Is Your Child a Good Candidate for Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is a term used by optometrists to define treatment to improve visual skills and abilities. While aids like glasses or contact lenses can compensate for vision problems, vision therapy seeks to treat the root cause of the issue by teaching the visual system to correct itself. 


What Is Vision Therapy?

Every patient is unique which means that vision therapy is a very personalized treatment that is tailored to your child’s individual needs. It usually takes place over a number of weeks or months, over which time your child’s visual skills should improve. It can involve the use of various techniques, from exercises and eyepatches to technological solutions, and your eye doctor will explain what each technique is for and how it will benefit your child’s visual skills. 


Some of the visual skills that your child’s vision therapy may target for improvement could include:


  • Visual tracking

  • Fixation 

  • Focus change

  • Depth perception

  • Peripheral vision

  • Binocular vision

  • Attention control

  • Near vision acuity

  • Distance acuity 

Vision therapy is also often combined with appropriate prescription lenses where required. 


Most vision therapy sessions will last between 30 and 60 minutes, and in addition to this, you may be asked to help your child complete exercises at home. Fulfilling this is essential to the success of the treatment program.


Can Children Benefit From Vision Therapy?

Before your child can begin vision therapy, they will need to have their suitability assessed. Typically, vision therapy is recommended for children with the following eye problems and conditions:


  • Amblyopia, aka lazy eye, in which one eye is weaker than the other.

  • Strabismus, which is where the eyes point in different directions.

  • Double vision.

  • Binocular vision problems, which are a result of the eyes not being in perfect alignment.

  • Difficulties with eye movements, such as tracking a moving object.

  • Difficulty processing visual information. 

Your eye doctor will be able to advise you if your child is a good candidate for vision therapy. 


Why Teachers Recommend Vision Therapy

Your child’s teacher may recommend that you consider vision therapy for your child if they notice that your child is having some issues with certain elements of learning. For example, your child may be:


  • Skipping words when reading

  • Losing their place regularly

  • Finding that words look like they are written backward

  • Struggling to understand the comprehension behind what is written

  • Complaining of headaches or eye fatigue

  • Complaining of blurred vision

  • Re-reading the same text

  • Having issues with hand-eye coordination 


A lack of visual skills can drastically affect your child’s ability to learn at school, and so it is important to seek the advice and support of your eye doctor if your child’s teacher feels that their vision is in any way compromised. 


For more on vision therapy for children, visit North Shore Eye Health and Wellness in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Call (262) 421-4412 to schedule an appointment today.

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