Is your child behind in school? The large majority of learning occurs through our vision. Studies have shown that nearly 90 percent of children with learning disabilities have problems with one or more of their visual abilities.
Is it really ADD/ADHD? Many attention problems are due to an inability to use both eyes together for extended periods. If you have a child who enjoys being read to, who will sit and listen for long periods of time, but demonstrates attention problems when using eyes for reading, deskwork or homework, there is an excellent chance your child’s attention problem is caused by an inability to use their eyes.
Improve sports performance If your child performs better at sports initially, but tires easily, loses focus, and accuracy declines, this may be a visual processing disorder. Not only do we require steady binocular (2-eyed) vision for activities, but we must sustain this focusing to be accurate and succeed.
ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS REGARDING VISION THERAPY
What is Vision Therapy?
Though some vision problems can be treated using corrective lenses, many require a different kind of treatment. Vision therapy is an individualized treatment program prescribed and monitored by an optometrist to treat problems with visual-motor skill and processing. Therapy sessions include exercises to enhance the brain’s ability to control eye movements, eye focusing, eye alignment, eye tracking and visual processing.
What is the difference between eyesight and vision?
Eyesight is the physical process of detecting patterns of light and contrast with the eyes. It is the ability to see small objects at a given distance. Vision is more than just the ability to see clearly, it is the learned process that allows the brain to efficiently gather, understand and use the information that is seen through the eyes. Basic visual skills include the ability to focus our eyes, use both eyes as a team, track objects and move across a written page. More extensive perceptual skills include the ability to tell the difference between “b” and “d”, the ability to see the tree from the forest, and the ability to “picture” in our mind what we see, as in the task of spelling.
Does insurance pay for vision therapy?
There are very strict guidelines for insurance coverage of vision therapy. Depending on the condition being treated and the length of treatment, some insurances may cover therapeutic activities or orthoptics after a deductible has been met. Patients are much more effective in getting reimbursement when they pursue their claims directly, armed with the knowledge and facts from the doctor’s office. In many cases, vision therapy expenses paid out of pocket can be submitted to your insurance and applied toward the deductible or reimbursed directly. We will assist you in the necessary paperwork when seeking consideration and reimbursement from your insurance company.
Insurance reimbursement is helpful, but we don’t want this to be the deciding factor regarding you or child’s visual health. Undergoing vision therapy now can prevent a lifetime of frustration and disability. Financing is available through CareCredit, visit our patient center to learn more.
Will surgery correct the problem?
In some cases of strabismus, eye muscle surgery is an option to align the eyes. Cutting and moving the eye muscles will not automatically change the visual processing in the brain or the signals sent to the eye muscles. This is why patients eyes often deviate again after surgery and require repeat surgeries. It is important to understand that while eye muscle surgery can improve cosmetic appearance, it does not necessarily improve eyesight or binocular vision. Vision therapy is used in a variety of cases to prevent surgery altogether or ensure success after surgery by teaching and training the eyes to function binocularly pre- and post-surgery.
Can vision therapy help people with learning problems?
Yes! Vision therapy can be an important part of the overall treatment of a person’s learning problem. Vision and sensorimotor deficits can cause eyestrain, headaches, blurred or double vision, reading problems, and attention difficulties. Even intelligent, highly motivated people can be severely handicapped by these problems in the academic or work environment. Correcting these deficits allows affected people to benefit from academic remediation and to achieve their full potential in the classroom and workplace.
What are some symptoms of learning related vision disorders?
· Dislike or avoidance of reading and other close work
· Loss of place while reading or copying
· Trouble finishing assignments in the allotted time
· Omitting or misreading words or letters
· Slow, inaccurate copying
· Distractible, loses attention quickly
· Blurred, double or unstable vision
· Headaches, eye strain or visual fatigue associated with reading or other close work
My child/or myself have had an eye exam before, and/or I have always noticed this problem, why has this never been mentioned during an eye exam?
Different doctors have varying specialties and knowledge levels in regard to behavioral and developmental optometry. Routine eye examinations are focused on overall eye health and eyesight. Testing for binocular deficiencies and vision therapy viability requires additional testing by a doctor proficient with pediatric patients who is skilled in interpreting the test results and forming a plan for improvement.
How long do the benefits of vision therapy last?
A lifetime! A completed course of vision therapy is focused on teaching the eyes and brain to work together and with accuracy 100% of the time. In more complex cases of strabismus, amblyopia or brain injury, the doctor will prescribe at-home reinforcement techniques to solidify the newly acquired visual motor and visual processing skills.
Am I too old for vision therapy?
The benefits of vision therapy can be achieved at any age. The misconception that therapy is only for children comes from the idea that children are in their critical years of development. As a result of this, results can be achieved more quickly and often to a greater degree in children, but with perseverance and motivation adults that have suffered a lifetime with visual issues will experience relief as they learn to utilize their visual motor system and process images properly. In fact, certain areas of vision therapy are often focused on adults rather than children, such as sports vision and acquired brain injury.