Vision therapy (also referred to as visual training) is a program aimed at remedying and enhancing an individual’s visual abilities. Its function is to:
- Treat existing visual problems such as amblyopia (lazy eye), eye alignment problems, eye coordination problems, poorly sustained near focus, inadequate eye-hand coordination and immature perceptual development
- Enhance the efficiency and comfort of visual function
- Help prevent some visual problems
Each program of vision therapy must be designed to suit the specific needs of the individual, both in terms of their visual profile and their goals. Diagnostic testing, training procedures and the use of lenses and prisms may be integral components of the successful treatment of a vision problem. The frequency of consultation, the amount of home training and the duration of a course of vision therapy will vary depending on the nature and severity of the problem being treated and the specific needs of the patient.
Vision therapy is not used to strengthen eye muscles, but to improve the coordination and efficient functioning and processing of the visual system.
Orthoptics is another term often used in conjunction with vision therapy. Orthoptics is one part of a specific vision therapy program directed at improving binocular alignment and visual acuity in individuals with strabismus and amblyopia.