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Is Vision Therapy Permanent?

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A woman standing and gazing forward while her eye doctor gestures towards an eye chart during an eye exam.

Vision therapy is a noninvasive, personalized program that addresses various visual problems, such as strabismus (crossed or turned eyes), amblyopia (lazy eye), and convergence insufficiency (eye coordination issues). 

Once you’ve completed a vision therapy program, which typically takes 6 to 8 months, depending on your condition, you won’t need to repeat it because the changes made to the neural pathways in your brain during therapy are permanent.

At Bettner Vision, we provide a comfortable environment to address and correct vision issues. Starting with an eye exam, we can diagnose your condition and design a treatment plan. 

What Is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is a completely customized program backed by science and overseen by your eye doctor. It’s designed just for you and is focused on improving your visual skills and strengthening the connection between your eyes and brain. Visual skills include eye-tracking, focusing, convergence, eye-hand coordination, and visual processing speed.

Vision therapy includes eye exercises, testing, and occlusion (patching) and can help treat eye coordination and alignment issues, depth perception, and visual processing skills.

In a typical vision therapy session, you might do eye or visual-motor activities or use specialized equipment like prism glasses or computer programs.

Vision therapy isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of treatment. It’s a carefully put-together, personalized program that’s all about helping you tackle your unique visual challenges.

How Does Vision Therapy Work?

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and adapt its structure and function in response to experiences or training. 

Vision therapy uses this concept by providing targeted exercises and activities that challenge the visual system and encourage it to develop new neural pathways. These new pathways can improve visual skills such as eye coordination, focusing, and processing speed.

Vision therapy aims to strengthen these skills, make them more automatic, and improve your overall vision and performance in daily tasks through consistent practice and repetition. Training and exercises can lead to long-term changes in your brain and visual system.

Who Can Benefit from Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy can benefit people of all ages with visual challenges, including children with learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders, strabismus (crossed eyes) or amblyopia (lazy eye), and adults experiencing visual discomfort or difficulties.

It can also be helpful for athletes who want to improve their hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and depth perception. 

Those with brain injuries, like a concussion or stroke, can also benefit from vision therapy.

Signs & Symptoms in Children

Children may not always have the words to express issues with their eyesight, and they might not even be aware that their vision differs from others. Vision problems can appear uniquely in different children. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child if you notice anything unusual or concerning.

Some signs include: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent eye rubbing
  • Squinting
  • Closing or covering one eye
  • Limited ability to read for extended periods
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Holding objects very close
  • Tired eyes
  • Headaches when reading
  • Losing place or skipping lines when reading
  • Using a finger to track text
  • Short attention span
  • Confusing words with similar beginnings
  • Difficulty recognizing letters, words, or shapes
  • Struggling to discern main ideas from minor details
  • Challenges with basic math concepts
  • Poor spelling
  • Messy handwriting and drawing
  • Difficulty staying within lines
  • Trouble learning right and left
  • Reversing letters and words
A woman in an optometry clinic shaking hands with a male optometrist.

Our Vision Therapy Process

Our approach to vision therapy begins with conducting a comprehensive eye exam, which helps us determine if vision therapy is an appropriate solution. We take the time to discuss your symptoms and visual challenges.

If the results from the initial exam suggest the need for further analysis, we proceed with a sensorimotor exam, which allows us to conduct a detailed assessment of your eye muscles, eye tracking, focusing ability, and other essential visual skills.

Once all the necessary data is gathered, we can formulate a personalized vision therapy program tailored to your specific vision needs. This program typically involves weekly appointments supplemented by exercises performed at home. The duration of these sessions varies based on your situation, expectations, and personal goals.

We may employ several learning tools, including:

  • Balance boards
  • Functional exercises
  • Hand-eye coordination exercises
  • Occluders or patches
  • Prisms
  • Specialized filters
  • Video games or computer programs
  • Therapeutic lenses

The Lasting Impact of Vision Therapy 

Vision therapy is a permanent solution for many visual problems as long as it’s done consistently and with dedication.  

Book an appointment for vision therapy with your eye doctor at Bettner Vision and see the possibilities vision therapy can bring! 

Written by Dr. Christopher Bettner, OD

Dr. Christopher Bettner has been serving the optometric needs of Colorado Springs since 1995. He is trained in ocular pathology with an emphasis in the treatment and management of ocular disease, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and pre- and post-operative care.

More Articles By Dr. Christopher Bettner, OD

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Our Address

Bettner Vision is conveniently located in the Marketplace at Briargate, on the corner of North Union Boulevard and Family Place. You can find us beside Sushi Rakkyo and the T-Mobile store.

  • 9205 N Union Blvd. #110
  • Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Contact Information

Hours of Operation

  • Monday: 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday : 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • Thursday : 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • Friday : 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: By Appointment
  • Sunday: Closed
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