The goal of vision therapy is to ensure the proper functioning of the visual system which may include working on different exercises to enhance binocular vision, develop better eye hand coordination, treat convergence insufficiency, improve eye movements and other visual deficits, all of which play a significant role in our lives. At our vision therapy center in Santa Clarita, our eye doctors and vision therapists have had incredible success working with children who struggle with reading, the special needs population, those who have experienced head injuries and strokes, and athletes.

What are Vectorgrams in Vision Therapy?

One of the many devices and activities we have in the vision therapy room at Amplify EyeCare Santa Clarita is called the vectorgram. It is used as part of the therapy when we are working with  patients who have convergence insufficiency, eye teaming, or eye movements issues.

How it works is that our vision therapist sets up a pair of slides and you have to wear a pair of polaroid glasses. The purpose of wearing the polaroid glasses is to project one image on one eye and a second image on the other. You have to detect three dimensional images off the slides, and our vision therapist can put different demands onto the system so you have to work your eyes harder or easier depending on where you are visually. It puts a challenge into your visual system so that you have got to appreciate depth at different distances. It is important to note that this is not a type of therapy you begin with. It is a therapy that comes later in the program.

What is the Marsden Ball Used for in Vision Therapy?

Another piece of equipment we have is the Marsden ball that is used to develop better eye hand coordination skills, eye tracking, eye movement, as well as the ability to appreciate how fast the ball is moving through space. You can also do a lot of vestibular types of activities with this ball that coordinates the visual system with the vestibular mechanism. The exercise is actually fun for kids and adults because it changes the way they can see how things move, and how they process information.

How does Marsden Ball in Vision Therapy Help with a Child Who is Struggling With Reading?

You can also work on eye movements such as pursuit eye movements and do eye tracking exercises with the Marsden ball. As far as reading is concerned, reading has a timing component, and doing exercise with the Marsden ball focuses on space and time. Also, a crucial part of reading is being able to see larger chunks of information. The ability to move the eyes quickly and efficiently is essential to reading and the ability to process information around space is essential as well. As a reader, if you only process one letter at a time, you are going to be very inefficient, you are going to be slow and you will make a lot of mistakes. You may not even remember what you read, since you are placing so much mental effort on just the act of  reading that you have little time to process the information. But if you can process larger pieces of information while reading, your reading skills will improve. All of which can be trained with the Marsden ball. This process of learning to see bigger pieces of visual information as we develop our visual system specifically for reading is the reason why the “renshaw cow” is such an interesting visual phenomenon.

Schedule a Functional or Behavioral Eye Exam

It is estimated that one out of five children will have a visual deficit that will impact their reading or school performance. The cause of their difficulty is usually difficult to detect in a school screening or less thorough eye exam that is more focused on assessing the need for a prescription. If your child has a hard time learning and reading in school they may have convergence insufficiency, poor eye movements, or poor eye tracking among a variety of other visual deficits that can impact school performance.

Take our online visual skills assessment to help identify if you or your child has a potential visual deficit that may be interfering with success in the classroom or sports.

Fortunately, in office vision therapy done in our state of the art therapy center in Valencia includes a wide variety of exercises such as Vectorgrams and Marsden ball that can improve these skills and have you or your child seeing their very best.

Explore comprehensive care for vision therapy at our trusted optometry clinic in Valencia, attracting patients from Santa Clarita, Palmdale, and San Fernando Valley. Call (661) 775-1860 or fill out this form to make an appointment today.
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