Yesterday, the New York Times Magazine published a lengthy article online about vision therapy (VT). It presents some very compelling cases of patients who have received vision therapy and observed the changes it can produce when needed. Many of the comments are also from parents who have children who have lives changed from VT.
It also delves into the controversy. As a provider of VT, I feel that this article fairly characterizes how the multiple sides involved view this issue. It is accurate to say that most pediatricians and ophthalmologists are opposed to vision therapy and the parents who have experienced it often become very supportive. There is often very little middle ground.
I believe very much that patients can have vision problems that interfere with various aspects of their life and VT is the appropriate treatment. However, when I am making recommendations to patients, it can be difficult to find the line between over-promising potential results from vision therapy and failing to provide a valuable and needed service for a diagnosable problem. Often, even with the best available data, we may not know just how well a patient will respond. After all, there are no guarantees with any medical intervention; we can only do our best with the information we have.
I encourage all who are interested in vision and vision therapy to visit the website of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development to learn more about what is known about vision and vision therapy. Of course, you can always call our office or Ask Dr. Nate.
Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.