Achieving a Career in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation

Achieving a career in vision therapy and rehabilitation can be extremely rewarding. Whether you dedicate your practice to this specialty, supplement your primary care practice with it or work in a VA/Hospital-type setting, there are many ways to get into this unique and fulfilling area of optometry.

Children with academic challenges often have functional vision problems that stand in the way of their learning. Vision therapy can strengthen these skills and improve their quality of life and achievement levels.

Athletes

In sports, vision is just as important as strength and speed. Athletes rely on their visual skills to see the ball, teammates and opponents, determine how fast an object is moving and track it in motion.

In fact, nearly 80% of perceptual input is visual. But just because an athlete has 20/20 eyesight, doesn’t mean they are performing at their peak. Sports vision therapy helps separate high-performing athletes from their peers by increasing several visual skills, including reaction time, depth perception and visual processing.

To improve these skills, we provide a personalized vision therapy program that is tailored to your sport. We also teach you exercises that help improve your ability to maintain fixation while your head and/or the object is in motion, a skill called stability of fixation. This is important for dynamic sports such as hockey, soccer and football. It is also critical for hand-eye coordination, such as when a baseball player catches a fly ball or an NBA player makes consecutive free throws.

Adults

A large number of adults find themselves struggling with headaches, eye strain and other vision related problems. These problems impact their ability to meet performance-based criteria such as reading, work efficiency and depth perception. Vision therapy can help.

After completing a comprehensive evaluation, our Doctors will identify the visual skills that are not performing well and develop an individualized vision therapy program. In most cases, this will include in-office visits complemented by home exercises. The length and frequency of the program depends on the severity of the condition and your individual needs.

The goal is to retrain the eyes and brain to work together effectively improving visual comfort, efficiency and depth perception. Visual function training is similar to learning a musical instrument or other skill and the more you practice, the better you get. Our patients find that the changes produced by vision therapy last for a lifetime. This is because neuroplasticity allows the brain to adapt and change.

Children

If a child’s vision is not functioning at its best, their grades, behaviour and attitude in school can suffer. Vision therapy is an excellent way to strengthen the specific vision skills that impact children’s academic performance and ability to maintain attention throughout the day.

Whether the focus is on reading, writing, or tracking a ball during sports, there are a number of exercises that can improve these visual skills. A personalized plan will identify which skills need strengthening and typically involves weekly sessions of 45 minutes, with homework assignments being assigned between appointments.

When a child struggles to follow directions, sees double or has difficulty moving their eyes from far to near and across the page, the results can be disastrous in the classroom and on the sports field. An evaluation with a trained optometrist can detect and treat strabismus, a condition that occurs when the eyes fail to align properly and are not providing the brain with accurate binocular visual information.

Teens

Many teens have trouble at school due to underdeveloped visual skills. Often times they are labelled as lazy or poor students and sometimes diagnosed with dyslexia or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Vision therapy is an effective way to address these issues and improve academic performance.

Before Vision Therapy, Alex had trouble reading and would skip words or misread them. Now he is able to converge his eyes, reads on grade level and enjoys books for fun! His family feels that his success was largely due to his amazing Vision Therapist, Noemi and they highly recommend her program.

Vision therapy is a series of personalized exercises that help the brain develop the underdeveloped visual skills needed for learning, sports, and life. The exercises are fun and age-appropriate and build off each other from week to week. They also improve eye coordination, depth perception and reduce suppression (where one eye is not using information from the other). This allows for a stronger, more efficient binocular vision system.

Go Home