What is Visual Therapy?

The brain, the organ that is responsible for your conscious experience,
is an eternal prisoner in the solitary confinement of the skull...
and must rely on information smuggled to it by the senses...
the world is what your brain tells you it is, and the limitations of
the senses set the boundaries for your conscious experience.
— Coren, Porac & Ward. Sensation and Perception (1984, p2)

 

Visual therapy is a step-by-step developmental program designed to provide patients with the necessary meaningful experiences to acquire full use of their visual process. In many cases the visual system has a problem with development, and the brain creates adaptations to account for the lack of normal development. These adaptations include a turned eye, lazy eye, and sometimes more subtle symptoms like covering or closing an eye while reading. The goal of therapy is to jump start the development of the visual process so these adaptations are no longer needed. Our goal is to get the patient seeing clearly while using both eyes as a team.

 

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Blur when looking at any distance
  • Double vision, (double or overlapping words on the page)
  • Headaches during or after doing vision work
  • Words appear to run together when reading
  • Burning, itching, or watery eyes
  • Falling asleep when reading
  • Seeing and visual work is worse at the end of the day
  • Skips or repeats lines while reading
  • Dizziness or nausea when doing near work
  • Head tilts or one eye is closed or covered while reading
  • Difficulty copying from the blackboard
  • Avoids doing near vision work, such as reading, computer work or writing
  • Blur with night driving
  • Omits (drops out) small words while reading
  • Writes up or down hill
  • Misaligns digits or columns of numbers
  • Reading comprehension low, or declines as day wears on
  • Poor inconsistent performance in sports
  • Holds book too close, leans too close to computer screen
  • Trouble keeping attention centered on reading
  • Difficulty completing assignments on time
  • First response is "I can't" before trying
  • Avoids sports and games
  • Poor hand/eye coordination, such as poor handwriting
  • Does not judge distances accurately
  • Clumsy, accident prone, knocks things over
  • Does not use or plan time well
  • Does not count or make change well
  • Loses belongings and things
  • Car or motion sickness
  • Forgetful, poor memory
  • Loves to be read to, but dislikes reading by themselves
  • Explores with their hands more than their eyes
  • Highly verbally developed at the expense of movement and visual development
  • Download as pdf
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Of Interest

Article: Intermittent Exotropia: Management Options and Surgical Outcomes

Article: Position Paper on Optometric Care of the Struggling Student: For parents, educators, and other professionals

Article: Vision Learning and Dyslexia

An interview with Dr. Patricia Fink speaking about vision therapy, her new role as a board member with OEP and how she is working towards making vision therapy a more recognized part of Canadian vision care.  

Not all eyecare professionals do vision therapy or understand it. Kudos to this family.
Infantile Strabismus Leads to Vision Therapy - and Results

VT and Mathematics: Paying Attention to Spatial Reasoning

Thank you letter from patients

The View from Here: Our family's journey through vision therapy - Click here

The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder - The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder