One in four children in U.S. has vision problem that can be affecting their performance in school. Majority of problem can be helped by prescribing corrective lenses, however, some problems cannot be helped with glasses that may be helped with Vision Therapy.
Vision Therapy is an individualized treatment program to train eyes and brain the skills that are not developed efficiently. It is a highly effective treatment for people who have lazy eye, eye turns, double vision, and vision-related learning problem. It is our belief that any eye condition can be helped at any age. However, it is true that it will take longer to train someone who has a long-term condition. Neurological researches have shown that brains can be trained at any age, it is called neuroplasticity.
Visual Efficiency Evaluation
This special evaluation is to assess in depth the efficiency of a person’s visual system. It includes testing flexibility of eye system, how much one can strain and relax to keep target clear, are the eyes aiming the target at correct plane, is there eye turn under stress, see 3D at distance and near, how much stress before vision system breaks down, any eye muscle weakness, strength of focusing/ teaming /tracking systems, flexibility of focusing/teaming/ tracking systems.
The Wachs Analysis of Cognitive Structure is a standardize battery developed by Dr. Harry Wachs based upon Piaget’s theories of measuring cognitive development in terms of body and sensory thinking in children’s ages 3 to 5 years. It is a valuable tool for assessing developmental and learning growth of a child who is learning disabled, autistic, mentally challenged, culturally disadvantaged and also an excellent predictor of school readiness.
Visual Perception Evaluation
These are groups of tests to evaluate how visual information is processed. In general they are divided in four major subtest groups: visual spatial skills, visual analysis skills, visual motor integration, and visual auditory integration. Being able to see 20/20 does not automatically perfect these skills. Deficiency on these skills can affect their learning ability. For example, visual spatial skills affect a person’s posture, his ability to sit still, and his orientation. Visual analysis skills can affect a person’s visual memory, organization skills, extract main point from context, and abstract thinking. Visual motor skills most commonly affect writing skills. Our other senses are mostly dominated by our vision so visual-auditory tests are testing if hearing and vision are integrated properly.
Strabismus is the formal name for “eye turn” or “squint.” It is an eye misalignment caused by the imbalance of the muscles around the eyes. Most common types of strabismus are “wall eye” (eye turns out), “cross eye” (eye turns in), eye turns up, or turn down when looking straight ahead. Sometimes strabismus can also be occuring only when one looks at specific direction such as right or left yet eyes remains relatively aligned when looking straight ahead. If a young child is diagnosed having large angle strabismus (large magnitude of eye turn), an pediatric ophthalmologist would likely recommend an eye muscle surgery for him.
Amblyopia is the formal name for “lazy eye.” It is a functional defect with decreased visual acuity in one or both eyes without detectable anatomic damage in eye or visual pathways and it is uncorrectable by glasses or contact lenses. Most common forms of amblyopia are refractive and strabismic. Visual acuity and vision are learned skills children develop at young age through rolling, crawling, creeping and other activities. If a child has a eye turn or a high prescription that is not detected at early age, his eyes will not receive adequate stimulus to develop the ability or given the oppertunity to see “clear” and thus become lazy.
The purpose of a strabismus/amblyopia evaluation is to determine in detail the magnitude, frequency, types, direction, and depth of strabismus and/or amblyopia. Majority of people with strabismus also have some degree of amblyopia, however, many people with amblyopia are not strabismic. With these information, our optometrist(s) can determine if vision therapy will be the best treatment for those people.