Vision is more than the limited concept of sight measured in terms of visual acuity or “sharpness.” Vision is the process of deriving meaning from what is seen. It involves a complex network of physiological and neurological factors including fixation and eye movement abilities, accommodation (eye focusing), convergence (eye aiming), binocularity (eye teaming), eye-hand coordination, visual perception and visual-motor integration. Problems in any one of these areas can be debilitating.
University Eye Center’s renowned Vision Therapy Service treats patients with developmental, acquired and/or some congenital visual dysfunctions including:
• Amblyopia (lazy eye)
• Strabismus (crossed or wandering eye)
• Binocular (eye teaming) disorders
• Accommodative (eye focusing) disorders
• Oculomotor (eye movement) dysfunction
• Visual-perceptual dysfunction
If a comprehensive analysis and diagnosis of the patient’s visual system reveals visual dysfunction, we will develop a treatment plan individualized to help him or her achieve their maximum level of visual performance.
Another integral part of the Vision Therapy Service is our Learning Disabilities Unit, an interdisciplinary clinical, research and educational unit established to provide diagnostic and therapeutic services to children and adults with learning problems.
What is vision therapy?
Optometric vision therapy (also referred to as visual training or orthoptics) is a treatment regimen to correct or improve specific dysfunctions of the visual system. Treatment plans are tailored to specific diagnosed dysfunctions and encompass the use of lenses, prisms and patching among others. Because the therapy is individualized, the procedures used and the duration of therapy are dependent upon the nature and severity of the problem being treated and the specific needs of the patient.
Who can benefit from vision therapy?
Optometric vision therapy is effective for patients of any age. Of the entire U.S. population, approximately one half of those three years of age or over require treatment for a vision problem. Among school-age children, vision disorders affect one in every four. While many of these patients have refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia and/or astigmatism) and may wear glasses, some have additional problems in the functioning of the visual system that are most appropriately treated with optometric vision therapy.
How can vision therapy help?
The American Optometric Association affirms its long-standing position that optometric vision therapy is effective in the treatment of physiological, neuro-muscular and perceptual dysfunctions of the vision system. Optometric vision therapy assists individuals in developing visual abilities and efficiency most suited to their needs and enables those individuals to achieve maximal levels of visual performance. Optometric vision therapy can help individuals achieve and maintain good vision throughout life.