Vision Therapy for Strabismus
Strabismus, also known as an “eye turn” or “cross-eye”, is a condition characterized by the improper alignment of the eyes. One of the eyes may look straight ahead, while the other eye turns inward, outward, upward, or downward. The eye turn may be permanent, or may only occur occasionally. At times, the straight and misaligned eye may even alternate positions.
The eye turn is usually noticed in the first few years of the child’s life, but It can also occur later in life, particularly as a result of a traumatic brain injury or a neurological incident.
The misalignment of the eyes in a strabismic patient means that the eyes may be unable to work together to provide the brain with accurate binocular visual information. This can result in blurry vision or double vision, overlapping images, and difficulty with depth perception.
A functional eye exam at Eye Health Centre will detect whether your child is suffering from strabismus, and if so, Dr. Sophie Jobin will prescribe the optimal vision therapy treatment to correct it.
Vision Therapy Treatment for Strabismus
Vision therapy is an advanced and effective treatment regimen for strabismus. The goal of vision therapy is to teach the brain and eyes to work together to correct the eye misalignment and thus achieve clear and comfortable vision. Vision therapy can also strengthen neuro-visual processing to further alleviate challenges caused by the eye turn.
Vision therapy strengthens the child’s visual skills, resulting in improved reading abilities, clearer focus, better balance, improved coordination, and more accurate depth perception. The team at Eye Health Centre has extensive experience in helping children and adults with strabismus see clearly and comfortably.
What are the Signs of Strabismus?
Parents or teachers often cannot detect an eye turn in the child, as it is rarely perceptible to the naked eye. Children can also struggle to identify the signs of strabismus, particularly if they are young. The best way to diagnose this condition is to undergo a functional vision exam as soon as you suspect a vision problem in your child.
A child with strabismus may show any of the following:
- Reversing letters (b, d, p and q and the numbers 2, 5, 6 and 9)
- Nausea and dizziness (vertigo)
- Eyes that don’t simultaneously look in the same direction
- One or both eyes crossing or turning inward
- One or both eyes turning outward
- Eyes that don’t move in tandem
- Squinting or closing one eye
- Tilting or turning the head to look at an object
- Bumping into objects, difficulty picking up small items, or any other issues with depth perception
Can Adults With Strabismus Be Helped With Vision Therapy?
There are certain advantages and disadvantages to adult strabismus vision therapy. It may require more time to retrain an adult visual system that has been adapting to the eye turn for several years. On the other hand, adults tend to have more discipline and motivation than children, and thus tend to follow the vision therapy program more diligently and fastidiously.
However, during infancy and childhood, the development of the visual systems is highly active, and therefore providing vision therapy during that period increases the chances of permanent vision correction.
The Vision Therapy Process for Strabismus
Prior to starting any type of treatment, the optometrist will provide you or your child with a comprehensive eye exam. This involves an in-depth examination of the vision, visual skills and general eye health.
Dr. Sophie Jobin will inquire into the family’s medical history, medications, or any other relevant information. These questions are important as they can affect a patient’s visual skills and development.
Following the comprehensive eye exam, the eye doctor will determine the right course of action.
The goal of the vision therapy program is to ensure the eyes learn to work together (binocular vision). Created and supervised by the optometrist, the personalized vision therapy program will include any or all of the following exercises:
- Eye teaming and tracking
- Binocular vision
- Convergence exercises
- Focus shifting
- Eye patching
- Gaze maintenance
How Soon Will I See Results?
The benefits of a vision therapy program may be seen fairly soon, but it can take up to six months to recognize significant results. Of course, this depends on each patient and their particular therapy regimen. In addition to the exercises, visual aids, or eyeglasses, the vision therapy plan will include monitoring and follow-up appointments throughout the course of the program. The number of visits required to ensure the best results will be determined by Dr. Sophie Jobin.
The optometrist will provide you with detailed instructions and a regimen of patches, and exercises, to ensure the most positive outcome. For optimal results, exercises and learned visual skills must be performed regularly.
If you want to treat your or your child’s strabismus, contact Eye Health Centre today. Our goal is to help our patients with strabismus maximize their visual skills and give them the best opportunity to reach their full potential.
We provide customized vision therapy for our patients from St. Albert, Edmonton, Spruce Grove, and Fort Saskatchewan, and throughout Alberta.
Our Vision Therapy Services:
- Vision Therapy for Convergence Insufficiency Children often struggle with learning and sports as a result of undiagnosed vision problems – most commonly Convergence Insufficiency (CI). CI has been shown to affect a child’s reading ability, attention and overall school performance. Learn how vision therapy can treat this condition thereby leading to more success in school, work and in sports.
- Vision Related Learning Problems Good vision is essential for a student of any age to reach his full potential and find success in the school setting.
- Why Visit a Developmental Optometrist Children with undetected vision problems can struggle with reading and writing, which can adversely affects their studies and quality of life. Read on to find out the ways a developmental optometrist can help.
- Amblyopia Amblyopia or “lazy eye” is a neuro-developmental vision condition that begins in early childhood.
- Why a Functional Vision Exam Matters Just because someone has 20/20 vision, doesn’t mean that they can see well. A large percentage of students pass vision screenings with flying colors, yet still experience serious functional vision issues impacting development, life functions and learning. Only a Functional Vision Exam can evaluate whether all essential visual skills are working correctly.
- Vision Therapy Blog Keep Up-To-Date with our Vision Therapy Blog!
- Vision Therapy Forms
- Vision Therapy Can Improve Reading Skills In Children By training the eyes and brain to seamlessly work together, vision therapy effectively treats visual dysfunctions that interfere with a child’s reading and learning abilities.
- Vision Therapy For Meniere’s Disease Meniere’s disease, a vestibular problem, can be exacerbated by issues related to the visual system. Vision therapy can help reduce dizziness related to visual dysfunction and offer some relief to patients suffering from Meniere’s disease.