An optometrist works with your kid or daughter on numerous visual exercises that are particularly designed to improve their visual system and educate it to repair its deficiencies. Vision therapy is a non-surgical, therapeutic approach. Vision therapy is sometimes called visual therapy, vision training, visual training or simply "VT."
Recent findings about neuroplasticity appear to confirm what many vision therapy experts have been saying for years: Properly devised and administered programs of VT can cause neurological changes that can correct vision problems and improve visual performance.
Vision therapy can relieves symptoms and improve outcomes for a variety of vision problems, including:
- Amblyopia: Also called "lazy eye," amblyopia is a vision development problem where an eye fails to attain normal visual acuity, usually due to strabismus or other problems of eye teaming.
- Strabismus: The success of vision therapy for strabismus depends on the direction, magnitude and frequency of the eye turn. Vision therapy has been proven effective for treating an intermittent form of strabismus called convergence insufficiency, which is an inability to keep the eyes properly aligned when reading despite good eye alignment when looking at distant objects.
- Other binocular vision problems: Subtle eye alignment problems called phorias that may not produce a visible eye turn but still can cause eye strain and eye fatigue when reading also can be minimized or corrected with vision therapy.
- Eye movement disorders: Studies have shown vision therapy can improve the accuracy of eye movements used during reading and other close-up work.
- Accommodative (focusing) disorders: Other research shows near-far focusing skills can be improved with vision training.
- Other problems: Other vision problems for which vision therapy may be effective include visual-perceptual disorders, vision problems associated with developmental disabilities and vision problems associated with acquired brain injury (such as from a stroke)
Some experts say certain anomalies associated with vision development, visual perception or vision function may be affected by neuroplasticity. If this is true, it's likely these same vision problems may be successfully treated with vision therapy.