It is such an exciting time to provide vision therapy! There are so many advancements in treatment and knowledge in this area of Optometry. Although Vision Therapy is often thought of as an essential treatment for children with vision problems, adults can benefit from it too. A case in point is my patient, Betsy. She is a talented artist. You can see her work and blog here.
Betsy had eye surgeries as a child for crossed eyes. Despite these procedures, she still did not have the ability to keep her eyes aligned or see in 3D. For that, she needed vision therapy. She started therapy in a different state and when she moved to sunny Tampa Bay, she continued therapy with us.
Through vision therapy, Betsy has learned to move and focus her eyes at the same time without suppressing (turning one eye off). She has developed the ability converge her eyes to make them straight.
The most amazing detail about Betsy's cases was that she acquired depth perception. Or, as the headline of the recent online interview she granted says:
“30 Year Old Describes the Experience of Seeing in 3D for the First Time.”
How did she achieve this?
First, Betsy was totally motivated to improve her vision and learn how to use her eyes together. When I first met her, she described how determined she was to improve her vision, which makes this long-term goal of hers all the more easy to achieve.
Secondly, she worked hard. As she said in the interview, she has done Brock String (a particular Vision Therapy activity) for over a hundred hours! That's like staring at your nose for 100 hours; can you do that? Wow! All of this hard work and determination has prepared her brain and eyes to appreciate 3D vision.
Finally, Betsy is not afraid to try new things. She has had a number of different glasses, a huge variety of vision therapy activities, and most recently, the Vivid Vision Virtual Reality Vision Therapy System.
As Betsy said in an email to me recently, “This is amazing! I'm seeing 3D all over the place.” This is the most rewarding kind of note an optometrist like me can get from a patient.
And Betsy isn't the only adult patient in our vision therapy program. Other recent adult patients include one who had double vision from a bicycling accident, one who had tremendous fatigue and double vision at work, another who had amblyopia and was told that she would never see well out of her left eye. All of these adults and others have experienced tremendous benefits from vision therapy.
To sum up: Vision Therapy is not just for kids; adults can benefit from it too. If you are an adult and have questions about your vision, see an optometrist who specializes in binocular vision. There may be options for you! You can start by going to COVD.org and OEPF.org to look for doctors.
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