Can vision therapy treat lazy eye? Vision therapy is a program that works to treat various eye problems, including lazy eye. Unlike eyewear or eye surgery that compensates for eyesight issues, vision therapy works to teach the eye to repair itself.
The program is tailor-made, non-surgical, and supervised by a doctor to recover visual comfort and ease. Several studies show that vision therapy can correct lazy eye issues in both kids and adults.
Lazy eye is also called amblyopia. Amblyopia is an eye problem that happens when the brain favors one eye over the other. This mostly happens when the other eye has poor vision. With time, the brain overlooks signals from the frail or ‘lazy’ eye.
Lazy eye can bring about vision loss in the weaker eye and reduce a person’s ability to see in three dimensions. The affected eye may not look different, but it may point in a different direction. The condition mostly affects young children, causing them to fail to develop healthy eyesight.
Vision therapy can help to treat lazy eyes using certain activities. These activities include the following:
Pursuits are an eye-tracking activity that involves following a moving item. For instance, holding up your finger and following it with your eyes as you move it up and down or from side to side.
Spatial skills are eye-hand coordination activities that help a person track their hand movement with their eyes. Spatial skills are important for reading and decoding.
Saccades are quick eye jumps that bring the eye’s focus from one thing to another. For example, when reading sentences on a book or a screen.
Binocular vision activities aim to help the eyes work together. Such activities may include pencil pushups. To do a pencil pushup, doctors take a pencil and hold it in front of the patient’s face. The patient then focuses on a letter on the pencil as the doctor slowly draws the pencil closer until the patient sees double.
Stereopsis is a visual activity that works to help a person recover stereo or 3D vision as far as possible. The activities mostly include watching 3D stereo images to teach the two eyes to work together as an effective binocular pair.
Fixation in vision therapy is also called visual gazing. Fixation activities aim to train the eyes to focus on a motionless object when working out a math problem or reading. That way, the weaker eye learns to identify an object and focus on it without wandering about.
Accommodation activities improve the eye’s ability to focus. It involves putting an item about 10 or 20 meters away and extending your thumb out in front of you. Then, shift your focus from your thumb to the item several times.
This exercise helps to strengthen focus so that a person with lazy eye can depend more assuredly on their eyesight.
To know more about vision therapy for lazy eye treatment, visit Bernstein Center for Visual Performance at our office in White Plains, New York. You can also call (914) 682-8886 to book an appointment today.