Vision Therapy

Optimizing your Vision

What is Vision Therapy?

The primary goal of Vision therapy is to improve a person’s visual skills. It involves a series of exercises and activities that are designed to improve a person’s visual function, such as eye tracking, eye teaming (convergence & divergence), eye focusing and depth perception. Vision therapy is often used to treat a variety of vision-related conditions, including amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), and other visual processing disorders.

The therapy is typically customized to meet the needs of each individual patient to address their visual deficits, and this usually involves the use of specialized tools and equipment, such as, lenses, computer therapy programs, red-green overlays, eye-hand coordination tasks and visual tracking activities to build the visual motor fluency.

Vision therapy is often prescribed by a developmental optometrist, and is typically performed in-office under the supervision of a vision therapist, with parents being assigned home based therapy activities after every session.

Research has shown that vision therapy can be an effective treatment for a variety of vision-related conditions, and that it can lead to significant improvements in visual function and quality of life for many patients. However, the therapy is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and the effectiveness of the therapy may vary depending on the individual patient and their specific needs.

Common Conditions Treated with Vision Therapy

Vision therapy can be used to treat a wide range of vision-related conditions, including:

Amblyopia (lazy eye): a condition where the brain and the eyes are not working together properly, leading to reduced vision in one or both eyes. Vision therapy can help improve the coordination between the brain and the eyes, leading to improved visual function.

Strabismus (crossed eyes): a condition where the eyes are not properly aligned, leading to double vision and other visual problems. Vision therapy can help improve the coordination between the eyes, leading to improved alignment and visual function.

Convergence insufficiency: a condition where the eyes have difficulty working together when focusing on close objects, leading to eye strain, headaches, and other symptoms. Vision therapy can help improve the coordination between the eyes, leading to improved focus and visual comfort.

Accommodative disorders: a condition where the eyes have difficulty adjusting focus between near and far objects, leading to eye strain and other symptoms. Vision therapy can help improve the flexibility of the focusing system, leading to improved visual function.

Visual processing disorders: a condition where the brain has difficulty processing visual information, leading to difficulties with reading, writing, and other visual tasks. Vision therapy can help improve the’s ability to process visual information, leading to improved visual function and academic performance.

Learning difficulties with visual skills deficits that gets assisted with Vision Therapy

Learning difficulties (LD) are a group of conditions or disorders that affect an individual’s ability to acquire, process, retain, or use information effectively. Some common examples of LD include dyslexia, dyspraxia (DCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These conditions can significantly impact an individual’s education, career, and overall quality of life.

While vision therapy is not a direct treatment for LD, it can be helpful for students who exhibit weaknesses in their visual motor skills such as eye tracking, eye teaming, and eye focusing. There are several visual processing skills that are crucial for reading, including phonology, vocabulary, and sight words. However, before these skills come into play, the reader must be able to look at the near text comfortably and track their eyes fluently. If a reader skips words or lines, it is unlikely that the student can comprehend what they are reading.

Children with LD may struggle with these visual skills, which can affect their ability to read efficiently and accurately. Therefore, incorporating vision therapy into their educational plan can improve their visual abilities and, in turn, enhance their reading skills.

Vision therapy can help to improve these skills and reduce visual processing difficulties, which may in turn make reading easier for the child.

Benefits of Vision Therapy Singapore

There are several benefits associated with vision therapy, including:

Choosing a Vision Therapist

Choosing a vision therapist for vision therapy in Singapore is an important decision, as you want to make sure you are working with a qualified and experienced professional. Here are some tips to help you choose a vision therapist:

Credentials: Look for a vision therapist who is licensed or certified in vision therapy. This will ensure that they have the necessary training and expertise to provide effective treatment.

Experience: Ask about the therapist’s experience treating patients with your specific condition. You want to work with someone who has experience working with patients like you and has a track record of success.

Referrals: Ask your healthcare professionals for referrals to trusted vision therapists in your area. You can also ask family and friends if they have any recommendations.

Reviews: Look for reviews and testimonials from other patients who have worked with the therapist. This can give you a sense of the therapist’s approach and effectiveness.

Communication: Choose a therapist who communicates well and is willing to answer your questions and address your concerns. A good therapist should be able to explain the treatment process in a way that you can understand and feel comfortable with.

Compatibility: It’s important to choose a therapist who you feel comfortable working with and who you trust. You will be spending a lot of time with your therapist, so it’s important to find someone who you feel is a good fit for you.

Overall, choosing a vision therapist for vision therapy in Singapore requires some research and consideration, but finding the right therapist can make a big difference in the success of your treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding vision therapy:

Vision therapy is a non-surgical treatment that involves a series of exercises and activities designed to improve visual skills for individuals with weak visual motor abilities or binocular vision disorders.

The effectiveness of vision therapy for learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia (DCD), ADHD, and ASD is still a matter of debate among experts. However, studies have shown that vision therapy can be beneficial for individuals with specific visual problems, such as eye tracking disorders, convergence insufficiency, and eye accommodation dysfunctions. In these cases, vision therapy can improve eye coordination, depth perception, and other visual skills, which can lead to better academic performance.

It is important to note that vision therapy should not be viewed as a replacement for other evidence-based treatments for learning difficulties. Instead, it should be used in conjunction with other interventions, such as educational therapy, behavioral therapy, and medication (if prescribed by a medical professional). For example, if a child with dyspraxia has difficulties coordinating their eyes and seeing near objects clearly, it will impede their learning process and limit their ability to receive the full support from educational therapists. Vision therapy can help improve visual motor skills and eye teaming coordination, resulting in comfortable near vision and effective learning.

Before considering vision therapy, it is essential to consult with a developmental or eyecare professional to assess if it is an appropriate treatment option for the individual’s specific visual difficulties. It is also crucial to seek out a qualified vision therapist who has received proper training and certification in vision therapy techniques. To determine if vision therapy may be appropriate, you may consider filling out a checklist or undergoing a comprehensive vision evaluation.

At the current moment, Vision Therapy is still not well understood among many eyecare professionals. However, recent evidence have backed up the work of visual training to boost visual performance and some hospitals, such as the reputable Boston Children’s hospital, have started a Vision Therapy department. 

David G. Hunter, MD, PhD, ophthalmologist-in-chief at Boston Children’s, explains: “While many ophthalmologists think vision therapy doesn’t work — they truly believe that practitioners are taking advantage of patients who need help — I have seen enough treatment successes that I think it has to be studied. Here at Children’s, we want to offer this service to our patients rather than give them no choice but to seek help elsewhere, and at the same time study its effectiveness.”

Anyone with a vision problem, such as lazy eye, crossed eyes, or difficulty with eye teaming or tracking, may benefit from vision therapy. It can also be helpful for individuals who experience eye strain or headaches while reading or using a computer.

The duration of vision therapy can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the individual’s response to treatment. Some patients may see improvements in just a few weeks, while others may require several months of treatment.

Some insurance plans may cover vision therapy, but it depends on the specific plan and the reason for the therapy. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to determine if vision therapy is covered.

During a vision therapy session, you can expect to work with a trained optometrist or vision therapist who will guide you through a series of exercises and activities designed to improve your visual abilities. These may include activities such as tracking moving objects, focusing on near and far objects, and performing eye-hand coordination tasks.

No, vision therapy is not painful. The exercises and activities are designed to be comfortable and non-invasive.

Vision therapy is not a replacement for glasses or contacts. It is a complementary treatment that can help improve visual abilities and correct vision problems, but it does not correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.

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Did you know that the visual system processes up to 80% of learning? That's why it's essential to assess your child's visual skills to determine if they are learning effectively. A Learning Related Vision Screening (30min) or a Full Functional Vision Assessment (80min) can provide valuable insights into your child's learning process by identifying any visual skill weaknesses and addressing these weakness to help your child reach their full potential.

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