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Ojas Eye Hospital in Bandra, Kandivali, Mumbai

Vision Therapy

October 13, 2021

Introduction

Children or adults who notice difficulty in vision even with glasses or contact lenses may have a lazy eye also known as weak eye. Vision therapy is a safe and effective way to improve their visual potential. Vision therapy essentially comprises a set of eye exercises based on principles of binocular vision.

It is an also useful for those who are doing patching or occlusion therapy for lazy eye (also known as amblyopia). Vision therapy aims to train the eye and the brain to visual issues.

About 1 in 10 children estimated to have vision problem impeding school learning. A comprehensive eye exam can help in enhancing eye health, vision and visual skills of the child.

What Is Vision Therapy?

It is a progressive program of eye exercises.  It is a remarkably effective procedure that improves visual acuity and binocularity. It is a safe, non-surgical and customized program performed under the supervision of a doctor. It is a drug-free therapy and is effective in both children and adults. Vision therapy can be an in-office or at home practice. Generally, it is conducted once or twice a week for 30 minutes to an hour.

When The Doctor Advises Vision Therapy?

The doctor advises vision therapy when your child has poor vision i.e weak eyesight inspite of glasses or frequent headaches and eyestrain. An eye doctor may also prescribe vision therapy to treat vision problems caused by weakness in eye muscles. Studies have proved that vision therapy is helpful in improving long-term educational performance in children.

How The Doctors Perform Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy corrects certain problems that cannot be treated by eyeglasses, contact lenses and surgery. The therapy mainly focuses on enhancing the visual system including the eyes and pathways in the brain. It improves visual acuity in lazy eye, improves synchronisation between the eyes, reduces symptoms of eye fatigue and eye strain.

Doctors can use tools and techniques for vision therapy includes

  • Prisms
  • Filters
  • Therapeutic lenses
  • Patches
  • Balance boards and brocks ring
  • A variety of tools designed specifically for vision therapy

It is also important to know that vision therapy is not limited to just tools and techniques. Successful results of vision therapy can be achieved only when the patient and doctor actively engage in the procedure of vision therapy.

What Are The Advantages Of Vision Therapy?

Children and adult can benefit through vision therapy who have the following visual challenges

  • Difficulty in reading, writing and learning
  • Double vision
  • Memory problems
  • Frequent headaches with visual tasks
  • Poor eye contact
  • Eye-tracking problem
  • Eye teaming problem
  • Dyslexia (It is a condition that affects the ability to read, write and speak mainly among kids)

Vision therapy also enhances various visual skills includes- Tracking moving objects, changing quick focus from far to near, recognizing depth perception, maintaining attention and binocularity.

What Are The Various Exercises Involved In Vision Therapy?

Pencil push-up exercise

The exercise commonly approaches binocular vision disorders such as strabismus. Typically, the therapy is done with a pencil or any object of similar shape like pencil. To start the procedure, you have to:

  • Hold the pencil at arm’s length
  • Move the pencil slowly towards the nose
  • Trying to keep a clear focus on the pencil
  • Then draw the pencil away from the nose
  • Repeat the process several times, for several sessions in a day
 

Computer-assisted vision therapy

Computer programs involve software to enhance the movement of eyes, visual thinking and processing skills.

Lens or prism fixation

In this exercise, your doctor will ask you to look at an object through different lenses. The lenses are of varying powers or prisms and placed at a certain position. The exercise will allow your eyes to see objects or person from near or close distance.

Patching

Sometimes if one eye is weaker than the other. Then the brain will not accept the image from the weaker eye. It can lead to amblyopia & also known as lazy eye. A patch will ask to wear on the stronger eye to reduce its stimuli. That’s how patching helps the brain in learning to accept the images from weak eye and improve vision in that eye.

Screen rest

The exercise is mainly for individuals who spend long periods focusing on computer screens. It consists 20-20-20 rule in which a person should focus for at least 20 seconds, on the object placed at 20 feet after every 20 minutes of a computer screen.

Conclusion

Vision therapy can be an excellent choice over surgery in various cases. Sometimes visual therapy is recommended after strabismus surgery to restrain the visual system. There is no need to afraid of the surgery procedures. If you are experiencing any vision problem at home, at work, you can choose vision therapy. It is better to take the advice of your doctor and schedule an eye examination.

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Ojas Eye Hospital A Center of Excellence for Contoura Vision, Femto Bladefree Lasik in Mumbai, India.