Are at home vision therapy exercises effective or do I need to go to a doctors office to achieve the best results?
Vision therapy is a very effective method of lazy eye treatment. An optometrist who practices vision therapy is referred to as a behavioral optometrist and this field focuses on strengthening the entire visual system to work properly together as a team. Lazy eye is caused due to a lack of coordination or teamwork of the visual system and therefore vision therapy directly treats the root cause. It is highly recommended to treat a lazy eye under the supervision and guidance of an eye care professional.
Vision therapy is a field practiced by behavioral optometrists who have been trained to strengthen the complex skills pertaining to the eyes and visual system as a whole, extending beyond 20/20 vision. In order to achieve clear vision, both eyes must be working together as a team and communicating properly with the brain. Vision therapy uses customized treatment programs for each patient which incorporate repeated activities and exercises that train the brain and the eyes to efficiently work together.
There are home exercises available online without supervision of a behavioral optometrist. This type of home exercise is not recommended because it’s very important to have an optometrist who is professionally trained and experienced who can supervise and guide you every step of the way from diagnosis throughout treatment in order to achieve the most successful long term results. After a functional eye exam, you will receive a professional diagnosis including the root cause of the lazy eye, followed by a proper treatment plan catered to your needs and visual abilities. The treatment very often includes an essential element of at home exercises which have been tailored specifically to your needs and to your visual system. By following online exercises that have not been directly prescribed to you by a professional, you are taking the risk of pursuing activities which can send the wrong signals between your eyes and brain.
We strongly recommend pursuing a thorough diagnosis and following an individualized treatment plan that is customized for you by an eye care professional.
For patients that require vision therapy for lazy eye but have difficulty coming into our practice for in-office therapy, we can create a hybrid program that allows our behavioural optometrist to oversee the therapy while minimizing the need for in-office visits. The exact program will depend on the patient's therapy needs, however in general it will include limited office visits with therapy done online with a vision therapist from our office as well as non-supervised exercises. Our behavioural optometrist recommends that therapy is done in office when possible, however when circumstances do not allow for that we will work with the patient to create a program that will allow them to achieve the best results from therapy that is done both online, at home, and in the office.
Vision therapy, supervised by a behavioral optometrist, effectively treats lazy eye by enhancing the visual system and fostering coordination between the eyes. This treatment involves personalized exercises designed to train the eyes and brain to work together. However, unsupervised online home exercises are not recommended due to potential incorrect signaling between eyes and brain. Instead, a professional diagnosis and customized treatment plan are crucial. For those unable to attend in-person sessions, a hybrid program that includes online therapy, self-administered exercises, and occasional office visits can be established.