Optometrists diagnose disorders of the visual system. Vision Therapy is a treatment program that is prescribed by optometrists and implemented by the practitioner and/or their delegated, trained Vision Therapists. Its purpose is to improve the functionality of patients’ visual processes. Vision Therapy allows patients the opportunity for new visual experiences using a variety of tools including, lenses, prisms, filters, and computer-based technology. Vision Therapy is individualized to meet the unique needs of patients and is backed widely by ongoing evidence-based research.
Most Vision Therapy sessions occur weekly in visits lasting one hour. There are often homework items prescribed to supplement in-office therapy. A Vision Therapy program can last from three months to a year or more depending upon patients’ diagnoses, age and level of commitment to their programs.
Vision Therapy works to allow better visual comfort, visual efficiency and improved visual information processing. It will enhance the way patients interpret what they see, how they process that information and then interact with their surroundings. It can help those who are struggling with work or school, those with strabismus, amblyopia, and/or those who have suffered an acquired brain injury. Vision Therapy can also be designed to enhance athletic performance.
Vision therapy is an individualized, progressive, scientifically-based program which, when combined with careful history, visual examination and dedicated participation, can have dramatic results.
A number of professionals consider that stand-alone Vision Therapy software and technology can be used in the place of an in-office Vision Therapy program. This leads to confusion amongst other professionals, including general optometrists, as well as the public as to the necessity of a structured in-office Vision Therapy program.
The Canadian Optometrists in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation and the Canada Chapter of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development consider successful Vision Therapy programs to be inclusive of lenses, prisms, filters, and computer-based technology. Computer-based technologies, including all forms of digital media, are not adequate substitutes for an optometrist-prescribed, structured, in-office Vision Therapy Program. They are, however, an engaging addition to any Vision Therapy program, and both associations strongly encourage their use as adjunct/supportive exercises.
The College of Optometrists in Vision Development
The Canadian Optometrists in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation
The Canadian Association of Optometrists and Canadian Ophthalmic Society’s Joint Statement on Effects of Electronic Screens on Childrens’ Vision and Recommendations for Safe use
A Randomized Trial of the Binocular iPad Game vs Part Time Patching in Children 5-12 Years of Age with Amblyopia
What is Vision Therapy?
The Role of the Trainer in Visual Training