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What is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is an individualized treatment program prescribed to eliminate or improve conditions such as lazy eye (amblyopia), crossed eyes (strabismus), focusing, eye teaming and eye movement vision disorders. Recent studies have demonstrated that office-based vision therapy administrated by a trained therapist is more effective than home-based vision therapy for convergence insufficiency. During the office visits the patient practices carefully selected and sequenced activities using special lenses, prisms, colored filters and instruments. Feedback is an important part of the therapy and helps both the therapists and patient understand if progress is occurring.

The American Optometric Association Clinical Practice Guideline suggest that anywhere from 12 to 24 office visits may be required for the treatment of convergence insufficiency. The recently completed Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT) found that after 12 weeks of treatment about 75% of the children were either successful or improved. This study, however, was not designed to determine the amount of therapy visits required to achieve maximal improvement. It did show that less than 12 weeks would not be sufficient.

Office-based vision therapy generally involves one to two office visits per week lasting 45 minutes each, and about 15 minutes of supportive home therapy 3-5 times per week. CI and other binocular vision and accommodative (focusing) problem can be eliminated in 12-24 visits. More complicated problems may require additional time.

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