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What is Vision?

Vision is an active, learned process which enables an individual to gather, analyze, process, store and respond to light information.

We have to learn to read, as well as read to learn. The process of vision can be broken down into three areas: 1) eyesight (refraction corrected), 2) efficiency of gathering information, and 3) visual processing.

A vision problem exists when there is a deficiency in any component of the process.

What is Vision Therapy?

Eighty percent (80%) of an individual’s information is obtained through vision. Nearly everyone is born with the potential of good eyes and sight. However, we have learned to see, just like we have to learn everything else. The way you use and care for your visual system directly effects your enjoyment of play, school or work.

School children and college students now read three times the number of textbooks their grandparents did. The shift to computers has engaged a growing number of workers in prolonged, near-vision tasks. This shift toward heavy near-point vision tasks magnifies any visual deficiencies and can result in eye strain, discomfort, headaches, blurred vision, and overall decreased performance.

Visual training is a specialty encompassing remediation of poorly developed visual skills. Since vision is learned, retraining poorly developed ocular skills aids in gaining maximal efficiency and gives an individual the chance to fulfill his ultimate potential.

Areas of treatment include ocular motor aiming and tracking (often deficient in the learning disabled population), binocular vision anomalies (strabismus or eye turn), amblyopia or lazy eye (inefficient visual processing) and accommodation or focusing (often a component in developing nearsightedness).

Symptoms of headaches, eye strain, and fluctuation or blurring of distance and near vision can thus be treated by means of visual exercises, with or without the need for full-time spectacle wear. Myopia (nearsightedness) can sometimes be slowed in its progression by means of vision training.

Symptoms checklist that can often be alleviated by vision therapy

Headaches during or after near work
Blurred Vision 
Double Vision 
After reading, having distance vision momentarily blurred
Visual fatigue
Getting sleepy when reading
Confusing letters or words when reading
Difficulty concentrating
Declining concentration as reading continues
Losing one's place when reading
Skipping or re-reading passages, or using one's finger to keep place
Reversing letters or words
Vocalizing when reading silently 
Slow reading
Poor reading comprehension
Covering or closing one eyen when reading 
Excessive head movement 
Head tilt
Holding reading material too close
Squinting when reading or in othe rvisual circumstances
Rubbing or blinking eyes excessively
Poor handwriting
Poor general body coordination
Erratic skills in athletics
Desire to improve athletic performance

Notes

Patients diagnosed with ADHD, Dyslexia or computer vision syndrome can often be helped with vision therapy.

Sixteen percent (16%) of ADHD kids have convergence insufficiency, an eye disorder that makes focusing on nearby targets difficult. This is three times the number of non-ADHD kids.

It is possible that the eye disorder manifests the same symptoms as ADHD and causes misdiagnosis.

*American Academy of Pediatrics and Strabismus Proceeding April 12 – 16, 2000

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