Certain eye conditions cannot be corrected by glasses or contacts alone. When this is the case, treatments like vision therapy can be considered to assist in improving your eyesight. Vision therapy, or orthoptics, is a doctor-supervised, non-surgical and customized program of eye exercises that are designed to improve visual skills. Similar to how physiotherapy can help heal your body, vision therapy can help your eyes to be aligned properly and converge correctly.
Continue reading to learn more about what eye conditions can be treated by vision therapy exercises and the different methods of orthoptics that are available.
A failure of two eyes to maintain proper alignment and work together cohesively, there are a variety of different types of strabismus. While one eye is looking at an object, the other eye can wander inward, outward, upwards or downwards. Strabismus can occur constantly or intermittently and the wandering eye can deviate at a small or large angle from proper eye alignment — which can sometimes make strabismus difficult to spot without being examined by an optometrist.
While sometimes surgery is required to correct strabismus, in many cases vision therapy can help correctly align wandering eyes. For instance, orthoptics can help convergence insufficiency, which is a type of intermittent exotropia — when the eye wanders outward — where the eyes align properly while viewing far-away objects but misalign when looking at close objects.
This vision developmental disorder, in which one eye fails to have 20/20 vision even with the help of glasses or contacts, is often called “lazy eye.” During this condition, the weaker eye relies on the stronger eye to try to correct vision. Amblyopia often occurs in young children and needs to be corrected before your little one reaches age eight. After this age, the eyesight issue may become permanent and can lead to severe vision loss. Patching is one vision therapy technique often used to help correct amblyopia.
Vision therapy not only assists eye conditions but can also help improve your ability to focus on objects and tasks, such as reading. This form of treatment can particularly benefit children who have difficulty processing visual information in school. Orthoptics can also assist athletes elevate their level of play by increasing visual processing and reaction speed.
The ability to synergize the processes of interpreting visual information and directing coordinated movements, visual motor integration is the skill that enables young children to spoon-feed themselves, learn to ride a bike or be able to catch a ball. As your child gets older, this visual skill becomes critical for practising sports, playing musical instruments, writing neatly, understanding math and being able to read. If your child has a visual motor integration deficiency, visual therapy can help him or her learn and improve this developmental ability.
After a traumatic brain injury, damaged parts of the brain are either “turned-off” or cannot communicate with other parts of the body due to severed connections. Visual therapy can help retrain the brain to use undamaged areas, compensating for unusable sections that were affected by an injury. Alternatively, orthoptics can rewire neural connections to communicate better with the brain.
Under the supervision of an optometrist or vision therapist, there are a variety of eye exercises to improve your vision. A few different exercises include:
To learn more about vision therapy exercises and if this treatment is an option for you, book an appointment at your local Visique clinic.