Vision therapy is an alternative form of physical therapy based on eye exercises. Most eye doctors recommend the treatment to their patients to retain the eyes and brains to work together efficiently. With its effectiveness, vision therapy can treat several common vision problems that other forms of vision correction cannot.
Unlike home eye exercises, vision therapy involves prescription from a professional, either a behavioral optometrist or a vision therapist. And for this therapy to be effective, the patient must do it frequently. As you go along with the treatment, you will have better control of your eyes and better understand what you see and read.
The frequency of therapy appointments varies from patient to patient and usually happens once to twice a week with a six-month duration.
The following are some of the conditions treatable with vision therapy:
- Double Vision
- Eye Fatigue
- Visual Processing and Perception
- 3D Vision and Depth Perception
- Hand-eye Coordination
- Convergence Insufficiency
- Eye-tracking and teaming problems
If you plan to undergo vision therapy, here are some visual skills you can develop and enhance:
- Tracking is the ability to follow images and objects in motion accurately and smoothly using both eyes.
- Focus Change
It’s when you can quickly look from far to near distances without any momentary blurry like looking from a book to a whiteboard.
- Binocularity is the capability of the eyes to work in unison, smoothly and accurately.
- Distance Acuity
It is a visual skill that enables a person to see, identify, inspect and understand objects and images at a distance.
- Near Vision Acuity
The eyes’ capability to see, identify, inspect and understand images near distances, probably within arm’s length.
- Visualization is the ability to retain and form mental images with your eyes.
- Maintaining Attention is the ability to consistently do any particular activity easily and without interfering with the performance of other body skills.
Remember that must be a diagnosis first before your eye doctor can design exercises for your vision therapy. Apart from the exercises with your vision therapist, your eye doctor may provide specific exercises for you to practice at home. These are some of the popular and easy ones to complete at home. You never know; you might be doing some of them already.
You can complete several activities at home to assist you in improving visual tracking. Few of them include mazes, drawing, puzzles, and reading. Not many realized that most of these basic eye exercises are already done at home.
Focusing on still targets
If you find it hard to pay attention to letters and images, it could mean that you have an issue with focusing. Vision therapy, contacts, or eyeglasses can help improve your focusing issues.
A typical home exercise to practice focusing on still images is “tromboning.” This exercise strengthens the eyes’ extraocular muscles and improves distance vision and nearsightedness.
To do this exercise, you need to hold a pen or pencil and extend your arm. Keep your eyes on the small detail of the pencil or pen for 15-20 seconds, then slowly move the pencil towards you. Do the exercise for a designated number of repetitions.
Your eyes have a natural ability to work in unison. Good teamwork of both eyes is essential to sustain depth perception and comfortable vision. Without this, a person may view objects to be blurry, doubled, or even moving.
The absence of the said teamwork leads to strabismus or crossed eyes. Several vision therapists approach this concern by exercising each eye individually. Patients can also hold a pen or pencil on this exercise. Move the object back and forth and side by side, then repeat the exercise with the other eye. Ensure to cover one eye when doing this.
Vision problems do not choose age. Both adults and children can face vision concerns. They can be hereditary or acquiring eye concerns after more extended use of digital devices. While there may be exercises you can do to alleviate eye strain, it will not hurt to consult an eye doctor every once in a while. This way, experts can provide early intervention in case you are diagnosed with a severe eye problem.