Vision therapy is an individualized treatment program used to eliminate or improve many visual problems that get in the way of reading, learning, or enjoying certain activities. You can think of it as exercise for your eyes. There is extensive research to support its effectiveness. Click on any of the questions below to find out more.
What is vision therapy?
Vision therapy is an individualized treatment program prescribed to eliminate or improve conditions such as "lazy" eye (amblyopia), crossed eyes (strabismus), focusing problems, eye teaming issues, eye tracking problems, and visual processing disorders. Specific lenses, prisms and filters are used along with specialized instruments and advanced computer software.
When is vision therapy necessary?
Although most vision problems can be corrected using eyeglasses or contact lenses, some rarer problems require more sophisticated treatment.
Problems such as eye teaming, focusing and tracking disorders are unrelated to how clearly you see and cannot be corrected with eyeglasses. Rather, they are muscular problems that can only be treated by "training" the eyes with vision therapy.
Visual processing problems that interfere with a child’s ability to analyze and interpret visual information also require vision therapy.
Adults can benefit from vision therapy if they are experiencing eyestrain, headaches and inability to perform well at work, due to eye teaming and focusing problems. These problems commonly affect adults working with computers.
Is there research support for vision therapy?
There has been significant research supporting the effectiveness of vision therapy for treatment of eye teaming, focusing, tracking and visual processing problems. In recent years, randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that office-based vision therapy should be the first line of treatment for these disorders.
How long does vision therapy take?
The average program for focusing, eye teaming and tracking problems involves one or two office visits per week, lasting 45 minutes each, and about 15-20 minutes of supportive home therapy three times per week using computer software. Many of these problems can be eliminated fairly quickly, often in four to six months, though some more complicated problems may require additional time.
Visual processing problems are generally more complicated and often require longer periods of therapy. A typical vision therapy program for a visual processing problem might require 30-40 visits of therapy, over a period of seven months or longer.
What type of doctor does vision therapy?
Doctors of Optometry evaluate and treat patients who require vision therapy. It is important to know that only 5-10% of optometrists offer this service. Vision therapy is a sub-specialty of optometry. Optometrists that provide vision therapy in their offices should have additional training. They should be residency trained in vision therapy and a Fellow in The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD).
Where can I learn more about vision therapy?
The following websites will provide you with more information about vision therapy and the eye problems that require the use of vision therapy for treatment:
What can I expect?
Dr. Lynn Trieu will perform the necessary visual skills evaluations. In addition to her private practices, Dr. Trieu teaches pediatric optometry and vision therapy at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Philadelphia and lectures on these topics nationally and internationally. She is residency trained in vision therapy and is an associate of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. She is also actively involved in numerous research studies on vision therapy and pediatric eye diseases.
The vision therapy is administered by trained therapists under the supervision of Dr. Trieu.
In addition to working to achieve the highest possible success rates, Dr. Trieu attempts to solve the patient’s vision problems in as short a time period as possible.