The goal of vision therapy is to treat vision problems that cannot be fully addressed through eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. For example, studies show that vision therapy may be beneficial for addressing eyestrain and other issues that can affect a child’s reading abilities. The human brain has significant neuroplasticity, which means it can change its structure and function in response to external stimuli. This neuroplasticity is present not only in childhood, but also into adulthood. As a result, custom vision therapy programs can help bring about neurological changes that correct vision problems for improved visual perception and performance.
What It Treats
Vision therapy addresses vision problems that include amblyopia (“lazy eye”), strabismus, binocular vision problems, eye movement disorders, and accommodative (focusing) disorders. For example, if one eye fails to attain normal visual acuity due to eye teaming problems, vision therapy can help improve this teaming and reduce an eye’s perceived “laziness”. Studies show that vision therapy can improve the accuracy of eye movements required for close-up work and reading, as well as minimizing eyestrain and eye fatigue.
Vision therapy is not a “cure all” for vision issues and it is not a replacement for glasses, contact lenses or eye surgery for certain conditions. For example, do not expect to “throw away your glasses” after attending a few vision therapy sessions or practicing eye exercises at home. Vision therapy cannot “cure” refractive disorders or reverse nearsightedness. However, it may play an important role in addressing visual anomalies associated with vision development, perception and function.
Unlike other forms of exercise, the goal of vision therapy is not to strengthen the eye muscles. Instead, this progressive program of vision exercises is designed to help individuals develop or improve fundamental visual skills and abilities. Vision therapy helps individuals improve visual ease, efficiency and comfort while changing how they interpret or process information. Vision therapy can be beneficial for individuals of all ages, including children and older adults.