What is Vision Therapy?

1 in 4 children struggle with reading because of undiagnosed or undetected vision problems. They lack adequate visual skills needed for close up work during reading, writing, and computer tasks. Often, children’s symptoms are attributed to problems such as ADHD or learning disabilities, when the source of their problems in the classroom is undiagnosed visual problems.

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That is not to say that only children may suffer from visual learning disabilities or would benifit from vision therapy. Since 2000, we have treated a great many children AND adults, helping them improve problems such as:

  • Poor memory
  • Poor attention span
  • Poor ball skills
  • Covers one eye when reading
  • Coordination difficulties
  • Clumsiness
  • Slow reading and poor comprehension
  • Headaches
  • Difficulties with night driving

80% of learning takes place through vision.

The whole brain is involved with vision and integrated with all other senses. Two thirds of our brain pathways are taken up by vision. A few of the visual skills that can impact learning includes eye tracking, focusing, eye teaming, depth perception, eye-hand-body coordination, visual memory, and visual form perception.

60% of students identified as learning disabled have undetected visual problems.

Your child can only learn properly if he can move his eyes along the lines of a book efficiently, switch from far to near vision quickly and accurately, sustain clarity on targets at different distances such as copying from the board, team the eyes to see single when reading with minimal effort, integrate what they see and what they write, visually discriminate objects, and successfully perform some other visual tasks. If your child cannot do these visual tasks efficiently, a bright child can easily be mislabelled learning disabled.

What are some possible symptoms of poor visual performance?

Some of the most common vision problems are blur, headaches, and inconsistent performance. Most people would know enough to have their vision checked if they see blur. In many cases, headaches or reading problems are also the signs of severe or disabling vision problems. Some headaches are ignored. Many times a simple vision exam can put things right and greatly reduce headaches, even migraines, both in frequency and severity.

Many children who struggle in school have never had a vision evaluation. They may be suffering needlessly. Smart, intelligent children who don’t perform up to their expectations are prime candidates for hidden vision problems.

What is Vision Therapy?

Vision Therapy is a curriculum of activities provided by Optometrists designed for patients to have the opportunity to develop visual skills they need for comfort and success. Each patient learns to use their visual abilities in new and more efficient ways through the use of lenses, prisms, and other instruments. The principle goal is to maximize overall performance and comfort through meeting each patient's unmet visual needs and thus improving each patient's quality of life.

 Vision Therapy is a curriculum of activities provided by Optometrists designed for patients to have the opportunity to develop visual skills they need for comfort and success. Each patient learns to use their visual abilities in new and more efficient ways through the use of lenses, prisms, and other instruments. The principle goal is to maximize overall performance and comfort through meeting each patient's unmet visual needs and thus improving each patient's quality of life.

Optometric Vision Therapy works on the development of visual skills, some of which are:

- The ability to follow a moving object smoothly, accurately, and effortlessly with both eyes and at the same time think, talk, read or listen without losing alignment of eyes. This pursuit ability is used to follow a ball or a person, to guide a pencil while writing, to read symbols on moving objects, etc.

- The ability to aim the eyes on a series of stationary objects quickly, with both eyes, and at the same time know what each object is. This is a skill used to read words from left to right, add columns of numbers, read maps, etc.

- The ability to change focus quickly, without blur, from far to near and from near to far, over and over, effortlessly and at the same time look for meaning and obtain understanding from the symbols or objects seen. This ability is used to copy from the chalkboard, to watch the road ahead and check the speedometer, to read a book or watch TV from across the room, etc.

- The ability to team two eyes together. This skill should work so well that no interference exists between the two eyes that result in having to suppress or block information from one or the other eye. This shutting off of information to one eye increases fatigue and distractibility resulting in shortened attention span, lowers understanding of text and the environment, and decreases speed and efficiency.

- The ability to see over a large area (in the periphery) while looking straight ahead. For safety and rapid reading, a person needs to see “the big picture”. This skill aids the ability to know easily where they are on a page while reading and to take a large amount of information (ie. A large number of words) per look.

- The ability to see and know (recognize) in a short look. Efficient vision is dependent on the ability to see rapidly, to see and know an object, people or words in a small fraction of a second. The less time required to see, the faster the reading and thinking.

- The ability to see depth. A child should be able to throw a bean bag into a hat 10 feet away, to judge the visual distance and control the arm movement needed. An adult, when driving, needs to see and judge how far it is to the kerb, make accurate decisions about the speed and distances of other cars to be safe.

For more details, view our glossary of terms.

Book a visual therapy appointment today, call us on 01224 454 534.