If your optometrist finds a binocular vision problem during your eye examination, it could be improved with the use of visual training. Problems with binocular vision that can be corrected include accommodative dysfunction, convergence insufficiency or phoria decompensation. Our Adelaide and Woodville branches offer treatment options for a variety of children's vision issues.
For all of us, good vision is dependent on a range of different aspects. Vision is more than just being able to see; it involves both eyes working together effectively, followed by the brain correctly processing information, focusing on the task at hand, and finally integrating this with the rest of the body to efficiently make use of the eyes’ visual input.
Firstly, a patient’s vision has to be appropriately corrected for them to achieve clear vision in the distance. Refractive errors including myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness) and astigmatism can cause blur if left uncorrected. Spectacles or contact lenses are used in these situations.
However, there are other necessary visual skills for a person to see clearly and comfortably across a range of distances and visual tasks. These include a patient’s near focusing ability (accommodation), the accuracy of their focusing, their ability to keep their two eyes well aligned, and their ability to maintain this focus and alignment when the eyes are moving or when the person is stressed or tired.
A deficit in one of these binocular vision skills may lead to blurring, double vision, eye-strain and headache, fatigue, poor balance, loss of concentration and difficulty reading for periods of time. Most of these visual conditions will improve by using vision training exercises. This process is similar to using physiotherapy exercises to rehabilitate a damaged joint back to normal function.
Typically your optometrist will prescribe a range of exercises depending on the problem. They will review your progress and modify your exercises over time to improve the results. Even after full recovery, exercises may be needed on occasion in the future to keep your eyes well trained and working effectively.
Instructions for these visual training exercises can be found here:
If your child needs visual training, they will need your support with the program because the exercises can be challenging at times and encouragement may be needed to stay motivated. Sometimes it is helpful to have a reward system in place. We also recommend your child uses the diary provided to mark off that they have completed their exercises for the day. This also helps your optometrist to monitor how often the exercises have been done and track progress. To maximise the effectiveness of the program we recommend doing the exercises little and often rather than in one longer session.
Don't forget that the symptoms we are trying to treat may get worse before they get better. It is much like someone training to run a marathon: the first training run is often the hardest, but this same run is easier after more training. Because we are working a system that has been under-performing for a long period of time, it will take some time and effort to improve. One thing is generally a rule; if you do not do the exercises then the symptoms are unlikely to improve!
If you have any questions about visual training at Innovative Eye Care please get in touch or book in to see one of our optometrists.