What is Vision Therapy?

by Mar 3, 2021

Vision therapy is a service provided by our optometrists to enhance and better develop visual skills and abilities. It has amazing applications in that it has the potential to resolve issues regarding eye strain, ease of ocular movement and affect visual processing and interpretation of information.

Often, a variety of exercises will be tailored for the individual’s current capabilities and designed to work towards a goal. Each patient’s goals will be different and each program will vary in techniques used, frequency of task completion, and many more variables. Below are some of the major categories of techniques used.

Vision therapy for suppression

Suppression occurs when an individual turns off awareness of vision in one eye or a specific area in space due to preference for viewing through the other eye. This occurs because the individual would have double vision if awareness is turned on equally in both eyes and the brain adapts to prevent this confusion.

Suppression can cause a decrease in depth perception and in young children, cause underdevelopment of vision in that eye. It is important for both eyes to work together to see an image by providing the best vision possible to both eyes, in addition to vision therapy.

The techniques used to decrease suppression are based on the need for both eyes to be aware of an image and work hard to make them single. It is common for therapy to start with completion of a task that is close to the current capabilities of the patient then start working towards more difficult levels or tasks.

In some cases, a pair of special glasses will be used to help dissociate the eyes when working on a task. This helps to increase awareness of each eye’s viewing ability.

How your eyes work together can be improved with VT

The ability for your eyes to move together and maintain a single image is important and double vision can be perceived as blur, cause headaches, or be nauseating. In some cases, patients may have a very limited range in which they are able to maintain an object as single but vision therapy can often help with this task.

Techniques used to help with this ability often involve maintaining a single image while pictures or objects are shown to each eye individually and pulled apart or moved together. It can also include tasks where a card is moved towards or away from the face while maintaining a single image.

Vision therapy can help with your accommodation

Accommodation is a process that occurs within the eye when observing a near target. When an object is close to one’s face, the accommodative needs to kick in to be able to view it clearly. If the accuracy or magnitude of the system is not within normal limits, it can cause blurry vision and headaches.

In addition, the flexibility of the accommodative system also matters, as the speed at which an individual can switch between distance and near tasks can affect their visual experience.

The techniques often used to improve this skill include jumping from a near to a distance target or using lenses in front of the eyes to stimulate the accommodative system.


Our eye doctors at Wilmington Family Eye Care in Wilmington, DE excel in prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye diseases. Call our optometrists at 302-299-1286 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to learn more about our vision therapy services. Our eye doctors, Drs. Daniel Baruffi, Joseph Goldberg, Karen Darrell and Patricia Jones provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Wilmington, Delaware and its surrounding areas.

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