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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What Is "Vision therapy" And How It Can Help in Visual Problems?

If your child is struggling to read or finding it difficult to remain on task, the cause may be an undetected vision problem, even if your child's eyesight is 20/20 and he's passed a routine eye exam.

Current research shows that about 20% of school-aged children have undetected vision problems which are hindering their school performance. Many of these children have passed their school's vision screening, which is only designed to check children's distance vision as measured by the 20/20 line on the eye chart.

Parents and teachers often have difficulty recognizing some visual problems because children don't necessarily know how or what they're supposed to be seeing, so it is the duty of teachers or parents to learn 'how to detect early visual problems of your child?'. Early detection can save years of struggling. We can help our child by identifying the underlying vision deficits that are hindering the child’s ability to perform at his or her potential. "Vision Therapy" is the process which can help resolve vision problems without any medication or surgical help.
As this term 'vision therapy'is new to us, so this post would help you understand 'what is vision therapy and why is is adviced?'

There are many visual skills which are important for academic success. One of the least important skills is termed visual acuity (clarity, sharpness). This is the so-called 20/20, 20/400, etc., eyesight. All that is meant by the notation 20/20 is that a person is capable of seeing clearly at a distance of twenty feet. Unfortunately, how well a child sees at twenty feet has little to do with how his vision functions at the reading and learning distance -- aproximately eleven to sixteen inches from the face. There are many other important visual skills that might not be developed even though visual acuity at distance is normal.

Vision therapy

It is a type of physical therapy for the eyes and brain. A highly effective non-surgical treatment for many common visual problems such as lazy eye, crossed eyes, double vision, convergence insufficiency and some reading and learning disabilities. Many patients who have been told, "it's too late," or "you'll have to learn to live with it" have benefited from vision therapy.

In the case of learning disabilities, vision therapy is specifically directed toward resolving visual problems which interfere with reading, learning and educational instruction.

Optometrists do not claim that vision therapy is a direct treatment for learning disabilities.

Vision therapy is:

- a progressive program of vision "exercises" or procedures;
- performed under doctor supervision;
- individualized to fit the visual needs of each patient;
- generally conducted in-office, in once or twice weekly sessions of 30 minutes to one hour;
- sometimes supplemented with procedures done at home between office visits ("homework");

(depending on the case) prescribed to --
- help patients develop or improve fundamental visual skills and abilities;
- improve visual comfort, ease, and efficiency;
- change how a patient processes or interprets visual information.

Vision Therapy Is Not Just Eye Exercise

Vision Therapy is not to be confused with any self-directed self-help program of eye exercises which is or has been marketed to the public. Vision Therapy is supervised by optometric vision care professionals and many types of specialized and/or medical devices are used in Vision Therapy programs,
such as:
- prescription lenses (regulated medical devices);
- therapeutic lenses (regulated medical devices);
- prisms (regulated medical devices);
- optical filters;
- eye patches or occluders
- electronic targets with timing mechanisms;
- computer software;
- vestibular (balance) equipment
- visual-motor-sensory integration training devices

The first step in any Vision Therapy program is a comprehensive vision examination. Following a thorough evaluation, a qualified vision care professional can advise the candidate as to whether Vision Therapy would be appropriate treatment.

To get more information: Vision

Other articles on vision:
From: Optometric Extension Program Foundation

Free and helpful Resources:

* The Children's Vision Information Network is created to raise public awareness about potential vision problems in children. The goal of this website is to educate parents and teachers about frequently overlooked vision problems in the hopes of helping those children who struggle unnecessarily because of undiagnosed vision disorders.

Link: The Children's Vision

- This checklist shows common symptoms children with hidden vision problems can exhibit. It is an excellent screening tool to evaluate if your child is at-risk for vision-based learning or attention problems.
Sypmptoms checklist

* Child and family eyes

* Important information about why your child may be struggling: Vision and reading
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