“Perhaps one of the most controversial topics in vision care is that of vision therapy.”
Some of the eye doctors strongly prefer vision therapy and justify on the benefits especially for various vision anomalies among the children. Other specialists however are sceptic on its effectiveness thus don’t recommend but it all depends on patient and nature of eye disease. The details below would familiarise you with vision therapy among children and its potential benefits to help you take an informed decision.
Overview of vision therapy
Customised, non-surgical and doctor’s designed visual activities aimed at correcting certain vision issues or even improve visual skills are performed under vision therapy.
Unlike contact lenses and eyeglasses or even eye surgeries that can vary anatomy of the eye or surrounding tissues/muscles, vision therapy is aimed at teaching or shaping the entire visual system into correcting itself.
It works just as physical therapy for visual system including eyes and even brain regions that controls the vision. The therapy includes using prisms, filters, lenses and even computer-assisted visual activities. Various different devices such as metronomes, balance boards and non-electronic visual aids play a crucial role in customised course of therapy.
Successful outcome of the vision therapy are achieved by adhering to the doctor’s recommendations, essential guidelines of the process and routine eye care or any other place where you’re undergoing the treatment.
All in all, primary aim of the therapy is treating certain vision problems that are untreatable through the usual eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgical procedure. The therapy, when completed successfully helps achieving clear and precise binocular vision.
Various medical researches have concluded that vision therapy helps correcting visual problems occurring among the children concerning efficient reading. It also helps reducing eye strain along with underlying symptoms of digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome experienced commonly nowadays among adults and children.
Vision therapy & orthoptics
Yet another medical terminology associated with the treatment is “orthoptics” which literally means “straightening of the eyes” which dates back to 1850s. Back then, it was limited to techniques aimed at cosmetic straightening of the eyes misaligned due to strabismus (crossed eyes).
Orthoptics is very successful and among one of the many types of vision training however, the term isn’t directly associated to vision therapy describing a much broader range of techniques for treating various vision problems.
Optometric vision therapy
Most of the vision therapies are prescribed and closely monitored by an optometrist. Vision therapy specialists treating children are known as paediatric optometrists, behavioural or development optometrists.
Vision therapy & the science behind
Research has concluded that human brain contains a substantial amount of neuroplasticity which is referred to the ability of change in structure and functionality as a response to external stimuli. Such neurological variations in the brain would go all the way into late adulthood if left untreated during childhood. Eye care specialists believe that vision anomalies may be affected by neuroplasticity that can be corrected with vision therapy.