Vision therapy is a sequence of neurosensory and neuromuscular activities individually prescribed and monitored by the doctor to develop, rehabilitate and enhance visual skills and processing. The vision therapy program is based on the results of a comprehensive eye examination or consultation, and takes into consideration the results of standardized tests, the needs of the patient, and the patient’s signs and symptoms.
Vision Therapy uses lenses, prisms, filters, occluders, specialized instruments, and computer programs. The length of the vision therapy program varies depending on the severity of the diagnosed conditions, typically ranging from several months to longer periods of time.
Activities paralleling in-office vision therapy techniques are typically taught to the patient to be practiced at home, thereby reinforcing the developing visual skills. Research has demonstrated vision therapy can be an effective treatment option.
Optometric Vision Therapy is an individualized, supervised, non-surgical treatment program designed to correct eye movements and visual-motor deficiencies. Vision Therapy sessions include procedures designed to enhance the brain’s ability to control:
- eye alignment,
- eye teaming,
- eye focusing abilities,
- eye movements, and/or
- visual processing.
Vision Therapy skills, Visual-motor skills and endurance are developed through the use of specialized computer and optical devices, including therapeutic lenses, prisms, and filters. During the final stages of therapy, the patient’s newly acquired visual skills are reinforced and made automatic through repetition and by integration with motor and cognitive skills.
While Vision Therapy includes the eye muscle training methods of orthoptics, it has advanced far beyond it to include training and rehabilitation of the eye-brain connections (neuroplasticity) involved in vision. Clinical and research developments in Vision Therapy are closely allied with developments in neuroscience and research continues.
In Vision Therapy programs, developmental optometrists look at the neurological control system and thus are treating the whole visual-motor system and altering reflexive behavior, which results in a lasting cure. Also, most optometrists rely on office based vision therapy, which they believe is more accurately performed and monitored.