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.
My session last week was devoted mostly to testing the size of my visual field, so this week I was excited to see if I’d be learning a new activity to do at home. I had seen something around the office that I’d been wondering about–a long white string with three beads on it–and was excited to learn that this would be today’s new addition to therapy.
The vision therapist I normally see is away on vacation, so this time I was spending my hour with one of the optometrists. She explained that we’re starting to do activities that use both of my eyes together and that the string I’d been seeing around the office was for exactly that. It’s called a Brock String and it gives instant feedback whether either of my eyes has turned off while focusing on one of the beads. It’s an object that seems so simple but is so incredibly useful for vision therapy!
The green-beaded end of the Brock string was attached to a shelf near my eye height and I held the red-beaded end up to my nose. My optometrist asked me to look at the red bead, how many strings did I see? My answer was two in front of the bead and two behind it: this meant both my eyes were turned on while focusing up close! My right eye used to turn off when looking up close before I started vision therapy, so this was good. Then she asked me to look at the green bead, how many strings did I see? I saw both strings in front of the green bead, but to my surprise, only one string behind it. The string on the right was missing, which meant my LEFT eye was turned off while looking in the distance. We hadn’t known or worked on this so far and it was fascinating to discover.
Adding this activity to my list of homework means I have two objectives: trying to see all four strings when looking at any of the beads, and steadily working to keep it that way as I move the red bead closer and closer to my nose. As usual with a new activity, only a few minutes of it left me with watery eyes and exhaustion, but I know I’ll soon be doing it with ease!
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!