calgary optometry

Vision Therapy

Assess and Improve your Vision with Vision Therapy.

What is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is that part of optometric care devoted to developing, improving and enhancing a person’s visual performance.

Vision Therapy sessions include procedures designed to enhance the brain's ability to control:

  • Tracking or eye movement skills
  • Focusing skills (sustaining and shifting focus)
  • Eye coordination or binocularity
  • Visual perception or processing skills

Visual-motor skills and endurance are developed through the use of specialized optical devices, including therapeutic lenses, prisms, and filters.

 

Who Can Benefit from Vision Therapy?

Patients of all ages can benefit from vision therapy. The nature of the therapy program varies with the condition treated.
Children and adults with visual dysfunctions including the following conditions can be helped by vision therapy.

 

Visually-related Learning Problems

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 coordination, visual memory skills, and letter and number reversals).

To learn more about vision-related learning problems, visit any of these web pages on reading
http://www.children-special-needs.org/vision_therapy/esophoria_reading.html
ADD/ADHD - http://www.add-adhd.org/
Tracking http://www.visiontherapystories.org/eye_tracking_disorders.html
Convergence insufficiency http://www.visiontherapystories.org/convergence_insufficiency.html

Poor Binocular or Eye Coordination

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, visual discomfort and overall performance in many areas can suffer.

To learn more about binocular vision, visit these web pages on 3D vision and depth perception
http://www.vision3d.com/stereo.html
convergence insufficiency - http://www.visiontherapystories.org/convergence_insufficiency.html
The Framing Game - http://www.vision3d.com/frame.html

Strabismus and Amblyopia

When a person’s eyes do not aim in the same common direction, the condition is called ‘strabismus”. Commonly known as ‘crossed eyes’ or ‘wall eyes’, the eyes may turn constantly upward, downward, inward or outward.

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.

To learn more about crossed eyes or lazy eye, visit
strabismus.org
children-special-needs.org
lazyeye.org

Computer Vision Syndrome

C.V.S. (Computer Vision Syndrome) is one of the fastest growing health concerns in the workplace today.

Children and adults in our technological society constantly use their near vision at both work and home. Environmental stresses on the visual system can cause eyestrain, headaches, and visual difficulties which can be effectively treated with Vision Therapy.

Sports Vision Improvement

Strong visual skills are critical to sports success. Not much happens in sports until your eyes instruct your hands and body what to do!

Accurate vision and athletic visual skills can be measured, developed, and enhanced through Vision Therapy. We can improve eye-hand coordination, visual reaction time, peripheral awareness, eye teaming, focusing, tracking, and visualization skills.

Visual Rehabilitation for Traumatic Brain Injury

Vision can be compromised as a result of neurological disorders or trauma to the nervous system such as traumatic brain injuries, stroke, and whiplash.

Vision Therapy can effectively treat the visual consequences of trauma including double vision, tracking and focusing dysfunctions, and provide compensations for visual field loss.

To learn more about brain injuries and vision visit
braininjuries.org.

What Is Involved in a Vision Therapy Program?

Patients typically come to the office once every two weeks for thirty minutes each visit. In addition, a workbook and equipment is included which contains instruction for activities to be done at home to reinforce what was learned during the office therapy sessions.

How do I get assessed for vision therapy?

Your optometrist will complete an in-depth analysis and testing in the areas of difficulty, which may last up to three hours. Your Vision therapy program is administered in our office under the direct guidance of your doctor with an experienced and trained vision therapist.

Vision therapy does require a number of office visits over a period of time ranging from several weeks to a number of months. During each visit, your progress will be assessed, and you will be taught your new home exercises and activities.

Home involvement and compliance is absolutely necessary from our patients, as we currently offer limited just ‘in-office’ vision therapy.

Is Vision Therapy New?

Vision therapy is actually a part of the specialty of orthoptics. Orthoptics, which literally means "straightening of the eyes,” was introduced to this country by physicians in the mid 1800s.

Optometrists in the mid 1900's took the best that orthoptics had to offer, and pioneered the development of modern vision therapy.

Can I Just Do the Therapy at Home by Myself?

Vision therapy programs are individualized for the patient, and careful guidance and frequent monitoring are required for success.

When attempted by patients without guidance, poor visual habits may actually be reinforced, and the development of ‘splinter skills’ may actually make proper treatment at a later date impossible.

The use of lenses and prisms which are a vital component of many vision therapy programs are also classed as a ‘restricted activity’ in Alberta, and may only be used under the direction of a licensed eye care professional.

Will My Insurance Cover Vision Therapy?

Some of the better health insurance policies cover the medical aspect of vision therapy.

Insurance companies do require some very particular vision codes, so please ask your optometrist to complete the necessary insurance information package for you.

How Long Does Vision Therapy Last?

When the program is complete, the benefits of vision therapy will last for a lifetime.

Non-medical vision therapy, as related to visual perception, prepares children for lifelong learning, and it fills in gaps for many adults who have lost visual skills and abilities.