Who Is a Candidate for Vision Therapy?
It may be difficult to understand that someone can see very clearly, yet experience vision-related challenges. But that’s the reality for people who have an excellent ’20/20′ vision but lack what’s known as well developed ‘visual skills’. The ability to track the path of a thrown ball or to read a sentence in a book both require well-developed visual skills. Such skills can be learned, at any age. We can offer customized vision therapy to help people develop their visual skills and reach their potential, both at school and on the sports field.
Signs That a Person’s Visual Skills Need Improvement
Some children and adults with even excellent eyesight need help to improve their visual skills. They may misjudge the distance to the curb while riding a bike or driving a car or lack the hand-brain coordination needed to easily catch a ball. While reading, they may inadvertently skip lines of text. The strain of reading may cause them to rub their eyes, suffer from headaches, become fatigued or lose concentration, or hold books too close to their eyes. Their vision may become blurry during class or examinations. Their reading comprehension lags and homework goes undone.
It’s no small matter. Up to 1 of every 5 children may have a visual problem that hinders learning and unless addressed, the problem will continue into adulthood. Vision-related challenges affect a person’s performance in school, at work and even while playing sports.
What Vision Therapy Is and How It Can Help?
Through a customized program, vision therapy can significantly improve the way the eyes and brain work together to achieve clear and comfortable vision at all times. Although vision therapy does not cure learning disabilities, it’s important, for all children with learning or reading difficulties, that an eye doctor exams the child for any visual problems and treat them if diagnosed.
Vision therapy begins with a functional eye examination with Dr. Brennan Nelson to test for visual acuity, depth perception and the visual skills, whether the eyes are working in tandem. If vision problems are identified, Dr. Brennan Nelson may prescribe vision therapy, which would include exercises taught in the office once or twice a week and reinforced through practicing at home.
Who Can Benefit from Vision Therapy?
Vision therapy can help patients with these and other eye conditions:
- Amblyopia (“lazy eye”): the vision, or visual skills, in one eye is weaker because there is a stronger connection between the other eye and the brain
- Strabismus (“crossed or turned eyes”): the eyes point in two different directions, eother occassionally or permanently (delete – due to weak cranial nerves.)
- Double vision
- Binocular-vision problems: eye strain that results from the eyes being slightly misaligned and not working efficiently together as a team
- Eye-movement disorders, difficulties scanning across a page or jumping between words
- Accommodative disorders: trouble maintaining focus on a close-by object
- Ocular motility dysfunctions: abnormal eye alignment or difficulty controlling large eye movements
- Visual-perceptual problems: difficulty processing visual information and
- Vision problems resulting from developmental delays and acquired brain injuries
Vision therapy does not cure dyslexia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But many children and adults with these conditions also have visual problems, so a comprehensive eye exam is an important first step. Treating concurrent visual problems improves the lives of both children and adults who have learning disabilities.
Village Eye Centre serves patients in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan and throughout Alberta. We welcome your inquiries about whether vision therapy is right for you or your child.