Vision therapy, also know as Vision Training, Orthoptics, or Vision-Based Neurorehabilitation, is a form of therapy that breaks down the multiple and complex eye movements of life into their individual components. Each eye movement is then worked to increase accuracy, speed and range of motion. Computer programs move the eyes with a "closed loop" process whereby the difficulty is increased until the task fails, and then difficulty decreases until the task is successful. This allows each eye movement to move back and forth over the endpoint and gradually increase performance. Each session is completed against age-matched normative data and the patient's individual performance.
Patients are monitored and counseled at each visit to assure that improvements in vision scores are correlating with a decrease of symptoms such as headaches, eye strain, blurred vision, disorientation or poor work/school performance.
The Neuro-Optometrists at the Rothman Concussion Network develop personalized treatment plans for each patient following the neuro-optometric assessment. The treatment plan may change weekly based of performance, symptoms, or other issues revealed during the weekly sessions. Our Neuro-Optometrists work closely with referring providers and the rehab team members from occupational therapy, physical therapy and mental health to ensure a recovery plan that is tailored to the patient.
Common Questions about Vision Therapy:
How does vision therapy work?
It uses progressive eye movement exercises performed under the direct supervision of your Neuro-Optometrist. Each eye movement is isolated and executed to create the proper image in the brain. Stereo (3D) images are used to monitor this. If the eye movement is executed incorrectly, the 3D stereo image is invisible. Computerized balance boards are also used to isolate eye movements. Repetition, closed loop progression, auditory biofeedback and competition are the keys to improved performance.
If vision therapy is just eye movements, won't my eyes strengthen in daily life?
There is more to vision therapy than simply strengthening the eye muscles. Each eye movement must create a specific image in the brain, and movements must be performed correctly to achieve this. The movements of each eye must synchronize with the adjacent eye to create a 3-D picture with depth and relative distance. Of the five senses, vision contributes the most information to the brain about local environment. Eyes are the windows of the brain, with sight directly influenced by how the brain interprets images received from the eyes. A normal and consistent connection between the eyes and the brain is essential to interface with the world around us.
What is the purpose of the vision therapy?
Vision therapy restores the natural synchronization of the two eyes when executing complex eye movements. This allows for a consistent three-dimensional object to be perceived by the brain in order to accurately navigate your environment. This comfortable visual environment is essential for high demand tasks such as reading, computer use and driving.
What is the first step in a vision therapy program?
A comprehensive Neuro-Optometric evaluation is necessary before considering therapy. Following the evaluation, your provider can determine whether or not this type of therapy is the recommended treatment for your vision problems.
What programs are used during vision therapy?
NeuroTracker is a program used by our providers to improve visual perception and motion cognitive performance. The NeuroTracker uses 3D glasses and dynamic tasks to improve visual and auditory processing speed, executive function, and attention. It employs closed loop logic and is particularly useful in patients with motion related vision problems, or for those that feel uncomfortable in a crowd or when driving.
Sanet Vision Integrator (SVI)
The Sanet Vision Integrator is a customizable program designed to improve smooth pursuit and saccadic eye movements. It can integrate these movements into a variety of situations to challenge both balance and cognitive tasks. These are typical vision-related problems that often follow a concussion. This program is delivered on a 50" touch screen monitor and includes several programmable instruments to support a vision therapy program developed by your neuro-optometrist. The SVI is also used to enhance sports vision in athletes.
The VTS4 uses electronic shutter glasses to control and measure the use of each eye. 3-D stereo images are created and moved to stimulate convergent and divergent eye movements. The closed loop software keeps the performance threshold moving forward. The program is also used for accommodative stimulation for each eye individually, or for both eyes together in a binocular situation. The software can also challenge visual memory and induce moving stereo targets.