Vision Therapy

Vision Therapy

Vision Therapy

Vision therapy is often defined as physical exercise for your eyes and brain. Vision therapy targets the ocular motor muscles by training them to work as a coordinated team to help support academic performance. Our eyes are connected to our brain and if our muscles are not positioning our eyes correctly, we are sending incorrect images to the brain to be processed.

As result Vision therapy also incorporates the development of visual processing skills by working on the foundation skills needed for reading and learning. These skills are called Visual Perceptual skills which include the following 7 components:

  • Visual Discrimination
  • Visual memory
  • Visual Spatial Relation
  • Visual Form constancy
  • Visual Sequential Memory
  • Visual Figure ground
  • Visual Closure

Vision Therapy address the treatment of the following ocular motor areas related to vision:

  • Tracking
  • Saccades
  • Convergence
  • Accommodation
  • Strabismus
  • Amblyopia or commonly known as lazy eye

Remember our body is equal to the sum of its parts and our eyes do not work in isolation to the rest of the body, thus the reason for there to be associated motor related areas which may be affected as a result of a poorly integrated visual system or vice versa.

Vision therapy incorporates the following visual motor areas as part of its holistic treatment approach:

  • Muscle Tone                          Spatial Orientation and laterality
  • Balance                                  Bilateral Integration
  • Midline crossing                     Hand, eye and foot coordination

 

Vision Therapy at the Dubai Community Health Center does include the support of software programs to support home program training as well as in house therapy. The programs used are:

HTS- Home Vision Therapy Software

https://visiontherapysolutions.net/hts-inet/

Our Visual Brain

https://ourvisualbrain.com/

Vision Therapy assess the quality of vision and not the quantity.  The first step to be eligible to start Vision therapy requires a comprehensive eye test to be done by a Behavioural Optometrist, Orthoptist or Specialized Ophthalmologist. See a link below which is useful to watch to have a better understanding of what a comprehensive eye test should entail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5KGgbin7O0

See a list of signs and symptoms to look out for. If your child presents with 4 or more of the following symptoms below it is highly recommended to get an eye test done as soon as possible

Signs and Symptoms

  • Eyes that cross or turn in or out.
  • Squinting, eye rubbing, or excessive blinking
  • Eyes are teary after reading
  • Blurred or double vision (can be intermittent)
  • Chooses one eye to work with, closes one eye during academic tasks
  • Head tilting, closing or blocking one eye when reading
  • Suffers from red, burning eyes
  • Avoids near/distance tasks
  • Child struggles to move or walk in darker rooms or spaces
  • Become easily distracted, finding it difficult to remain on task;
  • Have a short attention span or daydreaming in class;

 

Signs and symptoms of visual strain related to reading and visual processing

  • Headaches after reading
  • Holds book too close to their face
  • Difficulty in taking notes from the blackboard
  • Reverses letters or words
  • Battle to recognize words
  • They get stuck on words they can't read or go back and re-read sentences
  • Presents as a slow reader
  • Often stops to try sound out a word
  • Don't recognize words they should know
  • Repeat sentences
  • Reading seems laboured
  • Skip words all together
  • Read without expression
  • Read below their grade level in terms of speeds
  • Have trouble comprehending;
  • Omit, turn around, or confuse words or lines when reading;
  • Lose their place or use their finger to follow a line of print;
  • Need a lot of breaks during homework or tire quickly when they read;
  • Fail to complete assignments on time

Additional useful information

Considering the amount of time kids spend interacting with devices, it's no surprise that they, like adults, are susceptible to eye strain. The symptoms for children are the same as those for adults. So, watch out for complaints of:

  • Dry, sore eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Headaches

Some studies now indicate that too much close visual work, such as reading or looking at screens, may also cause nearsightedness; however, in many cases myopia from visual stress is temporary rather than true myopia. The eyes simply need time to recover in order to focus in the distance again.

  • Nearsightedness/ Myopia is most commonly heredity

Teach Kids to take breaks:

  • Take Time to Look Away- 20-20 rule
  • Blink often to prevent eye strain
  •  Computer Screen Tips: 20 inches away from their face
  • Make Time for Other Activities
  • Get Plenty of Sleep: 10 hours for children aged 6-13 Years
  • 2 hours per day

 

Vision and attention

Some children with learning difficulties exhibit specific behaviours of hyperactivity and distractibility. These children are often labelled as having "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" (ADHD). However, undetected and untreated vision problems can elicit some of the very same signs and symptoms commonly attributed to ADHD. Due to these similarities, some children may be mislabelled as having ADHD when, in fact, they have an undetected vision problem.

Because vision may change frequently during the school years, regular eye and vision care is important. The most common vision problem is near-sightedness or myopia. However, some children have other forms of refractive error like farsightedness and astigmatism. In addition, the existence of eye focusing, eye tracking and eye coordination problems may affect school and sports performance.

Eyeglasses or contact lenses may provide the needed correction for many vision problems. However, a program of vision therapy may also be needed to help develop or enhance vision skills.

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