When it comes to vision problems in children, and even some adults, glasses or contacts may not be the solution. Instead, vision problems may be improved using a specialized therapy involving techniques administered by trained professionals. Dr. Kelly de Simone of Eye Priority says this therapy is an important alternative process that can be extremely effective for many in need of vision correction.
What is vision therapy and how does it work?
“This therapy actually is a way to help retrain the brain and the way the eyes and brain work together. Because this therapy uses specific techniques to help develop or strengthen the pathways in the brain for better functioning and visual processing, it’s called neuro optometrist therapy,” says Dr. de Simone. “In many cases, this therapy offers tremendous benefits for individuals who are suffering with vision problems.”
Who may benefit from this specialized therapy?
According to Dr. de Simone, typical screenings, such as those conducted at school, are limited. These screenings don’t identify a child’s inability to focus or to ‘visually process’ what they are seeing.
“When reading an eye chart, the chart is perfectly still, so the screening doesn’t assess how the eyes move, how well you can see up close or how long you can clearly see a close image or reading material,” Dr. de Simone adds.
She believes children can experience vision challenges based on the amount of “screen time” they spend viewing two-dimensional images on electronic devices. In addition, she says, children today are expected to read at an earlier age, often before their eyes have matured enough to handle that well. Adults may experience similar problems with “visual processing” as the result of a car accident, cancer, a stroke or other condition. “Most people we treat don’t necessarily have obvious problems, like a wandering eye or eyes that cross. But, their vision challenges can make it difficult to function.”
How is neuro optometrist therapy administered?
At Eye Priority and other clinics that offer this therapy, specific therapeutic activities designed to improve visual processing are administered by trained practitioners. “Often it’s almost like a software package didn’t turn on yet,” Dr. de Simone says, “and, using neuro optometrist therapy that software becomes accessible.”
“This therapy can have very good, even life-changing, results.”
She says any child who shows developmental delays or other symptoms of vision impairment—or even behaviors typically associated with ADHD—should be scheduled for a complete exam at a clinic that offers glasses and contacts as well as neuro optometrist therapy. In addition, anyone—child or adult—experiencing a change in vision, eye strain, headaches, fatigue, blurry vision or red, itchy eyes should schedule a thorough eye exam as well.