Seeing is our dominant sense and about 80% of all the information processed is channeled through our eyes. Vision issues may interfere with the efficiency and effectiveness of how we make sense of what is seen or read.
Vision problems can contribute to eye-use difficulties which may not be fully diagnosed during a basic eye exam. A patient may have 20/20 vision clarity and yet still have a visual challenge limiting performance. Or more commonly, a visual problem may have been previously detected yet the patient has heard that “nothing can be done” to help or has not been offered solutions.
Binocular vision occurs when both eyes track as a team. The brain brings together two images, one from each eye, to create a single 3-D view of the world. There are many advantages when the pair of eyes are teamed-together including improved performance (1.5 times better), more comfortable vision, increased depth perception and eyes that look straight.
Performance is enhanced when the two eyes, together, deliver the full complement of visual information clearly and comfortably. Then, the visual information is well received and subsequently analyzed, catalogued and stored for future retrieval and use – essentially enhancing the ability to make sense from what is seen.
For some, the effortless process of making sense of what is seen is not robust, and one or more visual skills may be fragile and lose their auto-pilot mode with stress or during the course of a demanding visual task. For others people, just a single visual skill may have not reached the appropriate level of automaticity causing performance interference.
What to look for:
Patients with vision problems show their struggles in different ways. With the symptoms listed above, there may be significant visual challenges, particularly in areas of reading, computer work, spreadsheets or hand-eye coordination tasks.
There is great success, at overcoming visual challenges, for candidates are committed to the program.
1. A Complete Digital Optomap Exam is the first step. If an eye exam has been completed within 12 months then it does not need to be repeated. For patients 20 to 64 years of age, the OHIP benefit does not cover the eye-exam, and the investment is $229. Typically, dilating eye drops are used to ensure the health of the back of the eye and more importantly, to make certain the best optical prescription is available.
2. The second step is completing a 2-hour evaluation of 12 visual domains. This is a critical evaluation of 12 different domains of visual efficiency (eye focusing, eye teaming), reading eye-movements and processing of visual information. The investment for this evaluation is $350. The objective is for you to understand your eyes and visual system to make comfortable informed decisions regarding vision therapy benefits.
3. Therapy is scheduled over a 3, 6 or 9-month period with an investment of $3000 to $9000. Patients with below normal performance in two or more of the twelve visual domains are candidates. Patients interact with a vision therapist two-times per week, for 45-minutes per session. The goal is rapid results by prioritizing vision therapy in your life over the short term, to achieve lifelong success.
4. Home Support Activities are essential for success. These supportive home activities are targeted activities that use specific software programs and custom eye-exercises to deliver success. They are completed five (or more) times per week for 30 minutes per day.
Dr. Gall is an optometrist who cares for patients and is excited when they reach their potential and achieve success. From the beginning, Dr. Gall has offered vision therapy as an option for success. In 1993, Dr. Gall received his Doctorate in Optometry, and then in 1995, he received his Master of Vision Science in the area of binocular vision after which he started his practice. In 1999, he received his Fellowship from the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), earned by only 5% of optometrists who give back to the profession in terms of research and leadership. In the fall of 2010, he moved his practice to a larger facility and opened the Oakville Centre for Vision – Vision is the Difference with its four centres of excellence. Upon studying for two years, in 2015 Dr. Gall was awarded the Diplomate in Binocular Vision Perception & Pediatric Optometry (Dip. BVPPO), earned by less than 1% of optometrists, which clearly demonstrates his lifelong learning to provide advanced care in this specialized area of optometry.
Dr. Gall’s Vision Therapist, Heather, plays a vital role in caring for patients and motivating them to achieve success for lifelong learning. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, over 5 years of experience with vision therapy and works closely with Dr. Gall while providing individualized vision therapy.
The philosophy of the Vision Performance Centre – Enhancing Vision and Its Connections, is based on the work of Drs. Mitchell Scheiman and Bruce Wick (Clinical Management of Binocular Vision, 4th Ed. 2014), Drs. Sidney Groffman and Harold Solan (Developmental & Perceptual Assessment: theoretical concepts and diagnostic testing. 1994) and Drs. Elizabeth Caloroso and Michael Rouse (Clinical Management of Strabismus. 1993) which are guiding references for any practice offering vision therapy.