Vision Therapy May Help those with Strabismus and Amblyopia

Vision therapy (VT) is like physical therapy for the eyes and the parts of the brain that control them. Generally, the goal is to correct certain vision problems that cannot be properly corrected with other means, such as eyeglasses, contact or scleral lenses, and surgery; it works by re-training the eye(s) to function properly. Common conditions for which VT may be appropriate include amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (cross-eyed). 

Usually provided by optometrists, vision therapy generally involves a series of appointments over a period of time lasting weeks or months, during which exercises are learned by the patient, who is expected to repeat them throughout the coming week.  Other tools, such as glasses, prisms, and patches, may also be used.  Patching the stronger eye to strengthen the weaker eye is a common treatment for a child with amblyopia.

It should be noted that other types of visual therapy, such as behavioral visual therapy, have not been scientifically proven to be successful. Nor has VT been proven to be effective in improving learning disabilities and dyslexia in children. Finally, do-it-yourself programs that claim to be able to eliminate the need for glasses cannot work, as they would need to be able to reshape the cornea in order to affect near or far sightedness.

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