Understanding Vision Therapy for Strabismus Treatment

Published on
April 8, 2023

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), it is estimated that about 4% of the US population has strabismus, affecting both children and adults. Strabismus is more common in children.

Strabismus, commonly known as "crossed eyes" or "lazy eye," is a condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned, leading to difficulty seeing and performing daily activities. Imagine two eyes aligned when looking at something straight ahead would be exactly the same height and centered. However for someone with strabismus one of their eyes is higher or lower or more turned in or out. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the condition. However, for many individuals, vision therapy can be a highly effective alternative to surgery or to support the outcome of surgery.

The Benefits of Vision Therapy for Strabismus Treatment

There are several benefits to using vision therapy as a treatment option for strabismus, including:

Non-Surgical: Vision therapy is a non-surgical treatment option, which means that it is a less invasive option than surgery. This can be particularly beneficial for children, who may be hesitant or afraid to undergo surgery.

Effective: Vision therapy has been shown to be highly effective in improving the symptoms of strabismus, including double vision and loss of depth perception.

Customizable: Vision therapy can be customized to meet the specific needs of each individual patient. The therapy can be tailored to address the specific symptoms and underlying causes of the patient's strabismus.

Improves Quality of Life: By improving visual function, vision therapy can help individuals with strabismus to perform daily activities more easily, enhancing their quality of life.

Addresses Underlying Issues: Unlike surgery, which only addresses the outward symptoms of strabismus, vision therapy tackles the underlying issues that are causing the condition.

The Duration of Vision Therapy for Strabismus Treatment

The duration of vision therapy for strabismus can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the specific needs of the patient. Some patients may see improvement in as little as a few weeks, while others may require several months or even a year of therapy.

During the course of vision therapy, the patient will typically visit our vision therapist weekly who will track their progress and make adjustments to the therapy as needed.

It's important to note that vision therapy is not a one-size-fits-all treatment option. The therapy will be tailored to meet the specific needs of the patient and may include a variety of exercises and activities.

In some cases, vision therapy may be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as specialized glasses or contact lenses. The goal of vision therapy is to improve the overall function of the eyes and reduce the symptoms of strabismus, so it's important to be patient and committed to the therapy.

Understanding Strabismus

Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes are not aligned properly. This results in one eye looking straight ahead while the other eye is turned in a different direction. The misalignment can be constant or intermittent, and it can affect one eye or both eyes.

There are several types of strabismus, including esotropia, exotropia, hypertropia, and hypotropia. Esotropia is when one eye turns inward towards the nose, while exotropia is when one eye turns outward away from the nose. Hypertropia is when one eye is higher than the other, and hypotropia is when one eye is lower than the other.

What is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is a non-surgical treatment option for strabismus that involves a series of exercises and activities designed to improve the way the eyes work together. The goal of vision therapy is to help the brain learn to use the eyes together as a team, improving visual function and reducing the symptoms of strabismus.

Vision therapy is typically conducted under the supervision of our optometrist with weekly sessions done by one of our passionate vision therapists. The therapy may include activities such as eye tracking exercises, focusing exercises, and other activities designed to improve the coordination between the eyes.

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Schedule a Functional Vision Exam for Strabismus Treatment

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with strabismus, it's important to see our eye doctor for a functional vision exam. At your initial appointment, we will evaluate your eyes and vision function to determine the severity of your condition and the best treatment approach. From there, we can work together to develop a vision therapy plan that meets your specific needs and goals.

Contact us at (360) 491-2121 today to learn more about vision therapy and how it can help you improve your visual function and quality of life.

Patients with functional vision issues such as strabismus visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of functional vision services for patients with strabismus from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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