20/20 Eyesight Is Not Perfect Vision
You might find it surprising to know that many kids and adults quietly suffer from debilitating vision problems. These conditions often elude the best efforts of specialists in routine eye exams, simply because suffering patients can read the 20/20 line. Although frequently manageable in the short term, the conditions can prove quietly exhausting and discouraging in the long-term.
Patients may see words blur, double, or move on the page when reading if they have ineffective eye-teaming skills. They may suffer from headaches, fatigue, or strained eyes after prolonged screen time if they have a focusing disorder. Some patients read slowly, lose their place, or take hours to do 20 minutes of homework because they have poor oculomotor control and can’t move their eyes properly.
Vision therapy addresses these visual dysfunctions, and can dramatically improve a person’s ability to read, learn and play sports effectively. It can help those who have wandering, crossed, or lazy eyes to non-surgically align their eyes and improve function and depth perception. Vision therapy also aids those who have suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury that may have harmfully impacted their vision.
Vizen Optometric Center is dedicated to aiding those experiencing these binocular vision problems. As we do not provide traditional optometry services, patients are referred back to their primary optometrist for glasses prescriptions and continued eye care during and after therapy. If any of the patients you serve are struggling with any of these issues, Vizen Optometric Center is now taking referrals and would be delighted to help!
Trying to Drive with One Eye – Tuyen’s Story
6 months ago, Tuyen went to an eye clinic and received some unfortunate news. The doctor said she had crossed eyes, and it wasn’t safe for her to drive a car. She frequently had to close one eye so she could see objects from a distance, and she had noticed that her vision wasn’t always there when she needed it on the road. Her doctor recommended she enroll in vision therapy, and introduced her to Dr. Judy.
As someone who speaks English as a second language, Tuyen was a little nervous about going to vision therapy. But Dr. Judy quickly put her at ease. Tuyen says, “She is so kind, friendly, and professional. The first appointment happened perfectly. She answered all my questions, from the processing, cost, and my concerns about my case… During my therapy time, she always listens to my issues and finds solutions quickly. ”
After just two sessions, Tuyen’s eyes totally improved. All of the sudden she could clearly see objects from afar, and she no longer needed to close one eye when she was driving. Not only that, but she reports that her eyes are all around stronger than before. “The feeling helps me be more confident,” she says.
Tuyen highly recommends that anyone with similar vision problems meet with Dr. Judy, and see how vision therapy can help them overcome their struggles.
It’s Not Always Dyslexia
An astonishing 5 to 15% of people in the US struggle with dyslexia. Because of this high rate, you might not be surprised if your child or a child you work with receives this diagnosis. But sometimes that diagnosis deserves a second look.
According to Dr. Judy Cao, “Having eye tracking problems and skipping words when reading is often a vision problem that mimics dyslexia. While vision therapy doesn’t solve dyslexia, it often can mitigate symptoms by treating the underlying visual problems.”
We enjoy collaborating with other health professionals such as psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists and many more to see how collectively as a team we can help you or your child. We are excited to meet you and have you be a part of our Vizen family.
Is It Really ADHD? It Might Be a Vision Problem
Studies indicate that children with vision impairment are twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. Seems a little high, doesn’t it? This occurs because underlying vision problems often mimic ADHD symptoms, when in fact, vision therapy treatment is what is needed to solve the issue.
The overlapping symptoms of ADHD and binocular vision impairment include:
- Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
- Avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks requiring sustained mental effort
- Often distracted by extraneous stimuli
- Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
- Does not listen when spoken to directly
- Often talks excessively
- Does not follow through on instructions or fails to complete tasks
Even if your child or a child you help has 20/20 vision, they may still have vision-related problems that have fallen through the cracks in routine eye exams. Unlike traditional optometry, vision therapy focuses on developing the neural networks between the eyes and brain so that the visual system can work in harmony. Eye strain, difficulty focusing, and difficulty tracking are all conditions that cause kids and adults to display behaviors commonly associated with ADHD.
Think you know someone who may be suffering from binocular vision impairment? Call or email us today. Dr. Judy Cao enjoys working closely with speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and all types of therapists and health professionals to recognize vision problems in their patients, and she would be delighted to talk with you or come to your office.
“She Sat Close to The T.V. Because She ‘Couldn’t See”
Patricia was 10-years-old and struggled in her everyday life due to her eyesight. Her mom, Rebecca, describes that she would “sit close to the T.V. because she ‘couldn’t see.’” While she loved to read, it proved to be a difficult task for her. She would often ask those around her to read to her because the letters were difficult for her to pick out. Patricia told her mom that she felt that “she wasn’t smart.” This broke Rebecca’s heart.
After struggling with these issues for a while, Rebecca took her daughter to an optometrist to check on her vision. Her optometrist noticed that her eyes were not working together properly and referred her to Dr. Cao, a developmental optometrist .
Rebecca explained that this was her first experience with vision therapy and they were not sure what to expect. Overall she described her experience at Vizen Optometric Center to be incredible. “Dr. Cao was very patient and would guide us through every step. She would always take the time to answer my questions,” Patricia’s mom stated.
Patricia described her experience: “Vision therapy helped me by giving me activities that are fun! They showed me which way ‘b’ and ‘d’ are supposed to go. They also helped me with my reading!”
Patricia’s life changed for the better because of vision therapy. She no longer feels like she “isn’t smart” like the other kids. When asked what recommendations she has for other parents considering vision therapy, Rebecca stated: “Do it. Don’t wait. It is a commitment and you may have to squeeze it into an already busy day but the benefits will last a lifetime.”
Vivid Vision – Using VR to Make Vision Therapy Fun
For a patient to succeed with vision therapy, it is crucial for them to do vision exercises and practices at home. This way their eyes internalize good habits and build new neural connections with the brain. Vivid Vision is a system we use for at-home as well as in-office vision training. It helps our patients with convergence insufficiency, amblyopia, and lack of stereo depth perception.
Vivid Vision allows you to play fun virtual reality games that strengthen your vision by teaching your eyes to work with one another. It does this by giving images to both the strong eye and weak eye until both can function together as one. By taking advantage of games and challenges that involve vision therapy, patients not only enjoy coming to therapy appointments, but they also have an easier time remembering to practice at home since the activities are fun. That’s what we call a win-win!