Vision Therapy

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Help Your Eyes & Brain Work Together Effectively

Vision therapy is a method of vision correction that goes beyond correcting sight. These therapeutic exercises can use movement, training, and a variety of specialized tools to teach your eyes, brain, and the rest of your visual system to work together more effectively as a team.

Vision therapy can help with optical issues that affect more than just your eyes. For example, vision therapy can help someone who has experienced a brain injury recover from the visual disruptions caused by their injury.

What Vision Therapy Is

To understand how vision therapy works, it is important to know two things: vision is a complex set of skills that are learned rather than innate, and the neuroplasticity of the brain allows for learning at any age as long as the proper learning environment and opportunities are present. Vision therapy allows for the necessary opportunity and guidance to gain or improve the visual skills.

Vision therapy addresses visual skills deficits, which either were not learned to begin with or were lost due to a brain injury. We take people with reduced visual skills and help them meet or exceed the average person’s visual skills. We also help athletes improve their visual skills so they can excel in their field.

Visual skills include:

  • Smooth pursuit movements as well as tracking along lines of text
  • Saccade movements, jumping from one focal point to another
  • Binocular integration (ability to interpret information from both eyes simultaneously, amblyopia)
  • Depth perception
  • Visual perceptual skills (figure-ground, peripheral central, size constancy, visual extrapolation and many more)
  • Ocular alignment (eye turns, vergence ranges)
  • Visual fixation
  • Balance
  • Accommodation

Learning-Related & Neuro-Related Visual Deficits

Learning deficits in visual skills can cause eye turns, reduced visual acuity, lack of depth perception, vision related learning disorders, motion sensitivity, fatigue, and headaches.

Visual deficits following acquired or traumatic brain injuries can cause the same symptoms as well as severe motion intolerance, nausea, photophobia, balance issues, and visual field neglect or loss.

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What Vision Therapy Looks Like

An example of an in-office vision therapy technique is using a peg rotator.

Peg rotators are used for several exercises and for building multiple skills. The first is smooth pursuits; tracking one target as it moves in a predictable path. Binocular skills are built by splitting the image from the left and right eyes so they are seeing and interacting with two simultaneous images of one object.

Depth perception, hand-eye control, and binocular skills are built with accurately putting pegs in the targets. By varying the size of pegs and targets, we also include size constancy, a visual perceptual skill. Using colours that cancel with R/G glasses helps binocular vision and anti-suppression issues.

What Vision Therapy Can Treat

The beauty of vision therapy is that it is tailored to suit individual needs.

Vision therapy may be able to help treat:

Strabismus occurs when both eyes are not able to look at the same object at the same time. Sometimes this results in a “crossed-eyes” appearance. This is usually caused by reduced binocular integration skills and an underlying visual processing deficit. It can also occur due to traumatic muscle injury, though this is far less common.

Amblyopia, often referred to as a “lazy eye,” is reduced vision in one or both eyes which cannot be corrected with glasses alone. Suppression occurs when the brain ignores the visual input from one eye . It can occur either in conjunction with Amblyopia or Strabismus or on it’s own. Amblyopia and Suppression have several causes, including reduced binocular integration skills and visual processing deficits.

Eye-tracking deficits, or oculomotor dysfunction, occurs when individuals have trouble controlling their eye movements. Individuals with eye-tracking deficits have trouble following moving targets, moving from one target to another, and staying fixated on one target.

Eye-tracking deficits can occur at any age, and can severely impact a patient’s ability to read. It can also affect a person’s ability to play sports, accurately perceive depth perception, and stay balanced.

Visual perception skills are what we use to gather visual information, and visual processing is what we use to interpret that visual information correctly. Think of visual perception as gathering information, and visual processing as the rate at which we can process what our eyes are telling us.

If an individual is having trouble with one or both of these skills, they may have trouble with everything from using visual learning material to participating in sports and driving. Having deficits in visual perception and processing skills would require one to slow down, taking longer to both intake and use information presented visually.

There are many aspects of visual processing that can be damaged during brian injuries, from the ability to track moving objects to the ability to efficiently and comfortably process peripheral vision. Some common symptoms of visual processing deficits following brain injuries include light sensitivity, general fatigue, difficulty reading or concentrating, discomfort with computer and screen use, headaches, nausea, and dizziness.

Could Vision Therapy Help You?

It can be incredibly discouraging to have visual issues that are not as easily defined as something like nearsightedness. Problems that affect the visual system as a whole are not always as easily identified and can have serious effects on a persons’ quality of life and self-esteem.

The team at Cowichan Eyecare both understands and appreciates the difficulties that vision therapy can help to relieve. We are excited to help you discover if vision therapy can help you, and if it can, to work with you to improve your visual skills.

To learn more about our vision therapy programs and support, please contact us.

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Our Services

Visit Our Locations

Duncan and Area

Visit our main location in Duncan, enclosed by the Trans-Canada Highway, Beverly Street, and Canada Avenue. We are right next to Thrifty Foods.

Contact Us

Phone: 250.748.3937
Fax: 250.597.3456

Our Address

Unit 2 – 2755 Beverly Street
Duncan, BC V9L 6X2

Our Hours

Mondays
8:30 AM5 PM
Tuesdays
8:30 AM8 PM
Wednesdays
8:30 AM5 PM
Thursdays
8:30 AM8 PM
Fridays
8:30 AM5 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM4 PM
Sunday
Closed

Visit our main location in Duncan, enclosed by the Trans-Canada Highway, Beverly Street, and Canada Avenue. We are right next to Thrifty Foods.

Contact Us

Phone: 250.748.3937
Fax: 250.597.3456

Our Address

Unit 2 – 2755 Beverly Street
Duncan, BC V9L 6X2

Our Hours

Mondays
8:30 AM5 PM
Tuesdays
8:30 AM8 PM
Wednesdays
8:30 AM5 PM
Thursdays
8:30 AM8 PM
Fridays
8:30 AM5 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM4 PM
Sunday
Closed

Chemainus and Area

We look forward to serving you at our Chemainus location next to Grapefully Yours Winemakers. Find us just off of Maple Lane and Croft Street.

Contact Us

Phone: 250.246.3405
Fax: 250.246.3408

Our Address

Unit 106 – 9844 Croft Street
Chemainus, BC V0R 1K0

Our Hours

Monday
8:30 AM7 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM7 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM5 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM5 PM
Friday
8:30 AM5 PM
Weekend
Closed

We look forward to serving you at our Chemainus location next to Grapefully Yours Winemakers. Find us just off of Maple Lane and Croft Street.

Contact Us

Phone: 250.246.3405
Fax: 250.246.3408

Our Address

Unit 106 – 9844 Croft Street
Chemainus, BC V0R 1K0

Our Hours

Monday
8:30 AM7 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM7 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM5 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM5 PM
Friday
8:30 AM5 PM
Weekend
Closed

Cobble Hill and Area

We can’t wait to meet you at our Cobble Hill location. We are located off of Cowichan Bay Road, located close to Drumroasters Coffee.

Contact Us

Phone: 250.743.8899
Fax: 250.743.8898

Our Address

Unit 56 – 1400 Cowichan Bay Rd
Cobble Hill, BC V0R 1L3

Our Hours

Monday
8:30 AM5 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM8 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM8 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM8 PM
Friday
8:30 AM8 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM5 PM
Sunday
By appointment only

We can’t wait to meet you at our Cobble Hill location. We are located off of Cowichan Bay Road, located close to Drumroasters Coffee.

Contact Us

Phone: 250.743.8899
Fax: 250.743.8898

Our Address

Unit 56 – 1400 Cowichan Bay Rd
Cobble Hill, BC V0R 1L3

Our Hours

Monday
8:30 AM5 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM8 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM8 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM8 PM
Friday
8:30 AM8 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM5 PM
Sunday
By appointment only

Lake Cowichan and Area

We are conveniently located in the plaza off of Stanley Road and Cowichan Lake Road. Find us between the IDA Island Pharmacy #2 and Resonance Hearing Clinic.

Contact Us

Phone: 250.749.4440
Fax: 250.749.4448

Our Address

44 Stanley Road
Lake Cowichan, BC V0R 2G0

Our Hours

Monday
Closed
Tuesday
9 AM5 PM
Wednesday
9 AM5 PM
Thursday
9 AM5 PM
Friday
Closed
Weekends
Closed

We are conveniently located in the plaza off of Stanley Road and Cowichan Lake Road. Find us between the IDA Island Pharmacy #2 and Resonance Hearing Clinic.

Contact Us

Phone: 250.749.4440
Fax: 250.749.4448

Our Address

44 Stanley Road
Lake Cowichan, BC V0R 2G0

Our Hours

Monday
Closed
Tuesday
9 AM5 PM
Wednesday
9 AM5 PM
Thursday
9 AM5 PM
Friday
Closed
Weekends
Closed

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