Should You See a Vision Therapist?
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Signs You Should Schedule a Visit With a Vision Therapist
Could you have a vision problem even though you have 20/20 vision or can see well while wearing glasses or contacts? Issues that affect the interaction between your brain and eyes can cause a variety of symptoms that may not seem to be associated with vision at a first glance. Fortunately, a vision therapist can help you improve the way your eyes and brain work together.
You Don't Like Reading
Reading can be difficult if your eyes don't work together as a team. Words or letters may seem to jump or float across the page, or you might see two blurry images of one word. After forcing yourself to get through a page or chapter, you may not retain much of what you read.
Your problem may be caused by issues with eye teaming, focusing, eye movement, visual processing or perception. But, all of these problems can be improved with vision therapy.
Catching a Ball Is a Lot Harder Than It Should Be
Does the ball or Frisbee never land where you expect, or do you lose the ball in the sky? Without good tracking skills or peripheral vision, it can be hard to anticipate where a ball will land or keep track of the movements of other players. During vision therapy, you'll play games and participate in activities specifically designed to improve your side vision and tracking ability.
You Want to Get Even Better at Sports
Vision therapy can also be helpful if you don't have any major issues with playing sports but feel that there's room for improvement. In addition to improving your tracking skills and peripheral vision, vision therapy can fine tune your depth perception and hand-eye coordination. It can also improve your ability to switch your focus from near objects to distant ones quickly. Therapy can help you enhance your ability to see color contrasts, which may make it easier to see a tiny puck or ball on the ice or field.
You Have a Headache and Eyestrain at the End of the Day
Headache and eyestrain are particularly common if you have convergence insufficiency (CI), although they can also be caused by other issues. Seeing close objects clearly requires you to turn both of your eyes inward. Even slight misalignments in your eyes can affect your ability to see close objects easily. Vision therapy addresses CI alignment problems, reducing your unpleasant symptoms.
You Suffer from Motion Sickness
Contrary to popular belief, you won't necessarily grow out of motion sickness once you reach adulthood. In fact, it may get even worse as you get older. The problem occurs when the information your brain receives just doesn't make sense. If you're sitting in a car, you're obviously moving yet your body is stationary.
During vision therapy, you'll participate in exercises that will gradually desensitize you to moving objects. You'll start to slowly avoid triggering your symptoms, of course.
You Have Strabismus or Amblyopia
Strabismus (crossed eyes) and/or amblyopia (lazy eye) are common problems that may not have been corrected when you were a child, even if you wore an eye patch for a while. Strabismus can cause double vision, poor depth perception, eye strain, and other symptoms.
Unfortunately, if your misalignment isn't corrected with vision therapy, you can develop amblyopia, a condition that occurs when your brain ignores the input from one eye. If you have amblyopia, you may have difficulty reading or driving, blurry vision and an inability to see in three dimensions.
In the past, it was believed that there was no hope for adults who have amblyopia. Thanks to several recent studies, we know that the adult brain is more adaptable than was once thought. Even if you've had lazy eye for years, vision therapy may finally improve your vision.
You Had a Stroke
Changes in vision can occur after a stroke. Your brain may have difficulty combining light impulses from both eyes to create one image. You might also have trouble with peripheral vision or tracking objects. Some people who have strokes suffer from inattention, a problem that occurs when you no longer notice objects in one part of your visual field.
Although your eyes may be perfectly fine, damage to your brain may cause vision problems. Vision therapy can improve the brain-eye connection and help other parts of the brain take over the functions of damaged areas in some cases.
Would you like to find out if vision therapy is a good choice for you? Contact us to schedule a comprehensive vision examination.
Optometrists Network: Successful Improvement of Eyesight with Therapy for Patients with Lazy Eye Proven Possible at Later Ages by Many New Scientific Studies
University of Rochester Medical Center: Rigorous Visual Training Teaches the Brain to See Again After Stroke, 3/31/09