What Is Vision Therapy and Who Needs It?

You’ve likely had your eyesight, or visual acuity tested. Whether it was a screening in school, for a driver’s license, or even at your regular optometrist check-ups. But have you ever had your vision tested? Having 20/20 eyesight doesn't mean you're free from vision problems.

Dr. Jeff Taranto at Opulent Eyes Optometry in Studio City is an expert in medical care. One of his specialties is vision therapy; like physical therapy but for your visual system.

Before you can understand what vision therapy is, it’s important to distinguish the difference between vision and eyesight.

The difference between vision and eyesight

An eyesight test is when you stand 20 feet away from a chart of letters, with one eye covered, and rattle off what you see. Your optometrist is evaluating the information your eye takes in and how well you can see at various distances.

If you can see the little letters from 20 feet away with the same accuracy as others, your visual acuity is said to be 20/20. But this test tells your doctor nothing about what happens to that information as it passes from your eyes to your brain.

Vision refers to the way your brain understands and responds to the information your eyes take in. You can have 20/20 visual acuity and still have trouble processing what your eyes see. This can lead to vision-related learning disabilities, hand-eye coordination problems, and other challenges.

Vision therapy explained

A common description of vision therapy is physical therapy for the eyes. Vision therapy strengthens your eyes and can even correct physical eye disabilities. For example, lazy eyes and crossed eyes. But its benefits are broader and deeper than that.

Dr. Taranto uses a customized approach to addresses your unique concerns. The approach he takes depends on the nature of your vision challenges and the best treatments for them. They may include:

Your visual therapy sessions with Dr. Taranto aren't meant to strengthen your eyes, but to retrain them to work together with your brain.

Who needs vision therapy?

People of all ages may need vision therapy for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most common conditions that call for vision therapy:

People with learning disabilities

Often, people with learning disabilities live with undiagnosed vision problems. Vision therapy can greatly reduce the challenges for those with:

For instance, filtered or colored lenses on corrective glasses can lead to behavioral changes in autistic children. 

Athletes and musicians

Do you play sports? Whether competitively or recreationally, you know the importance of hand-eye coordination and well-honed motor skills. The same is true for musicians.

Dr. Taranto is not only an optometrist but a skilled athlete as well. He helps his patients retrain their eyes and brain to see the ball and improve the response of their brain and body.

His plan for each patient is unique based on the specific sport or instrument played. The result is better reaction time, better coordination, and better performance.

People with visual disabilities need vision therapy

Vision therapy can help correct several physical eye problems, such as:

Under the proper supervision, you can retrain your eyes to overcome these physical disabilities. You can also avoid associated conditions, such as headaches and difficulty reading.

It’s never too late to start vision therapy and expect great results. Have you or your child been diagnosed with a learning disability? Have you been told you’re not smart and will never succeed? There’s hope. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Taranto.

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