Does vision therapy treat eye muscles?
No. Unlike other forms of exercise or therapy, vision therapy does not strengthen eye muscles. Vision therapy trains the brain to adapt to a more efficient way of controlling the eye muscles responsible for tracking, eye teaming, and focusing.
Is vision therapy just for kids?
No. Patients of any age can potentially benefit from vision therapy.
What tools are used in vision therapy?
Vision therapy can include the use of lenses, prisms, filters, computerized visual activities and non-computerized viewing instruments. Non-‘medical’ tools such as balance boards, metronomes and other devices can be implemented into an individual therapy program.
Can I just do therapy at home by myself?
Vision therapy is individualized for each patient. Careful and frequent monitoring is required for success and progress within the program. When training is attempted by patients without guidance, these individuals may actually reinforce the “bad” or less efficient way of using his/her vision.
What doesn’t vision therapy do?
Vision therapy is not intended to eliminate the need for glasses. Sometimes, after the completion of a vision therapy program, the need for special aspects of a glass prescription (i.e. compensatory prism) may be reduced or eliminated.
Vision therapy does not teach reading or reading comprehension. Often, those who have difficulty with reading and learning have less-efficient visual skills. Therefore, after the visual efficiency is improved, reading is more comfortable and fluent, and comprehension improves as a result of improved visual efficiency.
What is involved in the vision therapy program in our office?
The actual therapy session is a 45-minute session. This includes 10 minutes at the end of the therapy session in which the parents will be called back to the therapy room to review the home activities for the coming week, or therapy exercises are reviewed with the adult patient.
Between 15-20 minutes of home reinforcement activities will usually be prescribed. It is highly beneficial to have the individual being treated take responsibility for ensuring the home therapy is completed. Further instruction on how you can best assist your child/your assistant can assist you with home therapy will be provided. Doing the home reinforcement activities regularly is critical to the success of the program. Home reinforcement procedures do not need to be completed on the day the patient has an appointment. Progression through the vision therapy program is much more successful and is much faster when the schedule for home reinforcement is strictly followed. Of course, if there is enough motivation to want to do therapy each day, please do so! Progress will likely be much faster.
Who will do the therapy?
You/Your child’s therapy will be done by a trained therapist. In some cases, Dr. Miller may assist, observe, or conduct therapy sessions.
When will I start seeing improvement?
It is important to realize and to appreciate that it is not possible to make significant changes, in what may be lifelong habits, overnight or in just two or three sessions. Generally, it will take eight to ten sessions for one to start seeing changes in everyday life situations. Progress exams are given approximately every 8 weeks throughout the therapy program. Please do not hesitate to report successes or concerns throughout the program. Patience and diligence are keys to the progress.
How long do the benefits of vision therapy last?
Because the brain is learning a more efficient way of controlling and moving the eyes and more efficient way processing information, it does not go back to using to less efficient way. After the efficiency of the visual skills becomes a “habit”, the benefits can last a lifetime. Maintenance activities may be recommended at the end of each therapy program to make sure significant regression of visual efficiency does not occur.
Will my insurance cover vision therapy?
Some better health insurance policies may cover the medical aspect of vision therapy, known as orthopics. Vision care plans (those plans that mostly cover refractions, contact lenses and eyeglasses) typically do not pay for therapy. Our vision therapy center is not contracted to bill any medical or vision insurance for services that are provided. All therapy sessions are an out of pocket expense. However, if your insurance company provides coverage for vision therapy, our billing coordinator is willing and able to assist you in submission of your insurance claims.
Where can I learn more about vision therapy?
Websites that also have additional information regarding Vision Therapy include:
– The College of Optometrist in Vision Development: www.covd.org
– The Optometric Extension Program: www.oepf.org
– Parents Active For Vision Education: www.pavevision.org
– Optometrists Network: www.visiontherapy.org
– All About Vision: www.allaboutvision.com/parents/vision_therapy.htm
– Neuro-optometric rehabilitation: www.nora.cc
– Facebook group: Vision Therapy Parents Unite (membership will be approved by page admin). This is a terrific forum from the patient/parent perspective. There are several nationally and internationally-known behavioral optometrists that participate in this group.
If you would like a second opinion, we can also provide you with names of other behavioral optometrists.
We are here to help and will do so in any way possible!!