Thank you to COVD for writing this piece. COVD Link:
Vision therapy is sometimes mistakenly seen as being just for children, but did you know that adults with undiagnosed vision problems who struggle with learning can benefit from vision therapy as well?
Difficulties while reading, working, and learning to play the cello caused this adult patient to seek a comprehensive vision exam with a developmental optometrist found with COVD’s Locate a Doctor tool. He was prescribed glasses with prisms and a course of vision therapy. Follow his journey below as he retrains his brain and eyes to work together.
A week after getting back my glasses with the changed prescription, I was finally getting used to different prisms. The first few days had been rough at best with instant headaches and watering eyes, but I had slowly worked my way up to a full workday in them and was happy to report that things were looking better than ever. I had even forgotten them at home one day that week and it was a MUCH bigger problem than I would have expected–just trying to make visual sense of my computer screen for more than a moment or so was completely exhausting. But it was definitely important reassurance that I really do need them, at least for now; I’ve been told it’s possible that continuing to do vision therapy might let me need them less.
Our new activity this week was something completely different. I had recently added in the Brock string to my sessions to work on seeing with both eyes (binocular vision) and the theme continued with Vectograms. Wearing lenses that were polarized in opposite directions, I was asked to look at two overlapping transparent images of a circular rope-like object with a polarized area at the top of each: a horizontal line on the left image and a vertical one on the right. Viewed through the polarized glasses, the overlapping lines made a “+” as long as both of my eyes stayed on at once.
As my vision therapist slowly slid apart the two transparent cards, it was my job to try to keep the overlapping rope circles together as one image. The further they moved apart, the more the rope circle seemed to jump off the cards and move toward me. My first thought was that maybe after mastering this skill, I might actually enjoy 3D movies instead of the usual nauseated headache!
Similarly to moving my eyes up and down between the beads on the Brock string, I could tell this activity was helping me to learn to move my eyes and focus with precision and smoothness. Once I’d kept the images together as long as I could, we went the other direction, pulling them apart. This was supposed to make the combined image look like it was moving into the distance, but by now I was out of stamina and couldn’t manage it. I’m sure I will next time!
Could you or your child be struggling with an undiagnosed vision problem? Locate a Doctor near you to schedule a comprehensive exam and find out if vision therapy can help!