Vision Therapy is an individualized, supervised, treatment program designed to correct visual-motor and/or perceptual-cognitive deficiencies. Vision Therapy sessions include procedures designed to enhance the brain's ability to control:
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.
Here is an analogy:
When a person learns to ride a bicycle, the learning process is mentally demanding and physically exhausting. It feels awkward trying to coordinate arms, legs, handlebars and pedals while staying balanced! However, over time with patience and success, riding a bike becomes more and more natural. What was difficult becomes nearly automatic and you don’t tire as easily. Through practice, you’ve learned new physical and mental skills; what was initially demanding is now easy and even fun! And once you’ve learned, you’ll always know how to ride a bike. You will soon learn that you can hold a conversation while riding your bike. The initial physical act of bike riding has become easy such that you now can do more than one thing at a time (parallel processing). This is what visual therapy is about – automating the reflexes of focusing and eye teaming, so that it becomes natural and automatic, and to be proficient at such skills while performing a cognitive function such as reading.
Some visual conditions cannot be treated adequately with just glasses, contact lenses and/or patching, and are best resolved through a program of Vision Therapy.
20/20 sight does not mean that your visual skills are working efficiently.
Read more about the 20/20 Myth.
My Child Had Their Eyes Tested Recently and Was Told Their Vision Was Fine. Why Would Any More Testing Be Needed or Beneficial? Click Here To Find Out
Vision Therapy can help those individuals who lack the necessary visual skills for effective reading, writing, and learning (i.e., eye movement and focusing skills, convergence, eye-hand activity, visual memory skills, etc.).
To learn more about learning-related vision problems, visit any of these web pages:
Individuals with eye tracking difficulties often have trouble keeping their place when they are reading. In many cases, that individual will be following the text with their head or nose and may still need to use their finger to give tactile feedback to their visual system of where their eyes should be looking. Alternatively, the individual may have been recommended to use a bookmark or a window cut out of paper to block surrounding text. Skipping words or lines, reading was as saw and saw as was are more common.
Vision Therapy helps individuals develop normal coordination and teamwork of the two eyes (binocular vision). When the two eyes fail to work together as an effective team, performance in many areas can suffer (ie. reading, sports, depth perception, eye contact). Common binocular coordination disorder terms you may hear are Convergence Insufficiency (inability to maintain the looking near posture of your eyes within arms reach), Convergence Excess (over converging of your eyes when reading). Accommodative infacility and accommodative disorder can contribute to lag in transferring your focus from a close target to a near target and back. Such skills are important in school when copying material from the screens or when playing goal in hockey and having to look quickly from the area immediately in front of you to looking out to the opposing defenseman on the blue line.
These conditions can contribute to double vision or movement of print when reading or appearances of gaps/rivers in the text. All of these can occur in individuals with 20/20 eyesight.
Vision Therapy programs offer much higher cure rates for turned eyes and/or lazy eye when compared to eye surgery, glasses, and/or patching, without therapy. Often the earlier the patient receives Vision Therapy the better, however, our office successfully treats patients well past 21 years of age. In the cases of infants/toddlers, a different approach to initial management may be recommended with more intense vision therapy as they get older.
Recent scientific research has disproven the long held belief that children with lazy eye, or amblyopia, can’t be helped after age 7.
Strong visual skills are critical to sports success. Not much happens in sports until your eyes instruct your hands and body as to what to do!
We can measure and successfully improve eye-hand coordination, visual reaction time, peripheral vision, eye focusing, eye tracking and teaming, visualization skills, and more.
In your sport, how valuable would be increasing your reaction time even by one hundredth of a second? What competitive advantage could that give you?
Visual symptoms are very frequent in those who have suffered a TBI or concussion. We work in collaboration with your vestibular therapist / physiotherapist / allied professional who is working to help you regain parts of your life back.
Just because you were not diagnosed with a concussion and your MRI came back clear doesn't mean you did are not suffering the visual dysfunctions most commonly seen post-concussion.
Vision therapy requires commitment from the person going for it. It's not something we can do for you. We will guide you through the necessary and meaningful experiences you will require to develop or rehabilitate the visual dysfunctions, but you have to do it for yourself. If you are considering starting vision therapy it's important you are committed to the following:
Be Present - you need to be physically and mentally present at your therapy sessions
Be on time - we have lots to do at your therapy sessions and being late takes away from what your therapists have time to do with you
Always do your Home skill development training - Can't stress this enough, you must do your home skill development training!!!! As the expression goes "practice makes perfect". Not practicing (doing homework as often as your therapist/Dr. Neufeld advises) makes change really slow, if not impossible. We want to see you succeed, but unfortunately we can only do so much to help you and the rest is up to you. We want you to be happy with the results at the end of your program, so we are very straight up before you make any financial commitment to a vision therapy program that if you aren't willing to commit to doing your homework correctly (as your therapist shows you how to do it) and as often as your therapist indicates you need to do it, then unfortunately vision therapy is probably not the best choice for you.