jav316

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hello, is anyone familiar with vision therapy? i came across this when researching the profession and was wondering if anyone else has looked into it and has more information?
thanks !
 

jefguth

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think of physical therapy, but for the eye(s)....

As you may have noticed, I don't know much about it, but it is often used to help someone who is strabismic(?) straighten their weak eye (before of after sugery) and to get that eye working with its companion and to also get the brain processing the visual info from the weak/lazy eye once again, since the afferent signals from such an eye tend to get ingnored.

It is also used to get people with eye coordination problems (ie. not tracking an object with both eyes completely) or people that are having problems with their vision and even headaches when using a computer extensively.
 

J.opt

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I’ve seen that VT doesn’t get that much recognition from doctors (including a lot of optometrists). Does anyone know why this is?
 

jefguth

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I think most apply it at least a little bit in their practices, but not to any great extend. My own optometrist once suggested a simple eye exercise to help improve coordination but that took a whole two minutes.

I've heard some suggest on here that the efficacy is not well established and perhaps not many current OD's have extensive training in it. Also, for it to be successful, patients are required to follow through with the exercises - which is something most people don't do, like me and the excercises that were suggested to me. There might also be an insurance/billing issue here. Its most probably that OD's don't get any renumeration for it unless the patient is willing to pay themselves.

Maybe someone has some more concrete reasons?
 

jcaco

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i go to school in san diego and i know that the san diego school district has contracts/agreements with a few ODs in the area (including the one i work for) to provide vision therapy to students that seem to struggle with learning in school (a lot of them also have ADD/ADHD). the kids come in for an intake, and if the OD believes that they would benefit from VT, then they will begin VT at a different practice that also has an agreement with the district and the district would pay for it. according to the stats, VT works very well for a lot of these kids.
 

JG777

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J.opt said:
I’ve seen that VT doesn’t get that much recognition from doctors (including a lot of optometrists). Does anyone know why this is?
Really? Didn't know that.

I thought many OD's recoginize it, but many dont' practice it b/c insurance wont' cover it. And I would think the demand isn't so large that you would need a VT OD around every corner. Key word here: demand.
 

J.opt

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JG777 said:
Really? Didn't know that.

I thought many OD's recoginize it, but many dont' practice it b/c insurance wont' cover it. And I would think the demand isn't so large that you would need a VT OD around every corner. Key word here: demand.
Well, I shadowed a doctor who did vision therapy, and most of her new patients were amazed to find out that there was such a thing as VT. Most of them were never told by their eye doctor that VT was even an option.

Several of her patients were doing therapy because of head trauma accidents. I mentioned other ODs about this, and they said that they didn’t believe VT would help much in such cases. However they all agreed it would help in eye coordination, and things like that in children.
 

ODtobe

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I'm only a first year, but I'm interested in doing vision therapy in my practice. I'm a part of the group at PCO- College of Optometrists in Vision Development. You would be surprised to see how widespread and successful vision therapy is- their website is great- http://www.covd.org/ I think you will see a lot more vision therapy in the future, as it's starting to be recognized as very beneficial. Hope that helped :)
 
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Kristene9

I shadowed an optometrist that VT is the majority of his practice. He told me that he had to learn a lot on his own. He had written books about it and said that he is trying to get more people interested in it, but because optometry doesn't seem to care he is going more the route of occupational therapist. The majority of his work is helping children with learning disabilities. He has a few test that he runs that track the eye's movement and from those he can decide if VT will help a kid. If he thinks it can then he puts them in therapy which is about 2 times a week and it’s pretty expensive. (He doesn't do the therapy him self, but has a few teachers who want a little extra income come in and do it) The kids are in small groups and basically just play eye games. I've done some of these games and they can be pretty tough! The kids stay in there anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months but no longer. He told me he has about 40-50 kids in his program all the time. He does a lot to get his name out to schools and different day cares and stuff. I could tell he was doing very well for himself. He made a good comment that in order to do well in optometry today you have to have a "nitch" ether be able to do really well with the elderly or with children. Because he was so good with children, even when the kids were out of VT they would still come back and get glasses from him. When I was shadowing there were adults who came back to get glasses from him that had seen him when they were young. If I end up doing peds I want VT in my practice.