Most people think of their vision primarily as their eyeglasses or contact lens prescription, but in reality it affects lives a lot more than simply that. Vision is actually a skill, and in some cases development of that skill does not progress as it should from everyday activities, resulting in behavior problems, eye teaming issues, and even learning disabilities. In many cases, vision therapy with a Doctor of Optometry at Lewis County Eye & Vision Inc in Chehalis, WA can help.
What is Vision Therapy?
Vision Therapy is a form of physical therapy that is overseen by your eye doctor and used to develop visual skills through guided exercises. In most cases, it is about much more than strengthening eye muscles, as eye strength is rarely the issue. Vision issues such as double vision, types of reading problems, lazy eye, and crossed eyes are commonly addressed.
In order for vision therapy to be effective, it needs to be conducted by an optometrist, usually once or twice per week. Actual therapy and exercises are highly individualized, whether the patient is a child or an adult. The goal of the exercises is to help patients
- become more comfortable with their vision and see more efficiently
- improve fundamental visual skills
- change or correct how visual information is processed
Choosing an Eye Doctor for Vision Therapy
The experience of having confusing problems with your vision can be frightening, and often sends people to what they believe is the best eye doctor they can find. Many assume that for vision issues this is an ophthalmologist, because they carry an M.D., when in reality an optometrist is usually the best choice for this type of problem. The primary training of an ophthalmologist is to handle eye diseases and issues that require surgery. At Lewis County Eye & Vision Inc., we have the diagnostic skills to recognize when a visual issue is due to an eye disease or serious condition and will quickly refer a patient to an ophthalmologist if needed.
Vision Therapy is a Team Effort
Just as your eyes need to work together to see efficiently, it is important for patients to work together with their eye doctor in order to make their sessions successful. There are several special tools that are used as part of in-office therapy sessions. Some of these include
Medically regulated corrective, therapeutic or prism lenses
- Optical Filters
- Balance boards
- Eye patches
- Electronic targets used with timers
- Computer software
Because the equipment used in vision therapy is medically regulated, it is important that an optometrist guide the patient through one or two sessions each week for 30 minutes or more. Patients and/or their parents need to be diligent about making and cooperating with the program, which may include out of office homework as well.
If you or your child is experiencing difficulty processing visual information, there is a chance vision therapy could help. At Lewis County Eye & Vision Inc in Chehalis, WA, we evaluate each patient individually and develop specialized programs that are most likely to result in stronger visual skills. To learn more about vision therapy or to schedule an appointment contact us at (360) 748-9228.