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3 Reasons Why You Should Kickstart the New Year With Vision Therapy

holidays mug

It’s that time of year again when we sit down with a pumpkin spice latte in hand and think of a resolution we can take upon ourselves for the new year. Here at [tokensname=’SpCenterVT’], we believe that the best resolutions are the ones that positively impact other areas of our lives and enhance our overall quality of life. Vision therapy offers just that! This therapy is made up of a series of customized visual exercises designed to develop or regain visual processing skills.

Vision Therapy is highly effective in treating:

  • Amblyopia, (or “lazy eye”)
  • Strabismus, (or “eye-turn”)
  • Eye movement disorders
  • Focusing disorders
  • Binocular vision problems
  • Vision, balance, and memory problems associated with brain injury

Even those with 20/20 eyesight can benefit from vision therapy because perfect eyesight doesn’t mean perfect vision. Below are the ways in which vision therapy will help you kick-off the new year.

Improve Existing Vision Skills

You’re good at what you do, be it at work, school or sports. But can you do better? By training the eyes and brain to work in unison, you increase your potential for greater performance. Not only will you be more efficient, but performing tasks will become more enjoyable. This especially applies to school-aged children, as their brains are still in rapid development. Vision therapy effectively enables the brain to correctly process information for optimal academic success.

Learn New Skills With Ease

Many people make it their resolution to learn a new skill in the upcoming year but an underlying vision problem can interfere with that. Since learning is 80% visual, vision therapy offers an excellent opportunity to gear up for success! Undiagnosed or untreated vision problems related to convergence and focus can cause memory and reading problems and hinder learning. Dr. Knighton and Dr. Bonilla-Warford will use an array of tools, such as prisms, specialized lenses, filters, balance beams, and computerized visual activities to train the eye-brain connection and help you learn more efficiently in almost any area that requires vision.

Gain The Confidence You Crave

Whether you’re a pro-athlete or a 4th grader struggling to read, improved vision skills will boost your confidence. This confidence will surely trickle into other areas of your life leading to increased self-esteem.

Start 2020 by empowering yourself or your child with vision therapy. Call Bright Eyes Family Vision Care's Vision Therapy Center to book your appointment today.

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care's Vision Therapy Center serves patients in Tampa, Westchase, Town 'N' Country, and University, and throughout Florida.

Sports Vision

sports eyewear

Seeing “20/20” is only one component of how your vision affects how well you play your sport. Vision involves many interrelated skills that are needed for athletics, such as tracking, focusing, peripheral awareness and depth perception. The eyes direct the movements of the body during sports, and therefore are a crucial element of the game.

Success in sports involves making the proper movement at the proper time in the proper location. Vision provides the information to the rest of the body about when and where to make each sports-specific movement.

Athletic performance relies upon the following visual skills:

  • Depth Perception: the ability to accurately judge the distance of objects
  • Eye Focusing: the ability to change focus quickly and clearly
  • Eye-Body Coordination: the ability to coordinate body movements based on vision
  • Eye Tracking: the ability to follow a moving object and move from one object to another
  • Fusion: the ability to use both eyes together
  • Peripheral Awareness: noticing things out of the corner of your eye
  • Spatial Awareness: knowing where you are in relation to your teammates, opponents, the ball, the goal, etc.
  • Vergence: the teamwork of the two eyes together
  • Visualization: the ability to anticipate an object’s trajectory before
  • Visual acuity: the clarity of your sight with stationary targets and moving objects
  • Visual Concentration: to screen out visual distractions and stay focused on the target
  • Visual Memory: to capture visual images and use them to make instant decisions during a game
  • Visual Reaction Time: the speed your brain can interpret and react to your opponent’s action

Dr. Beth Knighton, our sports vision specialist, can evaluate your visual skills in relation to your specific sport demands and develop a personalized treatment plan for you. At times, this involves specific glasses, sports goggles or contact lenses to improve visual performance. She may also recommend sports vision training to enhance your visual skills. Each sport requires unique visual skills and sports vision training is custom tailored to each athlete’s sport demands.

Contact our office to schedule an Athletic Vision Evaluation with Dr. Beth to see how we can improve your sport-specific visual skills.

CooperVision Gear Up Grants

At Bright Eyes, we try to stay current in the opportunities given to our patients. As contact lens companies go, it’s usually in the form of rebates and annual supply savings. Recently however, one company has gone above and beyond the product savings to offer an opportunity in an activity many of us and our kids participate in but usually don’t associate with wearing contacts: athletics. Contact lenses are a necessary piece of “equipment” in many athletes’ gear bags. Because glasses are cumbersome and can even be dangerous in certain sports, contacts are a comfortable and healthy alternative that give athletes a crisp and complete field of vision.

CooperVision, a company that manufactures, among others, the Proclear, Biofinity, Biomedics, and Frequency line of contacts, is holding a contest in which it will award ten prizes of $2,500 to athletic teams, athletes, or even community sporting organizations. They want to make sure teams and individuals have the proper “gear” to help them compete. Plus any member of the team who currently wears contacts or glasses will also have the chance to be fitted with CooperVision contact lenses for an entire year.

To enter you must complete the online form and create a short video or series of photos introducing your team and why you think you should win. What could you use the grant for? Whatever you think your team needs to succeed: new jerseys or uniforms, new equipment, transportation funds to your next away game. You must hurry though, because the deadline to submit is June 25th.

Visit the link below for additional information and to submit your video and application.

http://www.mycontactsports.com/

All the best,

Justin Schoonover

Sports Vision and Larry Fitzgerald

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t read the sports page. In fact, I didn’t realize that Tampa is home to the 2009 Super Bowl until relatively recently. So I most likely would have missed an article in the Wall Street Journal if it wasn’t emailed to me by a colleague. It is a story about the Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Here is an interesting snippet about Mr. Fitzgerald:

When he was young, his grandfather, Robert Johnson, the founder of a optometry clinic in Chicago, set out to make sure his grandson had “visual dominance” — at first because he was having trouble in school. From the time Mr. Fitzgerald was in first grade, during summer visits, Mr. Johnson would take him to the clinic and have him stand on balance beams and wobbly boards while doing complicated hand-eye drills. By the time his grandson was 12 and emerging as an athlete, Dr. Johnson tailored many of these exercises to athletics. To improve the boy’s precision, control, spatial judgment and rhythm, for instance, Dr. Johnson would hang a painted ball from the ceiling and have him try to hit the colored dots on the ball with the matching colored stripes on a rolling pin.

Although the WSJ doesn’t use the term, the article is describing Sports Vision – the improvement of a variety of visual skills to improve performance on the field. It goes on to discuss the benefits of such experience. Sports Vision can benefit anyone from children to professional athletes, whether or not they have a vision problem.

If you are interested, you can read the entire article here.

Be Well!
Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

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Nintendo Flash Focus as Vision Therapy

If you have children who are old enough to ride a bike, then it is pretty likely that you’ve at least heard of the hand-held game system called the Nintendo DS. For the uninitiated, it is a small, portable video game system. As many parents will attest, these little devices can work wonders on long car trips and while waiting at the doctor’s office. But these parents also wonder if these tiny screens can be bad for their child’s eyes. Well, maybe. If they are used excessively without rest, then eyestrain, headaches, and even double vision can occur. As with any activity, frequent breaks are a good idea, and if you notice visual problems, contact your eye doctor.

However, there is a new game out called Flash Focus. It is designed specifically to improve certain visual skills, such as Dynamic Visual Acuity, Momentary Vision, Eye Movement, and Hand-Eye Coordination. Because it is fun, easy, and personalized, vision specialists who provide vision therapy are incorporating it into their programs as one more tool to improve the visual skills of their patients. This is great because it can add fun and variety to the therapy program while supporting some of the skills that are taught. At Bright Eyes Family Vision Care, we have incorporated Flash Focus into vision therapy either as part of the office or home activities for specific patients. So far, the patients are enjoying it.

Flash Focus was developed by Dr. Hisao Ishigaki, a Japanese sports-vision specialist. Sports vision is a type of vision therapy that assists athletes in improving visual skills to give them a leg up on their opponents. Many professional teams have a staff optometrist that will work with athletics to improve speed of visual recognition, depth perception, and spatial perception — the same type of skills that Flash Focus trains.

One word of caution: While the Flash Focus game can improve skills, it is not by itself a full vision therapy program. Likewise, the similar game Brain Age is not a substitute for proper assessment and treatment of learning problems, and Wii Sports is not a substitute for P.E. class in school. But these types of games can be fun and can supplement the activities that we do in vision therapy at the office. If you are using Flash Focus or any other therapy program, be sure to tell me at your next office visit.

You can read more at http://www.flashfocus.net/

Be Well!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

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