Vision Therapy for Adults in Metro-Vancouver
Many of our vision therapy patients are adults
While most developmental vision problems should be treated in childhood, many are not. Fortunately, with modern therapeutic techniques, it is possible to treat many eye and vision problems such as strabismus, amblyopia, dizziness, see-sick syndrome, stereo-blindness and more in adulthood.
Is also frequently the case with many of our adult patients that vision problems develop later in life, often as a result of concussions or other brain injuries sustained in car accidents, sports or other traumatic events.
Adult patients may have eye and vision problems since childhood
Adults come to us with problems that have gone untreated since childhood or with problems that have been the unsuccessfully treated in the past. Many of these patients have had strabismus since childhood with repeated surgeries that did not permanent correct the eye turn, or which provided cosmetic correction of the eye-turn but did not cure stereo-blindness. We have helped many strabismus patients gain depth perception through vision therapy.
Vision therapy for stereo-blindness in adults
In fact, one of the most famous vision therapy patients is neuroscientist Dr. Susan Barry, who, through vision therapy, was able to see in three dimensions for the first time in her life at age 47. Her experience had such a profound effect on her personally and intellectually, that she wrote a book, Fixing My Gaze, about it and was the subject of an article in the New Yorker by Oliver Sacks titled "Stereo Sue". Like many of our patients, she had several strabismus surgery as a child which resulted in cosmetic improvement but which did not give her depth perception. Vision therapy allowed her to see in three demensions.
Vision therapy rehabilitation for adults following traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Other adults come to us for vision rehabilitation following head injuries (mild traumatic brain injuries) such as concussions resulting from car accidents, sports injuries or other causes. Many of these patients have developed disorders in their vestibular system, making it impossible to drive or even go to the supermarket (this is sometimes referred to as supermarket syndrome of see-sick syndrome). These patients usually respond very well to vision therapy rehabilitation.
Vision therpay for convergence insufficiency, strabismus and amblyopia in adults
Many of our adult patients have had convergence insufficiency, amblyopia and strabismus (esotropia and exotropia). Our patients with strabismus have often had multiple eye-muscle surgeries as children which have failed to keep the eyes straight or have failed to give them proper depth perception or both. Vision therapy is well-known for excellent results treating strabismus and depth perception problems. In a 2005 study, it was found that vision therpy was the only treatmen that produced clinically significant improvements in the near point of convergence in patients aged 19 to 30.
Am I too old for Vision Therapy to help fix my vision problem?
Many people think that vision therapy is only for children. However, adults have as much need for this type of vision care as children. In fact, vision therapy is often more effective for adults because they can be more motivated to improve their visual abilities, whereas children may not understand that they have a problem or how that problem may affect their interests or future.
Plenty of people have visual problems sustaining near-centered work, including reading, writing, and computer use. When people have trouble using both eyes together or can't focus for great lengths of time, they do not simply grow out of these problems. Children with visual problems often become adults with visual problems.
Many vision problems amenable to vision therapy treatment arise in adulthood. Vision problems resulting from a car accident which caused a concussion is a prime example. Our vision therapy practice has a large number of such patients who have experienced significant relief of symptoms.
How a Vision Problem Can Affect Your Life
Adults will figure out many ways to compensate for their visual problems so that they can continue with any strenuous visual work they need to do. Often, adults come home from work extremely tired when all they did was sit at a desk and do paperwork. Some people will feel as if they had run a marathon! Children, on the other hand, tend to avoid tasks that are difficult or make them feel inadequate.
How to Improve Your Vision
A developmental optometrist can help to reduce the strain of near work as well as work with any other kinds of visual problems. The proper lenses along with vision therapy make a tremendous difference in an adult's ability to function at work or sports, just as with children of school age.
Vision Therapy for adults aged 60 and over
Abnormal binocular vision, which involves the way the two eyes work together as a team, is one of the major categories of vision disorder that is effectively treated with vision therapy. Recent research has sought to determine the prevalence of binocular vision disorders in adults aged 60 or over and has found that the prevalence of binocular vision disorders increases as we age.
A study researchers at Canada's University of Waterloo found that as many as 27% of adults in their sixties have a binocular vision or eye movement disorder and 38% of adults over the age of 80 have such a vision disorder. That's compared to the general population in which 20% of people have a binocular vision disorder.
Binocular vision disorders can cause problems in reading, driving, motion sickness and depth perception. The latter problem is of particular concern among the elderly, as people with reduced depth perception are at greater risk of falls. According to the press release issued by the University of Waterloo to publicize the results of the study, vision therapy and eye-glasses are effective treatments for binocular vision disorders:
Although the study suggests that the rate of binocular vision disorders in older adults is higher than expected, there is good news. Many binocular vision disorders are treatable with glasses, vision therapy, or in some cases surgery.