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Vision Therapy – What It Is and How It Can Help

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Vision therapy can be understood as physical therapy for the eyes and parts of the brain which control vision.  Vision therapy is not meant to replace or eliminate consideration for eyeglasses, contacts and surgery.  Rather, it is an alternative for when the aforementioned options have already been explored and a patient still requires more options to improve their vision.   
Vision therapy is a doctor-supervised, customized regimen of activities and exercises designed to correct certain vision problems or improve visual acuity. Vision Therapy is non-surgical in nature and often involves the use of lenses, prisms, metronomes and a variety of other visual instruments.  
The purpose of vision therapy is to train the eye and brain to work together to correct visual issues at their root, and permanently.  This is unlike eyeglasses or contact lenses, which are a transient solution to vision problems, and surgery which is invasive and anatomy-altering.  
What Can Vision Therapy Correct?
There are three common scenarios that vision therapy can help.  
Digital Eye Strain
Digital eye strain is a modern-day vision problem, which is affecting a growing number of the population as many of us are constantly using digital devices for extended periods of time.   Symptoms of Digital eye strain include blurred vision, eye fatigue, headaches, difficulty focusing and neck/lower back pain.
Often referred to as “lazy eye”, Amblyopia is a vision development disorder which causes reduced vision in one eye.  Amblyopia occurs because brain and affected eye are not working together properly and is a condition which begins during childhood or infancy.   Amblyopia is often caused by Strabismus.
Strabismus is a visual disorder.  It occurs when both eyes are misaligned and unable to point or look in the same direction.  The muscles in each eye are supposed to work together in order for both eyes to move in the same direction, at the same time. Strabismus occurs when the eye muscles are no longer able to properly control eye movements.
Depending on the magnitude of the disorder, in many cases vision therapy can be an excellent treatment choice over surgery. Alternatively, it can be also be customized to work in conjunction with surgery – before and after the procedure – to increase the likelihood of successful results.
In order to most accurately determine which type of treatment is most suitable for you or your child, please contact us to book a consultation with one of our eye doctors.  They will be able to best advise on how vision therapy may be an effective treatment to improve your vision.

Written by Dr. Kyla Hunter

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