How Long Does It Take for Vision Therapy to Work?

What is vision therapy?

Here at Beyond Vision Center optometry, we’re pleased to offer vision therapy care services to both our adult and child patients. Vision therapy involves an individualized regimen of visual exercises that help to improve the connection between the brain and the eyes. 

What to expect during vision therapy sessions

As with any individualized treatment program, vision therapy sessions will vary depending on the patient’s needs. Overall, vision therapy treatments involve exercises that strengthen the communication between the eyes and brain and improve visual skills. At our office, a patient may participate in exercises involving the use of lenses, prisms, filters, occluders, and even computer-based activities. Every patient can expect to work closely with their optometrist to perform a series of these exercises. Just like practicing for a sport or perfecting a musical talent, ocular skills require practice to improve. At our optometry practice, we’re ready to help coach your eyes to peak performance with vision therapy.

How your optometrist will create a vision therapy program

Every pair of eyes is unique. There are even differences between your own two eyes and how they contribute to your vision. That’s why each patient receives a customized vision therapy program. Your doctor will work with you to assess precisely what your vision needs are and formulate the ideal regimen of exercises to improve your overall visual accuracy. Your vision therapy program will be determined based on the severity of your condition and estimated necessary frequency of sessions. Your doctor will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of your program and make adjustments as necessary for optimal results. 

How vision therapy trains the eyes

Depending on your condition, vision therapy can train an eye in a number of ways. Some conditions, like amblyopia and strabismus, occur due to poor eye teaming which can result in one eye developing poorly compared to the other. This results in underperformance and decreased visual acuity in the poorly functioning eye. In these cases, vision therapy is used to strengthen the eyes’ ability to work together with the brain properly, known as eye teaming.

For conditions like accommodative insufficiency, in which one eye or both are unable to properly focus, vision therapy uses exercises to strengthen the eye’s focusing muscles and improve the eye and brain connection over the duration of the treatment program. 

How long does it take for vision therapy to work?

While every vision therapy treatment plan will vary, a typical patient can expect to begin seeing results after 8 weeks. Depending on the severity of a patient’s condition, a full vision therapy treatment program can take 6 to 8 months to achieve optimal results. Like any skill, it takes time and consistency to train visual performance. And with vision therapy, we’re training the brain to a new level of automatic visual response. Yet it is always important to remember that the results that vision therapy provides and the symptoms it helps to reduce can be life changing. 

Evaluating progress and staying on track

Throughout your vision therapy treatment program, your optometrist will continue to evaluate your therapy progress every 8 sessions and assess if alterations to the original plan are necessary. In some cases, vision therapy treatment may be accelerated, while in others, more time may be necessary to achieve optimal results. If a setback does occur, our optometrists will always be up-front and honest about your therapy progress and what is required to reach peak performance. 

In order to improve visual acuity and reduce uncomfortable symptoms with vision therapy, it is vital to remain consistent with your prescribed treatment program. Whether it’s staying on track with appointments or keeping up with at-home exercises, consistency is key.

Visual problems that vision therapy helps to address 

Your optometrist may prescribe vision therapy to treat the following ocular medical problems and symptoms: 

  • Amblyopia
  • Strabismus
  • Eye tracking insufficiency
  • Depth perception issues
  • Improper hand-eye coordination 
  • Double vision
  • Visual focusing difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact our office to schedule an appointment right away. With proper diagnosis and treatment consistency, vision therapy can help to majorly improve visual performance and decrease unwanted symptoms. 

Vision therapy for children

Vision therapy is often used to treat problems that begin to develop during childhood. Vision problems like amblyopia, strabismus, double vision, eye fatigue, and more, can all take an enormous toll on everyday life for children. A child with inadequate vision may struggle greatly to perform in the classroom, during sports, and with everyday activities. Many of these problems can also include symptoms like headaches, eye strain, improper depth perception, and difficulty staying focused. 

Vision therapy helps to improve vision and reduce harmful symptoms without the long-term need for glasses and contact lenses or surgery. Make sure to schedule your children for an eye exam before they start kindergarten and every year thereafter. At these annual exams, we are able to screen for existing or developing problems and begin providing care, such as vision therapy, right away so they can succeed in the classroom and beyond. 

Vision therapy for adults

Though vision therapy is most commonly used for children, it is also effective for adults. Thanks to a quality called neuroplasticity, the brain is able to change and adapt with new qualities all throughout life. Even when we are adults, our brains have the capacity to strengthen communicative connection with each eye and improve visual skills with this neuro ability. 

Vision problems and uncomfortable symptoms can be a major impediment to your performance at work or in everyday life. If you are experiencing trouble with visual focus, blurry vision, eye straining, improper depth perception, double vision, tilting your head to view objects, or favoring vision in one eye, vision therapy could be the answer to your problems. At your annual eye exam, our optometrists will assess your visual acuity and symptoms, and determine if vision therapy is right for you. 

In our modern, increasingly digital world, spending long periods of time in front of a screen can be harmful to the eyes. Screen overexposure can result in digital eye strain, which can include uncomfortable symptoms like sore, dry, sensitive eyes, headaches, and blurred vision. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after long periods in front of a screen, vision therapy can help alleviate these issues and improve your vision. 

Alternatives to vision therapy

While vision therapy can be used to treat many visual conditions, some problems may require other solutions. Our optometrists will always be up-front and honest about your treatment options and work with you to decide what is best. In some cases, glasses, contact lenses, or eventually surgery may be the best options for your vision problems. We will refer you to a specialist in any cases when an ophthalmologist should operate.

The benefits of vision therapy

The National Eye Institute has funded a multitude of studies that prove the effectiveness of vision therapy. Our optometrists have personally seen the success of vision therapy and continue to utilize this life-changing treatment for both child and adult patients.

Improve vision skills

The quality of your vision is a tool that has an impact on everyday life. Vision therapy helps to strengthen your visual acuity without the permanent need for glasses and contact lenses or requiring any surgical procedures. 

Strengthen eye teaming

Failure of the eyes to work together properly with the brain can lead to a multitude of issues. This may include lazy eye, eye turn, improper depth perception, and blurry vision. Vision therapy strengthens this connection, allowing for accurate eye teaming, improved vision, and decreased symptoms.

Alleviate uncomfortable symptoms

Vision conditions can inflict problems beyond affecting your ability to see. Patients may also experience headaches, inability to focus, eye strain, eye fatigue, squinting, dizziness, and motion sickness. Vision therapy helps to reduce these symptoms while improving visual skills.

Vision therapy at BVC

Here at BVC, our optometrists are ready to help you achieve peak visual performance with vision therapy. Dr. Raja completed her residency with a specialty in vision therapy and continues to work with these skills every day. As a practiced vision therapist, she knows the ins and outs of how to utilize this highly effective treatment to address the unique specificities of vision problems for both adults and children. 

Myopia control San Diego

Schedule your appointment today

With services for both adults and children, we’re ready to take care of your whole family. If you or your child are experiencing any difficulties seeing or uncomfortable symptoms, schedule an appointment with BVC right away. Make sure to come in for an exam annually so we can catch any developing issues and provide proper treatment as soon as possible. Visit our contact page to request an appointment or give us a call to schedule. 

Carlsbad office: 760-438-2020

Encinitas office: 760-944-7177

We can’t wait to care for you and your vision health. We are always happy to answer any questions about vision care and our many services including vision therapy. Never hesitate to contact either of our offices.