Getting vision therapy doesn't have to be just for children. Adults can also experience major improvements in their quality of life and vision after getting vision therapy.
Many people assume, whether it comes to their eyes or any other health issue, that at a certain age you’re simply stuck with what you have. ``Why go to the doctor if I’ve already learned to live with it?” Or more often, “What can they do for me at this age?”
The reality however is that people of all ages can benefit when it comes to vision therapy. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but your brain’s neuroplasticity disagrees!
There are a number of reasons an adult would do well to consider vision therapy. Whether you are an adult in school or at work, the following challenges are good indications that you should visit with our optometrist trained in vision therapy. To be clear, these problems extend far beyond the eyes, as the inability to see as well can impact your quality of life, relationships with others, job performance, workplace evaluations, and income.
You may think that your tired eyes are just the result of not getting enough sleep. Perhaps your difficulty focusing is the result of having an extra cocktail at dinner. And maybe your itchy, red eyes feel the same way when your allergies attack. Certainly those are all very logical, sometimes likely reasons for these symptoms, but there may be a lot more going on. The following symptoms can be treated by vision therapy, so if you’re experiencing them, you should definitely consider scheduling a functional eye exam with our optometrist.
Straining your eyes when you read makes them extra sensitive to light and requires your brain and the structures behind your eyes to work harder than they should. The more you strain, especially if you’re reading reports on your computer all day, you’re more likely to suffer from neck pain, back pain, eye strain, photophobia, and headaches. Additionally, if you use pain medication regularly in order to treat these aches and pains, you may be putting yourself at risk of other serious and irreversible gastrointestinal problems.
You may not realize that you’re engaging in these compensatory behaviors, but individuals who suffer from blurry or double vision often counteract their discomfort by adjusting what and how they read. By extension, this can cause further discomfort to your head, back, and eyes.
If it feels like words seem to jump, move, or appear disconnected from one another when you read, you are probably experiencing poor oculomotor function. This is not only extremely frustrating, but it hinders your ability to understand what you read, and to convey it to others properly.
Individuals with double vision who simply cannot get both eyes to (literally) be on the same page, are likely to read by covering or closing one eye in order to bring what they’re reading into focus. You can address any underlying vision conditions that are causing these symptoms and improve your vision, which will make reading less exhausting for you.
Because vision therapy is tailored to the needs of each adult patient, specific modalities are used as needed. In general however, adult patients benefit from:
The use of filters, prisms, patches, therapeutic lenses, and 3D activities that augment their vision therapy regimen.
About three years ago, we worked with an adult patient who’d suffered a stroke and damage to their occipital lobe. After their baseline vision was determined, eye exercises and programs designed to help this patient with double vision and vertigo were created. They attended weekly appointments and practiced the exercises they’d been prescribed at home and in the office. As a result, they noticed clear improvements in their vision and balance. The improvements continued over the next few months and they were able to get back on their bicycle and skis within the year.
Everyone’s experience is different of course. But knowing that improved vision can lead to a healthier, happier, more productive life is an investment in your present that can lead to a very promising future.