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Vision Therapy FAQ

Q. What is the difference between an eye turn & a Lazy eye?

A. Strabismus or an eye turn is when both eyes do not look in the same direction together. Lazy eye or amblyopia is commonly when only one eye is weaker than the other. This often results in a higher prescription or blurry vision in one eye compared to the other eye.

Q. Why would a child who is struggling with reading or learning need their vision checked by a developmental optometrist?

A. Eye doctors are trained to identify problems in visual development and eye health. However, developmental optometrists have additional training to evaluate all 17 visual skills, how they work together with the brain, and how to treat a visual problem as well.

Q. Are children really required to get an annual pediatric eye exam?

A. Children often are the epitome of good health, however, their vision happens to be more sensitive and less stable than adults. As adults age, they become increasingly concerned about eye disease, children may require additional help to develop their visual skills. An annual pediatric eye exam is critical to ensure that their visual development is progressing normally.

Q. How does eye tracking relate to convergence insufficiency?

A. When your eyes are unable to look at nearby objects together, this can cause eye turns, double or blurred vision, or what is referred to as convergence insufficiency. Eye-tracking is one of the skills that a child develops as they learn to read. When eye tracking is not fully developed, a child may skip lines or lose their place, and this can also be categorized as convergence insufficiency.

Q. How can athletes improve their game, reaction time, and … read faster, too?

A. Top athletes typically have a physical makeup that is well above the average player and their vision as well. Yet as many athletes tend to develop their skills with hand-to-hand coordination or stamina training, Sports vision training is a powerful tool that affects their entire game. In most sports, reaction time is Key at making the necessary call or move to win the game. And yes, developing your vision on the field can also make you read faster too.

Q. Did you know that a post-concussion or TBI ought to be evaluated by an eye doctor trained in neuro optometry?

A. After any form of head trauma, people have to go undergo various tests and evaluations to help them recover. Whether they have to visit a neurologist or a chiropractor, Whenever there is a head injury, you can expect the rest of the body has suffered as well. What may seem most important and often overlooked however is their vision. Most of our learning is done through our eyes, so any form of head trauma can disrupt visual processes resulting in a multitude of symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, poor balance, blurry vision, an inability to focus or concentrate for long periods. It is critical to get an evaluation by an eye doctor trained in neuro optometry to ensure that you can recover from any sort of head trauma or concussion without lingering side-effects.

Q: How will I know if my child's amblyopia is getting better? Is it too late to help if the problem is detected after age 6?
A: Lazy eye will not go away on its own. We have what is called electrodiagnostic testing which can determine the effectiveness of amblyopia treatment without relying on the response of the child to "tell" us how well they are seeing. Oftentimes, parents worry that the eye exam is not accurate if their child is not old enough to read the chart or is uncooperative due to anxiety surrounding an eye exam. This test is non-invasive and fast (30 minutes) and can be done right here in our office for patients of all ages, starting in infancy. We can track over time how the therapy is working and the prognosis of their vision.

Q: What exactly is astigmatism?
A: Astigmatism is usually caused by an irregularly shaped cornea, the front surface of the eye. Instead of being a perfect sphere, like a ball bearing or a marble, it can become a little more like a football, being more curved in one direction than the other. This brings light into focus at more than one point on the retina at the back of the eye, resulting in blurry or distorted vision.

Q: My previous eye doctor told me I have “stigma!” Am I going to go blind?
A: Stigma is actually referring to a type of refractive error known properly as astigmatism, and no, you will not go blind from having astigmatism; it is not a disease. In fact, this condition is relatively common. There are three types of refractive errors: myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. The former two are also known to as nearsighted (cannot see far away) and farsighted (cannot see up close). Astigmatism is simply the third category; it can affect both the near and far vision. Much like nearsightedness or farsightedness, astigmatism is corrected using glasses or contacts. Technically speaking an eye with astigmatism requires two different prescriptions to correct vision in one eye, due to the more oval shape of the cornea. For contact lens wearers, this will require a more specialized contact lens and a more in-depth fitting procedure.

Q: What is Vision Therapy?
A: Vision therapy is an individualized treatment plan prescribed by a Doctor of Optometry. It is used to treat eye conditions, such as strabismus (eye turn) or amblyopia (“lazy eye”). Through Vision Therapy, a Doctor of Optometry also teaches, improves and/or reinforces important visual skills, such as eye tracking, eye focusing and eye teaming abilities. Without these visual skills, simple tasks like reading or copying notes from the board become difficult. Skipping words or lines while reading, using a finger while reading, blurry near vision, double vision, eyestrain and/or eye fatigue are also common symptoms.

Q: How do I know Vision Therapy is right for my child?
A: If your child displays symptoms of strabismus (eye turn), amblyopia (“lazy eye”), skipping words or lines while reading, using a finger while reading, blurry near vision, double vision, eyestrain and/or eye fatigue, it is suggested your child has a complete eye exam from a Doctor of Optometry. If symptoms persist or the Doctor of Optometry recommends Vision Therapy, then a Vision Therapy assessment is the next step. The doctor will perform a thorough one-on-one assessment and will determine which conditions are present, whether Vision Therapy is suitable, the type of eye exercises required and the number of sessions needed.

Q: What Is Convergence Insufficiency?
A: Convergence Insufficiency (CI) is a visual condition where the eyes are not able to comfortably focus on near-vision tasks, which makes reading difficult or impossible. The condition tends to make kids see double, lose their place, read slowly, and get tired after a short time reading. Many children with CI avoid books, struggle in school, take very long to do their homework, and may even be misdiagnosed as having ADD/ADHD. Convergence Insufficiency patients are also more prone to dizziness and vertigo. The best treatment for CI is vision therapy. These exercises help the person have better control of their eyes, allowing them to enjoy reading and do well at school.

Q: What is Amblyopia?
A: Sometimes called Lazy eye, it is the underdevelopment of central vision in one or sometimes both eyes; it also prevents both eyes from working together.