What is Vision Therapy?
Optometric Vision Therapy is an individualized, supervised, treatment program prescribed by your doctor to correct visual-motor, perceptual and cognitive deficiencies.
Vision therapy at Elite Vision Therapy involves the use of lenses, prisms, light therapy and active procedures supported by on-going, evidence based scientific research. These tools teach the eyes to work together to process visual information more efficiently and effectively via neuroplasticity.
What can Vision Therapy do?
Optometric Vision Therapy is effective in enhancing the brain’s ability to control:
- Amblyopia (“lazy eye”)
- Strabismus (“eye turn”)
- Eye tracking and eye teaming
- Eye focusing abilities
- Eye movements
- Double vision
- Eye-hand coordination
- Visual information processing
- Spatial awareness
- Sports vision skills
It is also an effective treatment for patients with:
- Generalized attention issues
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Post-concussion syndrome
- Acquired brain injuries
- Convergence insufficiency
- Visual-motor deficits
- Vision loss
- Reading difficulties
- Vision-related headaches
Find the Vision Therapy Plan for you
The Steps →
1. Comprehensive Eye Exam
The first step is to ensure a comprehensive eye examination has been completed. All of our doctors at Elite Eye Care test for functional and binocular vision deficits and evaluate the need for vision therapy services. If vision therapy is needed, your doctor will refer you for a Vision Therapy Consultation at Elite Vision Therapy, also called a Visual Efficiency Exam.
2. Vision Therapy Consultation
A referral from your Elite Eye Care optometrist or your regular optometrist is needed to schedule a VT consultation with Dr. Heidi Bell, OD, FAAO, FCOVD. A VT consultation tests functional visual skills including tracking, focusing and eye teaming, in order to determine if vision therapy is right for you. Based on these results, an individualized treatment plan is created to address all goals and visual needs.
3. Vision Therapy Treatment Plan
Based on your specific needs, a vision therapy plan is created. This may include:
- Weekly sessions of Optometric Vision Therapy
- Light Therapy (syntonics)
- Performance glasses with prism
- Primitive Reflex Integration
- Vivid Vision Virtual Reality system
Our standard vision therapy program consists of one weekly session with home support activities. The duration of your treatment plan will be determined by your doctor based on your vision needs.
Vision Therapy for Concussions
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). More than 60% of the brain is devoted to processing visual information, therefore an injury to the brain is an injury to the visual system.
Common post-concussion visual syndrome symptoms include:
- Double vision
- Blurry vision and eye strain
- Difficulty reading
- Reduced depth perception
- Light sensitivity
- Slow processing skills
- Tunneling vision
- Movement of vision
- Difficulty focusing/concentrating
- Brain fog
Vision Therapy FAQ
How do I get scheduled for vision therapy?
To get started on your path to visual rehabilitation, schedule a comprehensive eye examination with an Elite Eye Care doctor to discuss your injury and symptoms.
Does every optometrist do vision therapy?
While every optometrist receives education and training in vision therapy while in school, and has the ability to refer, not all optometrists specialize in this area. The doctors at Elite Eye Care have all completed specialized training to further their knowledge and better serve you. Dr. Heidi Bell, OD, FAAO, FCOVD has completed her fellowship in behavioral optometry and visual-neurorehabilitation.
Is all vision therapy the same?
Simply put, no. Elite Vision Therapy uses a unique program based on a combination of behavioral, functional, developmental and structural models of optometry. No two cases are the same as each patient brings their unique histories, vision issues and personalities to the therapy room. While the general principles of vision therapy are similar, it is our individualized treatment approach that allows our patients to reach their full potential.
What are common symptoms of a vision related learning problem?
resistance to reading, skipping or repeating lines/words, poor reading comprehension, reduced fluency, poor visual attention, closing an eye to read, prefers being read to over reading on their own, effort level and love of learning does not match performance
Is vision therapy only for kids? Is there an age limit?
No. We serve patients of all ages. The idea that there is a “critical period” or an age where vision can no longer improve is based on outdated & antiquated data that has been disproven. Neuroplasticity (retraining the brain, and therefore the visual system) is possible at any age.
Can surgery help align a turned eye?
Surgical intervention should be approached on a case-by-case basis only, and with caution. Non-invasive, therapeutic options that eliminate the unnecessary use of anesthesia in children should be explored prior to surgeries. In cases of strabismus (eye turn), surgery moves the position of the eye, while the brain does not know that the eyes have moved. The brain is what controls the eyes and is where we “see”. Vision therapy is very effective in retraining the brain and giving patients the tools to understand how to use their eyes together in their new position providing the best long-term results.
Does your office patch kids?
NO. Eye patching to improve a “lazy eye” is an outdated method that has known, long lasting psychological impacts on children. We now know that amblyopia and strabismus occur in the brain due to a complicated process called “Binocular Competition”. Our goal in vision therapy is to teach the eyes to work together and reduce this competition between the eyes. If your child wears a patch in vision therapy, it will be colored or tinted, providing them with feedback and allowing them to learn how to use their eyes together.
Is vision therapy covered by insurance?
Our office bills medical insurance (link to insurance page) for vision therapy. Coverage is dependent on your individual plan. Contribution from medical insurance is common, but not guaranteed. Our team has many payment options available to make vision therapy a realistic option for you and your family.