At Emerald Park Eye Care, we are firm believers that Vision Therapy changes lives! After attending some courses and seeing improvement while working with several patients, Dr. Machmer is so excited to now offer Office-Based Vision Therapy. The benefits that can be realized through Vision Therapy are significant, life-long, and life-changing. Dr. Machmer has found a new passion and renewed inspiration in providing Vision Therapy and welcomes all new Vision Therapy patients.
Optometric Vision Therapy is a treatment plan used to correct or improve specific dysfunctions of the vision system. It includes, but is not limited to, the treatment of strabismus (eye turn), amblyopia (lazy eye), accommodation, ocular motor function and visual-perceptual-motor abilities.
Vision Therapy may be recommended based on findings during a routine eye exam, the recommendation of a teacher or school psychologist, concerns the parents have about reading or academic abilities, and/or a desire to improve athletic performance.
Patients of ALL ages can benefit. Therapy can help the struggling reader, athletes who are interested in improving their performances, or people whose eyes don't work together (either because of an eye-turn or a "lazy eye"). Those with Autism, Dyslexia, or Attention Deficit Disorders are often found to have significant visual problems. Office-Based Vision Therapy is often an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to treating patients with learning problems or difficulty in school.
Vision is a learned process. Vision Therapy works on improving the following skills:
The following is a list of just some of the signs that Vision Therapy may be right for your child. If you are unsure, or if you feel that your child is not reaching their potential in school, scheduling an assessment is an excellent first step.
Vision Therapy will consist of weekly in-office sessions of approximately 45 minutes each. The number of sessions required will depend somewhat on the particular case and on how quickly progress is being made. However, an estimate of 9-12 months is reasonable in most cases.
Absolutely! While patching and surgery are still standard practices, they are not necessarily the best option. Research shows that patching on its own is rarely successful at promoting equal vision between the two eyes, and it does not teach the eyes to work together. While surgery can help line the eyes up cosmetically, many studies have shown that surgery does not improve visual function (i.e. after surgery, even if the eyes are lined up well, the eyes will not work as a team). In some cases, surgery may still be a good option, but can often be avoided with Vision Therapy. In fact, Vision Therapy provides a functional improvement rather than just a cosmetic one. If you have any questions about this or would like to see any of the research, please contact us.
If your child has already had surgery, Vision Therapy is often still recommended because the eyes need to be taught how to work together.
Thankfully this is an old wives' tale with no factual basis. Unfortunately, this is still a prevalent belief. The brain is a remarkable thing, and neuroplasticity (the ability to "rewire" the brain) is much more dynamic than was previously believed. A person is never too old (or too young) to improve their visual function through Vision Therapy! A great resource on this topic is the book "Fixing My Gaze" by Sue Berry – a middle-aged neurobiologist who gained the ability to use both eyes together through Vision Therapy.
In-Office Vision Therapy uses a holistic approach to address how the eyes and body work together. In addition to working on eye movements, we also work on body movement and are very active in the therapy room. Vision is such an integral part of our whole world and is absolutely crucial in how we move as well (vision directs movement). In-Office Vision Therapy is very individualized to suit the needs of each unique patient and is tailored to their age, diagnosis, needs, and abilities.
Computerized Vision Therapy is a pre-determined sequence of exercises on the computer aimed at helping the eyes work together. Unfortunately, this type of therapy does not take movement into account and does not cater the treatment to each patient as an individual. Studies have shown that this type of treatment is not as effective as in-office therapy.
For these reasons, only In-Office Vision Therapy is offered at our office.
You've already done the first step, research it! The next step is to schedule a Binocular Vision and Vision Information Processing Assessment. That can be done by calling our office at 306-585-2424. Once that appointment has been completed, Dr. Machmer will discuss the recommended course of action, and we can put a plan into action!
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