your brain and eyes to work together more efficiently. You’ll start with a thorough assessment of your visual capabilities by a trained vision therapy professional.
They’ll then design a personalized treatment plan aiming to improve the way your brain interprets visual information. As you work through your program, you can strengthen various visual skills like:
- Eye coordination
- Visual acuity
- Depth perception
- Visual processing speed
- Hand-eye coordination
- Visual memory
- Color perception
- Eye tracking ability
Just like physical therapy helps you use your body correctly, vision therapy helps train your visual system.
How Does Vision Therapy Improve Your Vision?
Vision therapy is an effective way to improve your vision, but there is an important thing to remember: it doesn’t cure refractive errors like nearsightedness or farsightedness, nor does it cure eye diseases like glaucoma or macular degeneration.
It does, however, aim to correct problems like:
- Crossed eyes (strabismus)
- Lazy eye (amblyopia)
- Double vision
- Crossed eyes
- Reading and learning disabilities
- Eye movement disorders
- Convergence insufficiency
- Visual-perceptual disorders
- Vision problems developed after concussions or head injuries
What to Expect from Vision Therapy
After your initial consultation, your vision therapist will customize a treatment plan to address your unique needs. They’ll likely recommend a few of the following exercises:
- Eye movement exercises that are designed to improve the speed, accuracy, and coordination of your eye movements.
- Focusing exercises to help you practice changing your focus quickly and accurately between near and far objects.
- Depth perception activities that help enhance your ability to judge distances and see the world in three dimensions.
- Eye-hand coordination exercises to improve your ability to synchronize visual information with physical movements.
- Visual memory exercises that challenge you to memorize and recall visual information, strengthening the connection between your eyes and brain.
These aim to retrain your eyes and brain to work together properly. You’ll learn how to process and remember visual information and build the visual skills you need.
Should I Try Vision Therapy?
If you or a loved one are experiencing vision problems that affect your daily life, work, or school performance, then it’s worth talking to your optometrist about vision therapy. But just like physical therapy, it all starts with a visit to a trained professional to determine if it’s the right approach for you.At Bettner Vision, we’re committed to providing comprehensive eye care solutions tailored to your unique needs. Our team of experienced professionals is here to guide you through your vision therapy journey. Book an appointment with us today.