Binocular Vision and Vision Therapy
It is possible to have 20/20 visual acuity and poor eye coordination/eye-teaming.
Binocular vision (or eye coordination) is the ability of both eyes to work together as a team. Good eye coordination is necessary for seeing 3-D, clear and comfortable reading, focusing from near to far (e.g. in school when looking at the board and then focusing to a book in front of you), and tracking or following objects. An eye coordination problem can cause symptoms such as:
- Double vision
- Eyestrain or headaches after short periods of reading, computer or near work
- Loosing place, missing letter or words or repeating sentences when reading
- Difficulty focusing from near to far
- Eye fatigue
According to recent studies, eye coordination problems are present in 7-8% of children and can significantly impact school performance and sports. Eye coordination problems can also present in teenagers and adults.
Concussions and Binocular Vision:
A high percentage of individuals who suffer concussions or mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) from sports, motor vehicle accidents, etc. present with significant eye coordination problems that cause many of the symptoms noted above.
A comprehensive eye examination, in addition to a thorough binocular vision assessment, will determine the extent of poor eye coordination and allow the optometrist to determine a treatment plan. Treatment plans that include vision therapy have been shown to improve eye coordination skills and patient symptoms.
Vision Therapy (VT) is an individualized, treatment program designed to treat the symptoms of particular binocular vision problems by improving eye-teaming skills.
Current studies indicate that the most effective way to treat common binocular vision problems is to employ an in-office and home-based vision therapy program. As such, the optometrist at New Dimension Eye Care will devise a unique program for each patient for a certain number of weeks (usually 8-14 weeks). Patients will work with the optometrist weekly in the optometry clinic learning new vision techniques, and will then take-home some techniques to be practiced for a short period of time each day. After patients complete the vision therapy program, a follow-up binocular vision assessment is done to measure the improvement in binocular vision skills and patient symptoms.
Due to the nature of binocular vision problems, continued monitoring of binocular vision status is necessary, and maintenance vision therapy may be required.