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Vision Therapy

Vision should be an effortless process.

Vision Therapy enables us to improve and enhance our visual performance.

Vision therapy is designed to:

Many of us develop symptoms related to our eyes due to the misuse and maladaptation of our visual system. Symptoms include: headaches, blurred vision, eye strain, eye disease, learning problems, increasing prescriptions, turned eye and more.

Vision: An Ability That We Can Improve

Nearly all humans are born with the potential for good eyesight, but vision – the ability to identify, interpret and understand what is seen – is learned and developed, starting from birth. In learning to walk, a child begins by creeping, crawling, standing, walking with assistance, and finally, walking unaided. A similar process from gross to fine motor control takes place in the development of vision.

One visual skill builds on another, step-by-step as we grow. But many people miss a step or do not complete one and must then begin to perform in school or other visually demanding tasks before an acceptable foundation of basic visual skills is in place.

Science indicates that we do not “see” with our eyes or our brain; rather, vision is the reception and processing of visual information by the total person. Since two-thirds of all information we receive is visual, it becomes clear that efficient visual skills are a critical part of learning, working and even recreation.

Developing visual skills includes learning to use both eyes together effectively. Having both eyes move, align, fixate and focus as a team enhances your ability to interpret and understand the potential visual information that is available to you.

Intelligent persons who are very highly motivated can be good achievers, even with very poor visual skills and abilities, but at untold cost, wasted energy and unnecessary effort and stress. For those who are less motivated, even one or two deficient visual skills can produce enough stress and frustration to create a non-achiever.

Vision therapy can provide visual skills that will enhance vision.

What Are the Visual Skills?

The visual skills which can be developed and enhanced through vision therapy include:

Tracking

The ability to move your eyes efficiently and accurately from target to target. Such as when you read and need to scan your eyes across a line. It is also a skill that is necessary in following a ball or an object in space.

Fixation

The ability to quickly and accurately locate and inspect with both eyes a series of stationary objects one after another.

Focus Change

The ability to look quickly from far to near and vice versa without momentary blur, such as looking from the chalkboard to a book or from the dashboard to cars on the street.

Depth Perception

The ability to judge relative distances of objects and to see and move accurately in three-dimensional space, such as when hitting a ball or parking a car.

Peripheral Vision

The ability to monitor and interpret what is happening around you while you are attending to a specific central visual task; the ability to use visual information perceived from over a large area.

Binocularity

The ability to use both eyes together, smoothly, equally, simultaneously and accurately.

Maintaining Attention

The ability to keep doing any particular skill or activity with ease and without interfering with the performance of other skills.

Near Vision Acuity

The ability to clearly see, inspect, identify and understand objects at near distances, within arm’s length.

Distance Acuity

The ability to clearly see, inspect, identify and understand objects at a distance. People with 20/20 distance sight still may have visual problems.

Visualization

The ability to form mental images in your mind’s eye and retain or store them for future recall, or for synthesis into new mental images beyond your current or past direct experiences.

Visual Skills/Visual Stress

If a person’s visual skills are not adequately developed, or a person fails to coordinate vision with other senses, vision problems may occur. With poor binocularity, for example, one eye may locate an object in one place while the other eye locates it in another. The confusing signals may result in:

Headaches

Especially near the eyes or forehead, or occasionally at the back of the head.

Double Vision

Two objects are seen when only one exists.

Reduced Performance

Losing your place while reading, rereading words or lines, difficulty with understanding or recalling what you’ve read, reading slowly.

Discomfort/Fatigue

Body tension, stress or pain; weariness at the end of a school or work day.

Suppression

Information from one eye may be blocked or ignored to avoid seeing double.

Nearpoint visual stress, the result of sustained visual activities done at less than arm’s length, may produce most of the problems listed above. If the visual problem is not corrected, it may get worse.

There are many other common eye and visual problems which can limit the way you live and enjoy life. These include:

Nearsightedness

Myopia-seeing more easily at near than at distances.

Farsightedness

Hyperopia-seeing more easily at distances than at near.

Strabismus

Crossed eyes.

Amblyopia

Lowered visual acuity (clarity), not correctable to normal acuity with lenses.

Astigmatism

Distorted vision-interferes with seeing clearly at any distance without effort.

Poor Vision/Body Movement Coordination

Clumsiness, awkwardness, inefficient eye-hand or eye-body coordination, poor handwriting.

With Vision Therapy There Is Hope

Vision therapy, usually combined with appropriate lenses, may remedy, improve or prevent any of these conditions in both children and adults. Vision therapy and lenses are intended to alleviate the symptoms and eliminate the underlying cause of inadequate visual skills and visual stress.

Studies show that success in vision therapy depends on an appropriate program prescribed by an optometrist, and on an individual patient’s participation.

Beyond Visual Performance

Vision therapy also has proven to be a remarkably effective tool in helping people with learning-related visual problems. Many problems in learning to read and write are made worse by poorly developed visual skills.

Dozens of experimental programs involving thousands of children and adults demonstrate that when visual skills are enhanced through vision therapy, learning is easier, reading levels rise, and in some cases, IQ scores have increased.

Building visual skills also increases the ability to visualize, conceptualize and to create. Dr. Johan Pestalozzi, a Swiss educated reformer, notes that conceptual thinking is built on visual understanding. Visual understanding is the basis of all knowledge.