Vision therapy is a non-invasive, non-surgical solution to help treat many eye conditions. Our ability to learn and adapt is incredible. The human brain has the remarkable ability to change its structure and function to accommodate new information and abilities, allowing us to learn new skills with remarkable speed and success. This capability is called neuroplasticity and is the guiding concept behind vision therapy’s success.
Many people suffer from vision problems that affect their quality of life. In children, conditions like lazy eye, crossed eyes, eye movement disorders and eye teaming problems can hinder development, social interactions, behavior and academic success. These vision problems are treatable. At Dr Kimberlee Robertson-Woods & Associates, we help people overcome these kinds of challenges by addressing the underlying vision problem.
Vision therapy is a program that consists of several special eye exercises aimed at correcting specific vision issues and common eye disorders. While eyeglasses and contact lenses are effective treatments for refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia, there are other vision conditions which corrective lenses cannot fix.
Historically, eye doctors recommended eye surgery to treat eye conditions such as strabismus. Any surgery carries an element of risk and can be traumatic, especially for children. Many parents are happy to learn that alternative treatments exist. Vision therapy trains the visual system to correct itself through a process similar to physical therapy.
Vision Therapy for Strabismus
Strabismus is one of the most common eye conditions that we treat with vision therapy. Strabismus is generally diagnosed during early childhood. It is associated with misalignment of the eyes, caused by muscle weakness in one eye. The primary symptom of strabismus can be seen when one eye looks straight, while the other looks inward, outward, up or down.
If you notice misaligned eyes, your child needs a complete eye exam from a pediatric optometrist. Binocular vision and depth perception are achieved when the two eyes work together. Sometimes, weak eye muscles and poor eye control can lead to a loss of depth perception if strabismus is not treated promptly.
Vision therapy has proven to be an effective method of strengthening the weakened eye muscles, straightening out the eyes and, in many cases, avoiding surgery altogether. At Dr Kimberlee Robertson-Woods & Associates, we provide vision therapy for strabismus, as well as other, more minor, eye disorders.
Vision Therapy for Milder Eye Conditions
Convergence Insufficiency, amblyopia (“lazy eye”), focusing problems and eye teaming disorders also respond well to vision therapy. With convergence insufficiency, for example, the eyes are unable to converge to focus on images up close. This can cause double vision and a sense that the words on a page are moving around. In children, this can affect their ability to read and write. In adults, it can lead to eye strain and headache during fine hand-eye activities and other close-up operations. With a tailored exercise program, the eyes can be trained to focus more comfortably. Children who have trouble reading, and adults who have been suffering from eyestrain often turn out to have Convergence Insufficiency, which can be effectively treated with vision therapy.
Professional studies indicate that vision therapy can reduce symptoms of computer vision syndrome, which affects children and adults who spend large amounts of time on computers or other electronic devices.
Are you a good candidate for vision therapy? Find more information from your local vision therapist. If you are in Niagara-on-the-Lake or St. Catharines, contact our eye care professionals, Dr. Kimberlee Robertson-Woods & Associates.