What is Vision Therapy?
Vision therapy is much like “physical therapy”, but rather than treating the muscles of the body, it works on the eyes and visual system. It is an invaluable tool that has changed not only our patients’ vision, but has improved many related areas of their lives as well.
The first step of a vision therapy program is a thorough examination with Dr. Ward to determine if vision therapy is the best course of care. With extensive experience treating patients of all ages, he easily makes his younger patients feel comfortable during this exam.
Next, he'll prescribe an individualized program of vision therapy that train your eyes to work together, track, perceive and focus properly. Strengthening these basic visual skills can really change the way you see, allowing you to enjoy activities, such as reading, sports and other aspects of life.
Research has shown that vision therapy can be instrumental in helping increase visual attention, making learning to read easier. Often, children who had been falling behind in reading are able to improve their performance greatly by reducing the effects of their vision problems. Vision therapy truly allows children to enjoy learning and become more confident, happier people.
What Equipment Does a Vision Therapist Use?
Just as a physical therapist might use treadmills or weights, a vision therapist relies on prisms, eye patches, filtered lenses, and computerized systems to conduct therapy sessions. In our office, we use many interactive computer programs that our younger patients enjoy and that result in long-lasting success.
Not only do the computer programs offer a proven, more effective method of delivering therapy, but the "fun" nature of the programs keeps children motivated to work, and thus, we find that results come quicker and stronger for our patients.
How Long is a Vision Therapy Program?
The required number of office visits depends on the diagnosis and the age of the patient. Vision therapy programs typically involve one to two in-office sessions throughout the week, for a varying number of months depending on need. Home exercises are utilized to reinforce office therapy.
What Vision Therapy Is Not
There are a number of programs of "eye exercises" and techniques for improving vision that are not associated with Vision Therapy, such as colored lenses or other programs advertised to quickly improve eyesight.
Likewise, education therapy and vision therapy are not to be confused. We do not treat learning problems directly. We treat them only to the extent that an underlying vision problem is the cause of the learning issue. Once this sort of vision problem is treated, we may refer a patient to a tutor to help them with learning techniques.
Vision Therapy is carefully monitored by Dr. Ward, a licensed optometrist. Vision therapy is supported by the American Optometric Association (AOA) as a clinical treatment for certain visual deficits.
Vision Therapy Works
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