Vision Therapy / Visual Training
Optometric Visual Training is also called Vision Therapy or VT. It’s a type of optometric care that is devoted to developing, improving and enhancing people’s visual performance when lenses alone are inefficient.
What is a Behavioural Optometrist?
Behavioural optometrists are experts in developmental and functional optometry. This type of optometrist spends years in post-graduate training, mastering complex visual programmes in order to prevent or eliminate visual problems and enhance visual performance.
To determine whether your local optometrist specialises in Vision Therapy, ask the following questions before you make an appointment.
1. Is a complete series of near point vision tests offered?
2. Are work or school-related visual perception tests offered?
3. Are full vision care and training provided or will referrals be made if as needed?
4. Will additional appointments be scheduled to determine my progress?
Vision therapy is provided by the behavioural optometrists at our optometry practice in Woodstock, Cape Town and backed by the latest technology and science.
How does Optometric Vision Therapy work?
Vision training is like sharpening a pencil. You’ve been writing with a blunt pencil all your life, without even knowing that it could be sharpened. Now imagine being able to sharpen your pencil for the first time. How much easier would it be to write well? You’d get a much better result without putting in that much effort.
Developing your visual skills includes vision training learning to use both eyes together effectively. Having both eyes move, align, fixate and focus as a team enhances your ability to interpret and understand the potential visual information that is available to you. Developing communication between the eyes and brain boosts your information processing speeds. This allows for a more effective flow of information from the world out there to the world in here.
Why Visual Training?
Nearly all humans are born with the potential for good eyesight, but vision – the ability to identify, interpret and understand what is seen – is a learned skill, developed from birth.
If your visual skills are not adequately developed, or you aren’t able to coordinate your vision with your other senses, vision problems may occur.
Visual training can help you:
- prevent vision & eye problems from developing,
- develop the visual skills needed to achieve more effectively at school, work or play,
- enhance your ability to do tasks that demand sustained visual effort,
- and fix or compensate for vision and eye problems that you already have.
“Conceptual thinking is built on visual understanding; visual understanding is the basis of all knowledge.Johan Pestalozzi, a Swiss education reformer.
Visual Training can improve your child’s learning capabilities
Many problems in learning to read and write are made worse by poorly developed visual skills. A lot of these problems develop while you’re still a child, so fixing any problems while your kids are still young is especially crucial.
Visual training has proven to be remarkably effective in helping children with learning-related visual problems. Dozens of experimental programmes involving thousands of children and adults demonstrate that when visual skills are enhanced through visual training:
- learning is easier,
- reading levels rise,
- in some cases, IQ scores even increase.
Building visual skills also increase your child’s ability to visualize, conceptualize and to create.
Safe and effective for all ages
Vision therapy is safe, drug-free and effective for both children and adults. While visual acuity (the “20/20” part of vision) requires glasses to improve, visual skills such as tracking together along a line of text must be learned during development, these skills can also be improved later in life at any age.
It is estimated that 1 in 4 children have a vision problem severe enough to affect their learning in school, but school vision screenings can miss up to half of these problems. A comprehensive vision exam with a behavioural optometrist checks all aspects of eye health, vision & visual skills and can ensure you or your child is not struggling unnecessarily with an undiagnosed vision problem.
What visual skills can be developed?
Visual training can help develop and advance the following visual skills:
The ability to follow a moving object smoothly and accurately with both eyes, such as a ball in the air or moving vehicles in traffic.
The ability to use both eyes at once to quickly and accurately locate and inspect a series of stationary objects, one after another, such as moving from word to word while reading.
The ability to look quickly from something close to you to something far away and vice versa without momentary blur, such as looking from the dashboard to cars on the street, or from the chalkboard to a book.
The ability to judge relative distance of objects, and to see and move accurately in three-dimensional space, such as when hitting a ball or parking a car.
The ability to monitor and interpret what is happening around you while you are looking at something else and to gather visual information perceived from over a large area.
The ability to smoothly, equally, simultaneously and accurately use both eyes together.
The ability to keep doing any skill with ease without interfering with the performance of other skills.
Near vision acuity
The ability to clearly see, inspect, identify and understand objects within arm’s length.
The ability to form mental images in your mind’s eye, to retain or store information for future recall, or to create new ideas beyond your experiences.
Book an appointment
Our Neovision+ branch in Woodstock specialises in Optometric Visual Training. For more information, visit the Neovision Woodstock branch page here.