Eye muscle coordination problems and accommodative (focusing) disorders can sometimes cause symptoms of eyestrain and discomfort. Though more common in younger people, these conditions can affect people of all ages.
The problem is often first noticed by a teacher when a child’s grades begin to slip or they complain of difficulty with reading. Some people notice an occasional doubling of their vision. These patients don’t necessarily need glasses, they need therapeutic techniques to strengthen their eyes’ ability to focus and work together. Vision therapy usually consists of in-office therapy visits combined with maintenance at-home eye exercises.
If your child has been complaining of headaches or difficulty keeping their place when reading, or if you yourself sometimes have that all too familiar “pulling sensation” with prolonged near work, stop in for an evaluation.
Vision therapy helps individuals with a variety of eye conditions and learning disabilities. On this page, you can find answers to the most common questions about vision therapy programs. This page is also helpful when looking for information about how vision therapy helps children.
What is Vision Therapy?
Vision therapy is similar to physical therapy but focuses on the eyes and brain. It is a non-invasive way to treat conditions such as double vision, learning disabilities, lazy eye (amblyopia), and more.
Glasses and contacts help you see without physical correction. Vision correction surgery involves reshaping the eye and correcting refractive errors. With vision therapy, the goal is to re-train the visual system.
How Does a Vision Therapy Program Work?
Vision therapy is individually tailored to each patient and performed under the supervision of an eye doctor or a vision therapist once or twice a week. The program might include filters, computer activities, lenses, prisms, and more. Often, the doctor will also send home extra exercises that patient practices on their own.
What Conditions Does Vision Therapy Treat?
Vision therapy has been known to treat the following conditions:
- Learning disabilities: Vision therapy has been shown to help children who have learning disabilities and can be beneficial for children who struggle with reading.
- Amblyopia: Amblyopia, or lazy eye, occurs when one eye cannot see as well as the other.
- Strabismus: Strabismus is a term that refers to being cross-eyed. Vision therapy can sometimes be helpful for this condition, depending on the specific situation.
- Vision problems from developmental disabilities or a stroke: Therapy may help individuals who have vision problems stemming from other health issues.
- Eyestrain: Vision therapy can help reduce computer-induced eye strain.
- Eye movement disorders: A vision therapy program can improve the accuracy of eye movements during up-close work.
How Can Vision Therapy Help Learning Disabilities?
Being unable to see, such as reading a teacher’s whiteboard or reading the words on a page, make any learning scenario more complicated. Vision problems can cause conditions such as dyslexia or learning disabilities to grow worse. Some studies show that vision therapy makes reading easier by correcting vision problems.
Does Insurance Cover Vision Therapy?
Vision therapy is covered by insurance if it is the only treatment available for your condition. Otherwise, though, insurance companies often limit their coverage of vision therapy. A full vision therapy treatment program can cost several thousand dollars.
Is Vision Therapy Right for Me?
To determine whether a vision therapy program might be a good fit for you, schedule an eye exam. During your eye exam, an ophthalmologist or optometrist will conduct an analysis of your visual abilities. From there, they can make a recommendation about how to proceed.
If you or someone in your family needs vision therapy, visit Optometrists of Lansing. Drs. Carrigan, Estes, and Kennedy have been providing eye care you trust, for the ones you love to the Lansing area for more than 50 years.