There’s a lot of misinformation out there, especially when it comes to vision therapy — a customized program that trains the eyes and brain to work together more effectively and efficiently.
We are here to dispel those myths.
5 Myths and Facts about Vision Therapy
1. Myth: Vision therapy is just for children
Fact: People of all ages can benefit from vision therapy.
Although vision therapy is widely prescribed for younger patients, many adults have benefited from a personalized vision therapy program. That’s because the basis of vision therapy is neuroplasticity — the brain’s ability to change and learn new habits.
Your brain is capable of forming new neural pathways throughout your entire life, so vision therapy can be effective at any age.
2. Myth: Vision therapy isn’t based on scientific research
Fact: There are numerous scientific studies that prove the effectiveness of vision therapy, funded and published by the National Eye Institute (NEI).
In fact, according to several studies, vision therapy is the most effective treatment for the most common binocular vision problem, convergence insufficiency. Research also supports the efficacy of vision therapy when it comes to lazy eye (amblyopia), eye turn (strabismus), and difficulties related to reading and learning.
3. Myth: All vision therapy is the same
Fact: No two vision therapy treatments are alike. Each patient’s condition is unique and is treated accordingly.
Vision therapists use a host of different exercises, devices, computer programs, lenses, prisms, and other equipment for treatment. Your optometrist will decide which options will benefit your condition.
4. Myth: Eye surgery is the only option for treating eye misalignment
Fact: While surgery may help the eyes appear more aligned, it can’t fully improve binocular function.
In other words, surgery corrects the physical problem of alignment but doesn’t teach the eyes and brain to work together. That’s why vision therapy is often recommended for patients who have had strabismus surgery or are considering it.
5. Myth: I don’t need vision therapy, I have 20/20 eyesight
Fact: Vision therapy has little to do with eyesight, and everything to do with how your eyes function.
Even a person with 20/20 eyesight can have poor tracking skills, eye movement skills, depth perception, and other visual deficits.
In fact, you may have poor visual skills and not even know it. If you experience symptoms like headaches, dizziness, nausea, eyestrain, or difficulty with concentrating and reading, it may be time to have your vision evaluated by a vision therapist to identify any underlying problems related to your visual skills.
To schedule a functional vision evaluation for you or your child, call Thompson Family Optometry today!
Thompson Family Optometry serves patients from Brampton, Milton, Mississauga, Etobicoke, and throughout Ontario.
Q: #1: What is vision therapy?
- A: Vision therapy is a program of [curtomized] eye exercises that are performed in-office with an at-home component as well. Vision therapy helps develop the visual system and trains the eyes and brain to work in unison. Duration of treatment varies from patient to patient, as each person responds differently. Speak to us to learn more about what we offer and how we can help.
Q:#2: Is vision therapy covered by insurance?
- A: Vision therapy may be covered under major medical insurance plans (vision therapy is most often applied to a medical policy as opposed to a vision policy). However, certain insurance companies may deny or place severe limits on coverage for vision therapy as a cost-saving measure. When sorting out the insurance details for vision therapy, it’s important to know what questions to ask of your insurance agent or workplace HR department.