Your eyes give you eyesight but vision is processed by the brain. Eyes, therefore, are really an extension of the brain. Training the brain through a progressive program of exercises or procedures is known as vision therapy. This non-surgical treatment program is developed by your holistic behavioural optometrist to improve vision problems such as crossed eyes, lazy eye, some reading or learning disabilities, post concussion syndrome, post stroke or traumatic brain injuries in addition to many other vision processing problems.
Like any other skill, visual skills are developed as we grow. Unlike other forms of exercise, the goal of Vision Therapy is not to strengthen eye muscles. Your eye muscles are already incredibly strong. Visual skills can often be improved by therapy if they are not developing properly. A selection of individually appropriate visual exercises are prescribed by an optometrist and the patient is instructed to perform these exercises in the clinic or continue practicing these exercises daily at home. Tools such as lenses, prisms, and filters are often included in the overall course of vision therapy. Balance beams, a trampoline, bean bags and vectograms can be used in training. This is not your typical therapy!
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Each vision therapy program is designed to meet the specific needs of the individual. The frequency of consultation, duration of therapy and amount of home training are all calculated with the patient’s goals in mind. Repetition enhances vision by improving eye movement, focusing control and coordination of the two eyes. Vision therapy works to build better visual efficiency, improved visual comfort and grace of movement.
In the case of individuals with dyslexia or attention deficit disorder, vision therapy is specifically directed toward resolving visual problems which interfere with reading, learning and educational instruction. Vision therapy is not simply eye exercises. It is a scientifically-based program that, when combined with visual examination and committed participation, can lead to impactful results.
If you have been told "you'll have to learn to live with it" when discussing your vision challenges, make an appointment with your holistic optometrist and see if you might benefit from vision therapy.