WHAT IS VISION THERAPY?
“At Mayfair Eye Care, we see your vision as so much more than just your eyes”
To us, vision therapy is a core part of our clinic, but sometimes we hear, “Why haven’t I heard about this? Why hasn’t anyone told me about vision therapy and how it can make my life better?” Let us explain!
A Developmental Optometrist looks at the visual system of the whole eye and mind as a connected and interdependent team. At Mayfair Eye Care, we see your vision as so much more than just your eyes. Our exams are much more thorough and that’s also what helps us identify good candidates for vision therapy.
Dr. Margaret Penny
WHAT IS VISION THERAPY?
Vision Therapy, also known as Eye Training, is an individualized, doctor-supervised, optometric care program of exercises designed to correct or improve specific visual and visual-perceptual problems regardless of your age!
Unlike glasses and contact lenses, which compensate for your refractive state, Vision Therapy aims to “teach” the eyes to see, and to train the visual system to correct itself.
Vision therapy helps people perform their best whether it is at school, work, during sports, driving a car, or in other aspects of daily life. Some people say it is like physiotherapy for your vision.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A VISION THERAPY SESSION?
Each vision therapy session is individualized for the patient so they can learn to use their visual abilities in new or more efficient ways by participating in various vision exercises. We use fun tools that engage our patients in a positive manner, that also helps train your eyes and mind to work together better as a team. You may get to use therapeutic lenses, prisms, filters or work with specialized optical equipment to develop binocular vision and focusing skills. These exercises are designed to bring a skill or set of skills to conscious awareness, and by practicing these skills so they become automatic.
In our perceptual sessions you may also focus on methods to improve your visual memory, letter and number reversals, eye hand coordination and visual spatial skills.
HOW LONG DOES VISION THERAPY TAKE?
“We custom tailor your vision therapy plan and session to provide the greatest benefit”
Vision therapy can take anywhere from 3 months to a year. At our clinic, patients often achieve faster results because our programs are individually designed to meet the needs of each patient. At Mayfair Eye Care, we know that everyone responds differently to vision therapy so we custom tailor your vision therapy plan and sessions to provide the greatest benefit in the targeted areas of a significant challenge to you. This results in less required visits to our clinic, and less expense to you too.
Vision therapy can fit into your life no matter where you are!
HOW OFTEN DO I HAVE TO ATTEND A VISION THERAPY SESSION?
At Mayfair Eye Care, we see our vision therapy patients on average, every 3 weeks. With a program tailored to you, which is what we believe is essential, we allow sufficient time between sessions to allow the brain time to change and adjust to the improvements in vision. We are trying to be realistic and understand that people are busy and don’t have the time to come to our clinic more often than they need.
Factors that affect how soon you see results include your commitment to doing the activities at home, maturity level, brain processing abilities, how much time you dedicate to it weekly and level of parental support.
IS VISION THERAPY NEW?
During the mid-19th century was the first-time vision therapy really hit the scenes. French ophthalmologist, Dr. Javal is accredited for the first vision therapy. His family had many members that had strabismus (cross-eyedness) and he was looking for an alternative to surgery which had a very low success rate.
During the world wars, fighter pilots used a form of vision therapy to improve their performance in one of the most intense jobs. Excellence in vision was a matter of life or death for them and so the value and understanding of optimized vision become an essential element of training.
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.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VISION AND SIGHT?
Your eyesight is the physical ability of how your eyes are seeing. It is the ‘20/20’ measurement that the doctor takes when you are having your eyes checked. Your vision is much more complex. It is the interaction and interdependence of your eyes and your brain working together. It takes into account your sight, refractive state, eye tracking and focusing, eye coordination, visual perception and your eye health. Vision also is impacted by other sensory input such as your balance system.
Your vision helps you perform at your best, such as connecting accurately with the hockey puck, having fast hand-eye coordination in table tennis, reading and comprehending materials accurately, adjusting to your activities such as figure skating, hitting your police-profession target practice perfectly and so much more.
Request an appointment today and find out how Mayfair Eye Care can help you or your child achieve their best vision.