Vision Therapy for Adults

Getting vision therapy doesn't have to be just for children. Adults can also experience major improvements in their quality of life and vision after getting vision therapy. 

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Many people assume, whether it comes to their eyes or any other health issue, that at a certain age you’re simply stuck with what you have.  ``Why go to the doctor if I’ve already learned to live with it?” Or more often, “What can they do for me at this age?” 

The reality however is that people of all ages can benefit when it comes to vision therapy. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but your brain’s neuroplasticity disagrees!

Why Should Adults Consider Vision Therapy

Why Should Adults Consider Vision Therapy

There are a number of reasons an adult would do well to consider vision therapy. Whether you are an adult in school or at work, the following challenges are good indications that you should visit with our optometrist trained in vision therapy. To be clear, these problems extend far beyond the eyes, as the inability to see as well can impact your quality of life, relationships with others, job performance, workplace evaluations, and income.

When it’s Time to Explore Vision Therapy

When it’s Time to Explore Vision Therapy

You may think that your tired eyes are just the result of not getting enough sleep.  Perhaps your difficulty focusing is the result of having an extra cocktail at dinner.  And maybe your itchy, red eyes feel the same way when your allergies attack. Certainly those are all very logical, sometimes likely reasons for these symptoms, but there may be a lot more going on. The following symptoms can be treated by vision therapy, so if you’re experiencing them, you should definitely consider scheduling a functional eye exam with our optometrist.

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Headaches, Neck Pain, and Eye Strain

Straining your eyes when you read makes them extra sensitive to light and requires your brain and the structures behind your eyes to work harder than they should.  The more you strain, especially if you’re reading reports on your computer all day, you’re more likely to suffer from neck pain, back pain, eye strain, photophobia, and headaches.  Additionally, if you use pain medication regularly in order to treat these aches and pains, you may be putting yourself at risk of other serious and irreversible gastrointestinal problems.

Tilting your Head, Neck, or Screen

You may not realize that you’re engaging in these compensatory behaviors, but individuals who suffer from blurry or double vision often counteract their discomfort by adjusting what and how they read.  By extension, this can cause further discomfort to your head, back, and eyes.

Losing Your Place When You Read

If it feels like words seem to jump, move, or appear disconnected from one another when you read, you are probably experiencing poor oculomotor function.  This is not only extremely frustrating, but it hinders your ability to understand what you read, and to convey it to others properly.

Reading with One Eye Closed

Individuals with double vision who simply cannot get both eyes to (literally) be on the same page, are likely to read by covering or closing one eye in order to bring what they’re reading into focus. You can address any underlying vision conditions that are causing these symptoms and improve your vision, which will make reading less exhausting for you.

What happens in Vision Therapy?

Because vision therapy is tailored to the needs of each adult patient, specific modalities are used as needed.  In general however, adult patients benefit from:

  • Therapy provided by an optometrist trained in vision therapy and a vision therapist who is supervised by that optometrist. 
  • A safe alternative to surgery, unless otherwise indicated. 
  • An evidence-based intervention that works in concert with scientific research and data.

The use of filters, prisms, patches, therapeutic lenses, and 3D activities that augment their vision therapy regimen.

Why Should Adults Consider Vision Therapy
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Common Questions

Although a thorough eye exam is needed before giving you a definite answer, it is a very real possibility. Think about it- if you can’t see well and need more time than most to read, understand, and process what you're writing, you will certainly miss target dates and deadlines. Do yourself a favor, schedule a functional vision exam and ask our optometrist about vision therapy.
Children tend to heal, no matter what they’re dealing with, rather quickly. They benefit from being in their developmental prime and enjoy the growth of neural connections that help them process what they see. Adults, simply because they are more physically mature, generally take a little longer to get the benefits of vision therapy. That said, because adults tend to be more motivated and disciplined during therapy, they are indeed able to reap similar benefits.
Traditionally, amblyopia was considered best treated during childhood, but recent advances have provided hope for adult patients too. Alongside vision therapy, new treatments involve brain-based approaches, utilizing tools like virtual reality and computer-based exercises to stimulate and train the affected eye. It's important for adults with amblyopia to consult an optometrist for a comprehensive evaluation. They can recommend the most suitable treatments, which might include a combination of traditional vision therapy and newer techniques.
While some vision therapy exercises can be practiced at home, it's crucial to initiate any therapy under the guidance of an optometrist. These professionals design individualized programs based on a person's specific needs. Regular check-ins with the eye doctor ensure the exercises are performed correctly and gauge progress. Without professional oversight, there's a risk of the therapy being ineffective or potentially exacerbating an issue
Vision Therapy for Adults
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Take it From Someone Who Knows

About three years ago, we worked with an adult patient who’d suffered a stroke and damage to their occipital lobe. After their baseline vision was determined, eye exercises and programs designed to help this patient with double vision and vertigo were created. They attended weekly appointments and practiced the exercises they’d been prescribed at home and in the office. As a result, they noticed clear improvements in their vision and balance. The improvements continued over the next few months and they were able to get back on their bicycle and skis within the year. 

Everyone’s experience is different of course. But knowing that improved vision can lead to a healthier, happier, more productive life is an investment in your present that can lead to a very promising future.

To schedule a functional vision exam, you can reach out to your nearest Amplify EyeCare practice either via a call or in-person visit. Our team of eye care professionals is ready and equipped to provide you with the care you need.

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