Vision therapy is an individualized program of visual activities aimed at helping a patient improve fundamental visual skills, visual comfort and efficiency. It can also improve visual perception, how a patient processes and interprets visual information. Vision therapy is not exclusive to any age group, however, most therapies aim to improve reading and learning skills, making it most valuable to children. All children should have their first comprehensive eye exam at about age 3 and then every year during school. Fortunately, children in Ontario are covered for an eye exam once a year until they are 19 years old.
Do you or your children experience:
- Frequent headaches or eyestrain
- Avoidance of close work
- Poor judgment of depth
- Double vision
- Squints one or both eyes
- Poor eye-hand coordination
- Tendency to cover or close one eye
- Poor reading comprehension
- Loss of place, repetition, and/or omission of words while reading
- Poor handwriting
- Uses finger as a guide while reading
- Letter and word reversals
- Been diagnosed with a learning disability
If you do, the first step is to “schedule a comprehensive eye exam”:/schedule with Dr. Wilkinson or Dr. Heeney to determine any areas of weakness in the visual system, the most appropriate treatment and realistic expectations of what vision therapy can do to strengthen the visual weakness. At our office we are pleased to offer individualized vision therapy programs that include a variety of free-space and computer-based activities. The home based computer programs allow us to use the internet to monitor patient progress and adjust the program depending on progress. Patient compliance is critical to the success of any vision therapy program, if you donâ€™t do the exercises you will not see improvement. We find if patients are able to do the activities at home on their own schedule compliance is greatly improved.
A recent study, Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial, looked at the most common disorder of binocular vision. Convergence insufficiency is when your ability to focus both eyes together at a close distance is decreased for your age and causing symptoms. The study confirmed two important points. Firstly, that convergence insufficiency can be effectively treated by vision therapy. And secondly, that the most successful therapy included a combination of in-office, and at-home exercises.
There are many disorders of binocular vision and visual processing that can benefit from different types of vision therapy. We look forward to examining your eyes and discussing your best course of action.