Learning disorders that result from visual processing issues involve the eyes as well as the brain. Many people have had success treating these issues by focusing on vision-strengthening exercises in the form of vision therapy. Here are four facts that can help you learn about vision therapy and understand how it can help people who suffer from dyslexia:
1. Vision therapy is designed to improve vision skills
Sight is a complex sense in which the eyes take in light, and the brain processes the resulting signal. Some vision problems originate in the eyes, while others occur in the processing stage. The learning disability known as dyslexia may be exacerbated by poor vision skills that make it difficult to read and comprehend words and numbers. Vision therapy can help people with dyslexia by strengthening their core vision skills. Exercises performed during vision therapy may include focusing on objects both near and far and reading letters on a ball that is in motion.
2. Vision therapy can be started at any age
Vision therapy is often started when reading problems first manifest in childhood. Kids can derive great benefits from vision therapy because it can increase their ability to read and process words clearly and differentiate between different letters. However, there is no age limit for vision therapy. Some people are not diagnosed with dyslexia until later in life, and these people can still benefit from vision therapy exercises. Because the brain retains its ability to learn and change for a lifetime, even older adults can reap the benefits of vision therapy.
3. Vision therapy may reduce headaches
Chronic headaches can be disruptive to a person's daily life, and common pharmaceutical treatments for headaches can cause unwanted side effects. Fortunately, vision therapy may be able to reduce the incidence of headaches caused by eye strain. When people struggle to read and process information, the muscles in their eyes that control focus are often working harder than necessary. This can lead to tension headaches, blurred vision, and other painful symptoms. People who undergo vision therapy are likely to find that their tension headaches are less frequent as they build vision skills and train their eyes.
4. Vision therapy can be performed in short sessions
You don't need endless amounts of free time to devote to vision therapy. In fact, vision therapy is usually conducted in short sessions one or more times a week. Shorter sessions can reduce eye and brain fatigue, resulting in less frustration throughout the therapeutic process. Short vision therapy sessions are especially helpful for children who may not have the full attention span of adults. Behavioral optometrists who conduct vision therapy sessions may assign homework for patients to complete at home to reinforce the vision skills learned at the doctor's office.
Contact a local vision therapy service to learn more.