Vision Therapy

There are many important skills one needs in order for one's visual system to work efficiently. Sometimes these skills don't develop the way they should. These could lead to children suffering from learning related vision problems.

  • 1 in 4 children have vision problems that could interfere with learning (prevent blindness america)
  • 60% of problem learners have vision problems (American Optometric Association)
  • 80% of learning comes through vision(College of Optometrists in Vision Development)

Vision therapy is a service provided by optometrists that helps people improve their visual abilities. Vision therapy works to improve these basic abilities, much like occupational therapy or speech therapy works to improve other basic skills.

Common Signs and Symptoms of a Vision Related Learning Problem

  • Bright child not performing up to potential
  • Difficulty with reading and / or comprehension
  • Homework taking longer than it should
  • Short attention span when reading
  • Poor handwriting (spacing, alignment, formation).
  • Headaches: may develop after close up work, and occur near the eyes, forehead, or back of the head.
  • Double vision: seeing two of something when only one exists
  • Tracking difficulties: losing your place while reading, rereading words, or lines, difficulty understanding what you’ve read, or reading slowly. Hard time with sports.
  • Discomfort or fatigue: wariness at the end of a school or workday.

In many cases the proper glasses, contact lenses, or a combination of vision therapy and glasses can improve, prevent, or remedy vision problems for both children and adults.

What is vision therapy?

vision therapy test and exercises

Developing visual skills includes learning to use both eyes together efficiently. 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. Even one or two deficient visual skills can produce enough stress and frustration to create a non achiever.

For most people, vision therapy means once a week visits to their optometrist's office for a period of time, where they work with an optometrist or a trained vision therapist working under the supervision of an optometrist. You will be guided through activities designed to correct visual processing problems and or build your visual skill. The activities often are fun, though challenging.

Your therapist might give you a few activities to work on at home. These vision activities or exercises, usually only take about 10-15 minutes a day.

What Are the Benefits of Vision Therapy?

There are a wide range of benefits reported in people that participate in vision therapy. The benefits are different for everyone and depend on each person's experience. Patients of all ages report that reading is easier, they read for longer periods of time, have improved sports skills, and no longer get as much headaches. Younger patients have noticed that they get better grades in school and homework is no longer such a chore to complete.

Vision therapy can also affect other aspects of daily living which people might not associate with just vision like increased self esteem and increased confidence in trying new things. Goals are a very important aspect of vision therapy and the vision therapist works to help achieve these personal goals.

How Can I Help My Child or Myself?

vision therapy exercises

Not all optometrists provide extensive assessment of visual skills. Here at our office, our optometrists can determine if an additional binocular visual processing assessment is required based on the signs and symptoms at presentation.

If after the initial evaluation additional testing is required, we are able to direct you to our post-doctorate optometrist who has spent additional years specializing in the visual processing system.

The visual processing evaluation will help determine the strengths and weaknesses of the visual system to help establish the best treatment options which might include glasses, contact lenses, vision therapy, or a combination of both.

Predictive Questionnaire

Answer the questions below to determine risk level of visual processing difficulties.

  1. Do you ever experience double vision?
  2. Headaches while or after doing near vision work?
  3. Words appear to run together when reading?
  4. Burning, itching or watery eyes?
  5. Skips or repeats lines while reading?
  6. Difficulty copying from the chalkboard?
  7. Omits small words while reading?
  8. Difficulty completely assignments on time?
  9. Misaligns digits or columns of numbers?
  10. Falls asleep when reading?
  11. Low reading comprehension?
  12. Poor hand/eye coordination (poor handwriting)

If you experience one or more of the problems on the list, it may be time to schedule a complete vision evaluation. Please call our office at (661) 265-7515 if you would like to learn more about our programs or to schedule an appointment.

Resources

Some information above was provided by the Optometric Extension Program website and informational pamphlets about vision therapy and visual processing. To find out more about vision therapy and this organization please visit oepf.org.

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Antelope Mall Vision Center Optometry

40033 10th St W Unit A
Palmdale, CA 93551
(661) 265-7515
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