Call us: 763-314-0664

9766 Fallon Ave., Ste. 105, Monticello, MN 55362 Map

May 6

The Science of Vision Therapy

Vision therapy is still somewhat debated in the medical field, but more and more research is pointing to its successful use especially in children with vision processing disorders. The brain has a large amount of neuroplasticity, which means it is able to change its structure and function in response to external stimuli. In a sense, you can retrain the brain to do what it needs to do. This can be applied to a lot of different areas, but specifically can help treat vision problems by training the brain to process visual information more efficiently.  In short, vision therapy is like physical therapy for the visual system (eyes and brain).

Often vision therapy can be used to address problems that eyeglasses or surgery cannot correct. Many of these areas include children’s reading ability, eye strain, lazy eye, and symptoms of the computer vision strain among others. Vision therapy is prescribed through a developmental optometrist and requires the active participation of the prescribing doctor, therapist, patient and (if the patient is a child) patient’s parents. In order for vision therapy to be successful the patient will need to learn and practice the skills and exercises as the therapist instructs. As with any type of physical therapy, it is important to follow instructions and to follow-through on practice throughout the therapy sessions and between in order for there to be lasting effectiveness.

The good news for parents is that vision therapy can be used to treat some learning disabilities in children. This can be encouraging if your child is struggling in school and no real solution has been effective. In some cases children have learning difficulties as a result of an underlying vision problem, or visual processing issue. These can be addressed through proper therapy under the guidance of a developmental optometrist. Children with this type of learning disability most often do not even realize that it is a vision problem which is causing them difficulty in reading or writing. With the proper diagnosis and medical plan visual processing disorders can be resolved or improved through the support of a good medical team.

If you think your child is suffering from any type of visual problem it is best to have them see a qualified optometrist. A routine eye exam will often show any difficulty they are having, however a comprehensive exam may be needed in order to more specifically diagnose specific issues they are having. Once the optometrist has identified any underlying vision or vision processing problems they will be able to formulate a plan to address the issues.