Vision Therapy: Correcting More Than 20/20

As an Optometrist, I know that many visual processing problems can be corrected using Vision Therapy rather than just lenses. I've had countless patients come to me having been told that "it's too late to fix your vision problems" or that they'll "have to learn to live with these issues." But with Vision Therapy, so many of these patients have been able to improve their vision problems.

So what is Vision Therapy? Vision Therapy improves the way vision is processed in the brain. These are some of the problems I've helped to correct in my clinic with Vision Therapy:

  • Coordination
  • Focusing and tracking
  • Comprehension
  • Spatial judgment
  • Visual discrimination
  • Visual memory
  • Lazy eye
  • Crossed eyes
  • Double vision
  • Convergence insufficiency
  • Vision related reading and learning disabilities

About the Treatments

First, I perform a full eye examination to determine whether this might be an effective treatment option. Then, I prescribe a series of treatments based on standardized test results and the patient's needs and symptoms.

Vision Therapy occurs at the office under my supervision, one to two times a week. Quite often, I'll teach certain techniques to patients that they can practice at home as well. In the office, these are some of the types of equipment we may use:

  • Corrective lenses
  • Therapeutic lenses
  • Prism lenses
  • Optical filters
  • Occluders or eye patches
  • Electronic targets with timing mechanisms
  • Computer software
  • Balance boards (vestibular device)
  • Visual-motor-sensory integration training devices

Can Vision Therapy Help You?

I'm often asked whether Vision Therapy is a good option for a particular person. While the first step is to come in and see a qualified Optometrist, if you are wondering whether Vision Therapy could potentially help you can fill out this symptom checklist: Vision Therapy Symptom Checklist

Here is a quote from one of my patients:

"I've just finished my first three months of vision therapy. My eyes not working correctly was always a source of embarrassment for me. But since I've started working with Dr. Sangha, and she's helped me understand exactly what my eyes and brain are doing... it's all become fascinating. Now I share my progress with friends and family, and enjoy talking about it. I absolutely believe the brain has the ability to relearn. But I also know it will take time. Dr. Sangha is good at celebrating the small improvements while still managing my expectations. I know this is a year-long commitment. I have, however, made measurable progress already... and I am confident I will be able to get both eyes working together properly again." - L.G.

Sometimes the work we do is really challenging. It requires time, energy and a lot of cognitive attention. But when we see changes in symptoms and clinical measures it is all worthwhile.

By Dr. Nazima Sangha of Family Eyecare Centre