Vision Therapy

Understanding Vision Therapy

Vision Therapy, also known as Vision Training, is more than just a set of eye exercises. It’s a progressive program that retrains the brain, eyes, and body to work together more effectively. It’s a tool that can enhance learning for both children and adults. This personalized program is designed to improve the way you process visual information, which can then be applied to improve reading, learning, and concentration. It can be the key to transforming learning from a struggle to a success.

The Importance of Vision Therapy

A Behavioural Optometrist does more than just test your sight. They also assess your visual skills, brain perceptual skills, and visual motor skills. They should take a holistic approach and determine whether glasses or Vision Therapy are the best option for you to enable your eyes, your sight, and your brain to work seamlessly together.

Vision Therapy can be used to improve various aspects of vision, including:

  • Eye aiming (tracking or following with the eyes)
  • Visual attention (fixation & use of peripheral vision)
  • Eye teaming / convergence (the ability to point both eyes accurately at the same time)
  • Focusing (ability to change focus from far to close)
  • Strabismus (eye turn)
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye / poor eyesight)
  • Visual information processing.


Vision Therapy for Convergence and Focusing Skills

Convergence insufficiency is a condition where the brain struggles to use both eyes together effectively for near working distances. This can result in symptoms like blur, headache, double vision, words moving on the page, eyestrain, and difficulties with attention and concentration.

Our focus system is like a camera. We need to be able to change focus depending on where we’re looking, maintain clear focus at a particular point (a word on a page) and rapidly change focus from one point to another (copying from the board to the book).

When these skills are not well developed, energy is directed away from the brain and learning, and concentrated on trying to keep our eyes working. This is a lot of hard work and can make reading and learning laborious and tiring.

Vision Therapy can assist, overcome or minimize some learning difficulties by improving how efficiently our eyes work.

Vision Therapy has normally been successful with a combined home and in-office set of tailored programs. However, it now also be trained with advanced virtual reality training exercises with Vivid Vision technology.



Vision Therapy for Strabismus (Turned Eye) and Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Difficulty using two eyes together can result in strabismus or amblyopia. The brain effectively dulls the input from one eye into the brain, resulting in poor eyesight, visual function, and sometimes strabismus. Sometimes strabismus may occur without amblyopia (reduced eyesight), but this often occurs when the strabismus alternates from one eye to the other. Amblyopia may also occur without strabismus.

There are many types of strabismus. Some forms are best treated by Vision Therapy used in conjunction with spectacle aids and prisms. Others are best treated by surgical intervention. Strabismus is one of the most complicated visual adaptations that can occur in the human binocular system. It is not always simple to treat and treatment may be lengthy and require a number of different approaches.

The ultimate goals of vision therapy in turned or lazy eyes is to have eyes that work together, look straight, to have well developed depth perception or 3D vision and to have strong visual efficiency skills so that we can function well with our vision without fatigue.

Typically, vision therapy for such patients will progress through a series of activities such as monocular (using one eye) and bi-ocular (using both eyes) skills and then fusion (putting the images from both eyes together) and binocular (using both eyes together in all directions of gaze) skills.



The Role of Vision in Sports

Sports commentators often describe a player’s ability to accurately judge where other players or the goals are without looking, as ‘great vision’.

This ability has nothing to do with the player’s ‘clarity of vision’; it is about peripheral awareness and efficient visual function. Some sports people have these skills naturally, others need to learn to develop them!

Vision training activities are a structured series of exercises designed to maximize the efficiency of specific visual skills required for all different types of sports.

So if your sport involves vision (and let’s face it – most do) then consider a vision examination about your specific sport and its visual requirements.

Benefits of Vision Therapy

Typical improvements noted as a result of our vision therapy program include:

  • Improved concentration
  • Increased interest in reading, along with better comprehension and speed
  • Improved focusing ability and control
  • Reduction or removal of eyestrain or headaches symptoms following visual tasks
  • Reduction in light sensitivity
  • Improved depth perception
  • Improved night vision
  • Clearer vision
  • Improved peripheral vision awareness or spatial awareness
  • Gain straight looking eyes in strabismus


What is Vivid Vision?

Vivid vision is a new powerful virtual reality technology used to apply this vision therapy. It is designed to motivate children and adults to improve vision and perceptual skills through 3D tests and challenges. The behavioural optometrist and vision therapist tailor and monitor your progress through these interactive challenges and exercises to improve and correct visual problems such as amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (eye turn) and eye coordination disorders.

This virtual technology is very motivating and improves vision therapy outcomes.

Eyecare Plus Altona and Vision Advantage is proud to be one of only 370 practices worldwide to have the Vivid Vision virtual reality vision training program.


How is Vivid Vision different than other Vision Therapy?

Vivid Vision is the first device to combine vision therapy training with virtual reality exercises and challenges. They are delivered through a virtual reality headset are expertly constructed to improve visual skills for people with amblyopia and strabismus, improve depth perception (3D) skills and improve many other visual problems such as visual memory. The technology stimulates the brain to use both eyes together as a team and strengthen binocular vision and depth perception.

Activities are selected and designed by the Behavioural optometrist for each individual therapy program and the therapist monitors their performance and makes adjustments according to the games progress.

What is involved?

A comprehensive examination is first conducted by our Behavioural Optometrist.

A customized vision therapy program will be discussed and created for your condition.

Your in-office visit will be with our accredited Vision Therapist.

Home activities will be required during your program. The commitment at home is about 10- 15 minutes per day and we will provide all your equipment.

Regular review appointments with your optometrist will assess your progress.

Can Vivid Vision be used at home?

A home program can be used by suitable candidates as an adjunct to the in-office therapy sessions.

What is the research behind Vivid Vision?

A study conducted by UVEA Mediklinik was released in 2015 with patients using the Vivid Vision device. In that study, 60% of patients showed an increase in visual acuity of 1-3 lines after just 8, forty-five minute sessions of Vivid Vision. Vivid Vision reports over 95% success rate from patients treated due to the immersive effect of virtual reality and the fun and intuitive games.


Eyecare Plus Member

Caloundra Vision Optometrists is a proud Eyecare Plus member practice.

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