There are conditions of the visual system that can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. However, there are some visual efficiency, strabismus/amblyopia, and visual processing dysfunctions that can be best addressed with vision therapy.
Vision therapy is a sequence of therapy activities that are designed to develop efficient visual skills and visual processing. Before a therapy program can be designed for an individual, the proper evaluations and diagnoses are critical.
We offer visual efficiency evaluations, strabismus/amblyopia evaluations, and visual information processing evaluations. Most children who are having difficulty in school and have symptoms which suggest a visual problem need a visual efficiency evaluation and a visual information processing evaluation. Those with strabismus and/or amblyopia, require that evaluation in place of the visual efficiency evaluation.
Visual Efficiency Evaluation
This battery of testing thoroughly evaluates eye teaming, eye tracking, and eye focusing skills.
In addition to seeing clearly, it is important to be able to maintain that clear vision through a strong focusing system. A child must be able to have adequate focusing amplitude, accuracy, and flexibility. Patients with reduced focusing skills tend to take longer to complete tasks, may complain of blur and/or discomfort, and show signs of fatigue.
Accurate eye tracking skills are also crucial in being able to keep their place while reading. If your child loses their place while reading, or skips words, it will ultimately affect their reading efficiency and reading comprehension. It has been shown that patients with poor eye tracking skills have decreased attention when presented with visually stimulating material.
Equally as important as eye focusing and eye tracking skills are good eye teaming skills. It is important for the eyes to be directed in the same place in order to maintain single vision. Patients with binocular problems have to exert more effort to keep the eyes working together and may have symptoms of discomfort, fatigue or even double vision.
Visual Information Processing Evaluation
This battery of tests evaluates visual spatial skills, visual analysis skills, and visual motor skills. Deficiencies in these areas may be referred to as learning-related vision problems.
In conjunction with an efficient visual system, adequate visual processing skills are very important. Visual processing involves extracting and organizing visual information from the environment and to integrate it with higher thinking. Visual information processing includes visual spatial, visual analysis, and visual motor skills. These skills are important in the learning process, especially with reading and writing.
Children who have problems in visual processing typically have one or more of the following symptoms: reversal errors, difficulty remembering what is read, poor understanding of right and left directions, difficulty completing assignments in a timely manner, and poor handwriting.
Strabismus/ Amblyopia Evaluation
This evaluation assesses the characteristics of the eye turn and how the brain has or has not adapted to the eye turn.
Based on the characteristics of the strabismus and/or amblyopia, the prognosis for achieving normal visual acuity and normal binocular vision can be determined. Treatment options may include the use of lenses, prism, patching, active vision therapy procedures or referral for surgery.