Visual problems may cause problems with learning and attention, headaches, eyestrain, motion sensitivity, crossed eyes and other problems. These challenges may not be fully corrected by glasses, surgery or medications. When visual skills are compromised, performance and comfort will suffer.
Some of the critical visual skills that are compromised include tracking and eye movement, accurate and flexible focusing, efficient two-eyed coordination, visualization, visually guided movements, and perceptual integration with other sensory systems. Together, these skills are the underpinning of our ability to learn efficiently, pay attention successfully, and compete physically.
Vision Therapy allows the rebuilding of the visual skills that are lacking. It is common to see significant improvement in attention, comfort, clarity, and coordination on tasks that require visual concentration. Reading becomes more interesting and headaches and stress are reduced.
Many vision problems cannot be treated effectively with glasses, contacts, drugs or surgery. The visual system is complex and involves the co-ordination of many visual perceptual skills that are dependent on efficient eye movement, two-eyed coordination, focusing and proper integration with other systems. Visual skills are learned through life experiences and can be improved through a series of specific visual challenges.
Vision therapy consists of a series of procedures designed to improve the specific visual skills and perceptual abilities that support learning and living. These activities involve progressively increasing challenges to the underlying visual skills as well as the use of lenses and /or prisms and other activities to improve the visual system's organization and efficiency. Improving the ability of the visual skills to work in conjunction with other senses is an important part of the vision therapy process.
Therapy will typically involve regular weekly in office sessions with the Doctor or Therapist, and will be supplemented by structured activities at home. Therapy may last from a few sessions to more than a year depending on the nature of the problem and the effort invested in the program.
Delays in Learning: Learning is obviously a complex process that involves many visual skills and perceptual interactions. Vision leads in all reading and writing tasks. Visualization is critical for spelling and composition.
Attention/Distractibility: Attention is generally judged by a persons ability to maintain eye contact and stay visually on task. Attention is lost when other stimuli become more interesting than the activity that you were attending to. Fatigue and eyestrain will play a big part in the loss of attention. Many children have not developed a proper balance between the center (what is it) part of vision and the peripheral (where is it) part of vision. This allows them to be easily distracted.
Head Aches, Eye Strain, Fatigue: Frontal headaches that build as the day goes on are often directly related to poor focusing skills and the eye strain that is caused. When there is a difficulty maintaining consistent clear focus, the print will run together or go out of focus and cause blur, fatigue and strain.
Intermittent Double Vision: Some people live on the verge of double vision. They see single at first and then shut off one eye or see double or the eyes start playing tricks on them with loss of place or loss of comprehension. Reading becomes highly variable and often uncomfortable. In extreme cases they will learn to close or cover one eye.
Crossed Eyes and Lazy Eye: Eyes that turn in or out may be corrected by vision therapy. This can be complicated by the degree of turn and the underlying cause of the turn. An eye that shuts off (amblyopia) can also be improved by appropriate lenses and vision therapy activities. Vision therapy is often the most effective treatment option for these problems regardless of age.
Head Trauma or Whiplash: Many people with head and neck trauma suffer significant visual changes related to comfort, clarity, orientation and efficiency. Reading is harder, lights are more bother, eye strain is greater, random motion is more distressing and thought processes are more difficult to maintain. Vision therapy is often a critical part of a successful treatment program.
Sports Performance: All sports require rapid visual judgement and an accurate response. Different sports require different skills. When skills are lacking or fail to keep up with the competition, performance will suffer.
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