From the myth that only children can benefit from Vision Therapy to the myth that eye surgery and/or glasses are the only way to correct vision problems—we will debunk several of the myths out there about Vision Therapy.
Myth #1: I’m too old for Vision Therapy.
Age is not a factor in the success you can achieve through a Vision Therapy program.
The plasticity of the brain is amazing; recent studies show that there is no magic age when the brain stops learning and changing. Since our eyes and brain work together, vision therapy helps make changes in visual pathways no matter the age.
Most Ophthalmologists (OMD) say that strabismus (an eye turn) or amblyopia (lazy eye) cannot be helped after the age of 6-8 years old. This article refers to a study done on children ages 7-17 with amblyopia (lazy eye) that showed those with vision therapy activities had better success than those that were only given glasses.
Dr. Sue Barry, a neuro- scientist diagnosed with strabismus as an infant, attests to the success of vision therapy through her own journey at the age of 47, in her book, “Fixing My Gaze”.
Myth #2: There is no research to support the efficacy of Vision Therapy.
If you’re looking for the research and results behind the success of Vision Therapy please visit:
Research funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI—the government’s lead agency for vision research) and performed at the Mayo Clinic and other clinics nationwide, found that the most effective model of treatment for convergence insufficiency is supervised in-office Vision Therapy along with at-home reinforcement.
Myth #3: Only surgery can correct my misaligned eyes.
In most cases the efficiency of surgery is based not on one, but multiple surgeries to correct the misalignment of eyes. Even then, “effective” surgery only refers to the cosmetic appearance of the eyes, not how they function together. Most post-surgical patients report that they still use only one eye after surgery. Vision Therapy can teach the brain how to effectively use both eyes resulting in increased depth perception. Even patients who are post-surgical can benefit from vision therapy. According to Dr. Benjamin Winters, OD, FCOVD, “even if the eyes are aligned surgically, the brain has to learn how to overcome adaptations in order to put those two images together into something meaningful.”
See many articles and stories referencing Strabismus surgery:
If you are considering surgery please review this list:
Myth #4: All Vision Therapy programs are the same.
While there are key procedures and activities that most Vision Therapy centers use, there can be big differences in how the therapy is structured, how it progresses, and additional services offered. Some clinics have one-on-one sessions while others do group sessions. Some clinics have Certified Optometric Vision Therapists (COVT’s) while other clinics have employees who have not had any formal training or certification. It is up to you to do the research to determine which office is most qualified and best fits your needs. Visit www.covd.org to search for a board certified Optometrist in your area.
Myth #5: I just need glasses, not Vision Therapy.
Although the correct prescription for glasses is definitely a good start when necessary, glasses alone will not correct visual perception problems, help with poor eye tracking, nor help the eyes to work together as a team. Vision Therapy trains the eyes and brain to work together through practice and repetition, which results in lifelong changes.
Myth #6: Vision Therapy is expensive.
The truth is that Vision Therapy is comparable to many other services. Families spend thousands of dollars on years of tutoring services. If there is an underlying visual issue, tutoring serves as a band-aid and does not treat the root cause of learning-related visual problems.
Let’s face it; there are many expenses in every family, from sports camps to tutoring services, vacations, health clubs, braces and more. But the benefits of Vision Therapy are priceless!
So, there you have it. 6 myths about Vision Therapy debunked. There are many more. Do you have some to share? Let us know!