Vision Therapy

Vision therapy (VT) is a doctor-supervised, customized program of visual activities designed to correct certain visual problems and/or improve visual skills.  Vision therapy is administered by a trained vision therapist, who aims to “teach” the visual system how to become more efficient.  The goal of vision therapy is to provide individuals clear, comfortable, binocular vision through the treatment of vision problems that cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, and/or surgery alone.  Successful vision therapy outcomes are dependent on an accurate diagnosis through the prescribing doctor, the active engagement of the vision therapist, and the learning dedication of the patient and/or patient’s parents.

Meet Our Vision Therapy Specialist:

Rachael M. Beatty, OD

Signs & Symptoms of a Vision Problem

  • Frequent headaches or eye strain
  • Blurring of distance or near vision, particularly after reading or other close work
  • Avoidance of close work or other visually demanding tasks
  • Poor judgment of depth
  • Turning of an eye in or out, up or down
  • Tendency to cover or close one eye, or favor the vision in one eye
  • Double vision
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Difficulty following a moving target
  • Dizziness or motion sickness

Performance problems

  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Difficulty copying from one place to another
  • Loss of place, repetition, and/or omission of words while reading
  • Difficulty changing focus from distance to near and back
  • Can respond orally but can’t get the same information down on paper
  • Difficulty judging sizes and shapes

Specific Procedures

Visual Efficiency Exam 

This initial exam is completed by Dr. Rachael Beatty. It is a detailed vision analysis to determine the extent of a vision problem as well as how much vision is contributing to problems with reading, sports, and other activities. This session gives your Vision Therapist a starting point for your customized therapy sessions. The exam usually takes 45-60 minutes.

Individual Vision Therapy Sessions

Your customized therapy sessions last approximately 45 minutes with a vision therapist and occur once per week. The length of the program is initially between 6 to 12 weeks. Some patients may need to re-enroll for another 12 week program depending on age, insufficiency and ability.

Vision Therapy Progress Check

This is another Visual Efficiency Exam completed by Dr. Beatty to measure the effects of therapy. She will complete this evaluation at the end of the initial program to determine if more therapy is needed, if home-based therapy is needed, or if the patient is ready to be released from the program. If re-enrollment is necessary the therapy sessions will then be adjusted to emphasize the areas of the visual system that need the most attention.

Success Stories

Accommodative Insufficiency (focusing):

Prior to Vision Therapy:
“[Child] would become frustrated with school work. He would try hard and was learning but he would rub his eyes and often start to cry and wouldn’t have an explanation for his frustration. He seemed to do well at the beginning of each lesson then tire easily. I finally thought to ask him if the words were blurry, and he said that the tops of pages were clear and as he moved down the words became blurrier. He also said letters had fuzzy edges and would blur into each other.”

After Completing 8 Vision Therapy Sessions:
“[Child’s] life is changed! Our family’s life is changed. There are so many less tears and fights and confusion, sadness and frustration. His confidence has sky rocketed. His reading has taken off. [Child] is reading everything – signs, mail, menus, TV, books, labels. It’s amazing. He no longer thinks he is stupid or that there is something wrong with him. He can see and his world is changed and everything is possible for him now.
Also, it is not just words and letters and numbers that are different. Pictures in books, ants and spiders, everything small was a blur. The entire world is different now. It’s clear.”

Convergence Insufficiency (eye teaming)

Prior to Vision Therapy:

  • “Dizzy” episodes: since 2002 – occasional 2013 & 2014 – frequent and intense
  • Decrease in dizziness post-sinus surgery
  • Another decrease after limiting sugars/carbs from diet
  • Could not use binoculars without feeling sick to my stomach
  • Could not cross eyes
  • 20/15 vision

After Completing 11 Vision Therapy Sessions:

  • Noticed another significant decrease in dizziness half-way through Vision Therapy sessions. I had zero episodes from that point and for 2 whole months! Dizzy episode returned 2 months later when I caught a cold that involved my sinuses. Have had only occasional spells (maybe 1 every 2 weeks) and not as intense or as long-lasting as prior.
  • Can use binoculars now!
  • Can cross eyes!
  • My eyesight really seems to be changing. Tired eyes at the end of the day. Pain/discomfort occasionally. When I experience this pain/discomfort it subsides when I practice some of the vision therapy exercises.

Convergence Insufficiency (eye teaming) & Oculomotor Dysfunction (tracking):

After 10 Vision Therapy Sessions:
“Through this process, I’ve seen my daughter soar! For the first time in her life, she is excited and confident with schoolwork and participating with her peers. [Child] is still struggling with “making” test scores, etc, however, with more practice and some academic “catch-up” her life has forever changed. Thank you.”

Convergence Insufficiency (eye teaming) & Accommodative Insufficiency (focusing):

Prior to Vision Therapy:
“My daughter has always done extremely well in school and enjoyed reading from an early age. In fact, [child] is such a voracious reader that when she would complain of headaches after reading I didn’t think it was a vision problem. However, once she had a complete eye exam and the doctor noticed a problem, it explained the headaches and occasional blurry vision.”

After 10 Vision Therapy Sessions:
“[Child] told me that after the vision therapy she doesn’t have any problems focusing while reading. She can read for long periods of time without any ill effects such as the blurry vision or headaches she used to experience. She can work on a computer for longer periods of time without fatigue. And much to her delight she is able to enjoy 3-D movies now!”

Success stories were taken directly from previous patients on completion of our vision therapy program. Please note these are subjective responses/successes and that every patient will have a unique experience through vision therapy.   

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