A woman having a vision therapy session with a vision therapist. Hero

What Conditions Can Vision Therapy Treat?

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Visiting an eye care clinic is often associated with getting a new pair of glasses or contact lenses. However, vision care extends far beyond simply correcting your eyesight with prescription lenses. Vision therapy, a therapy to enhance the eye-connection, can be an effective treatment to address a variety of visual conditions, including:

  • Strabismus (crossed or misaligned eyes)
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Convergence insufficiency
  • Accommodative dysfunction
  • Visual processing disorders
  • Strabismus after surgery
  • Sports vision training
  • Computer vision syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

What Is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is a customized treatment plan designed to improve visual function and efficiency through various exercises and activities. It involves both the eyes and the brain, as the 2 work together to process and interpret visual information. The goal of vision therapy is to train and strengthen the eye-brain connection to improve overall visual abilities.

How Does Vision Therapy Work?

During a vision therapy session, an eye doctor will use a variety of techniques and equipment depending on the specific needs of the patient. These may include special lenses, prisms, filters, computer programs and virtual reality. Vision therapy utilizes biofeedback so that patients learn to self correct and improve their efficiency.

Vision therapy typically takes place over several months with regular sessions scheduled once or twice a week. Patients are also usually given exercises to practice at home in between sessions. This allows for progress to be monitored and adjustments to be made to the treatment plan as needed.

Conditions Treated by Vision Therapy

While the primary goal of vision therapy is to improve visual function and efficiency, it can also be used to treat a variety of conditions related to vision and eye health. These may include:

  • Strabismus: This is a condition where the eyes are not aligned properly and do not work together to create a unified image. 
  • Amblyopia: Also known as lazy eye, amblyopia occurs when one eye has significantly better vision than the other. Vision therapy exercises can help improve visual acuity and encourage both eyes to work together.
  • Convergence insufficiency: This is when a person has difficulty using their eyes together to focus on near objects. Vision therapy can improve eye coordination and help alleviate symptoms such as headaches, eye strain, and double vision.
  • Accommodative dysfunction: This occurs when the eyes have difficulty focusing on near objects, leading to blurred vision and eye strain. Vision therapy can teach the eyes to focus more efficiently, relieving symptoms.
  • Visual processing disorders: These include a range of conditions that affect how the brain processes visual information. Vision therapy can help improve visual perception, tracking, and processing speed for individuals with these disorders.
  • Strabismus after surgery: In some cases, patient’s may opt for a cosmetic correction to correct strabismus surgery. Vision therapy can be used post-surgery to help retrain the eyes and improve visual function.
  • Sports vision training: Athletes and sports enthusiasts can benefit from vision therapy exercises that aim to improve hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and visual processing speed, all of which can enhance athletic performance.
  • Computer vision syndrome: With the increasing use of digital devices, many individuals experience eye strain, headaches, and dry eyes from prolonged screen time. Vision therapy can help alleviate these symptoms by teaching the eyes to relax and refocus more efficiently.
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI): Vision problems are common after a TBI and can include double vision, blurred vision, and difficulty reading. Vision therapy can help retrain the brain and eyes to work together effectively again.
A young man studying by taking down notes at a library.

Additional Benefits of Vision Therapy

Aside from improving visual function, vision therapy has also been found to have a positive impact on other areas, such as:

  • Occupational tasks: Many jobs require strong visual skills, such as pilots and surgeons who must have excellent depth perception and hand-eye coordination. Vision therapy can help improve these skills and make certain occupations more accessible.
  • Daily activities: Having good visual abilities is essential for everyday tasks, such as driving, navigating crowded spaces, and reading. By improving these skills, vision therapy can make these activities easier and more enjoyable.
  • Learning and academic performance: Vision therapy can help children and adults who struggle with reading, writing, and other learning tasks. By improving visual tracking, eye teaming, and focusing abilities, individuals can perform better in the classroom or at work.
  • Overall quality of life: By addressing vision problems that can cause discomfort or difficulty in daily life, vision therapy can improve overall well-being and quality of life. This can lead to increased confidence, better relationships, and a more positive outlook on life.

Belle Vue Specialty Eye Care Vision Therapy Services

At Belle Vue Specialty Eye Care, we’re committed to providing patient-centric vision services. If you’re struggling with any of the conditions mentioned above, or if you are experiencing visual discomfort or symptoms that suggest a possible visual disorder, we are here to help. Don’t let visual challenges hold you back from experiencing life to its fullest. Book an appointment with us to see if vision therapy would be beneficial for you.

Written by Megan Lott

Dr. Megan Sumrall Lott is a functional optometrist who practices in Hattiesburg, MS. She is a 2006 graduate of Southern College of Optometry. She began practicing optometry by providing primary eyecare at Lexington Eye Care in Lexington, MS. After providing vision therapy to her 9 month old son to correct an eye turn, Dr. Lott realized she had found her passion in functional optometry.
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