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.
After a few weeks of feeling a bit stuck, this week’s vision therapy session was a welcome change. We’ve been continuing to do more and more that uses both my eyes, practicing convergence (bringing them together) and divergence (moving them apart). One thing I’ve found particularly challenging has been using a single prism lens. When holding a single lens in front of one eye, it splits my visual field into double. Since my eyes have an easier time converging than diverging, they automatically take care of the double vision when I hold the prism in one direction. However, when I hold the prism in the opposite direction and my eyes need to diverge to make one single image, it’s much harder for me to figure out. I had been stumped for a while and not even sure how to start. Sometimes, I could get the two images to move closer together, but never to become one.
When practicing the single prism in the office, my target had always been a simple 5-pointed star on a piece of paper. My trouble with diverging to see the star as a single image was that I needed to try to look “through” the image and see past it and I just couldn’t get my mind around looking through a solid object. I’m glad I mentioned this because my vision therapist had the idea to tape the star on the window. Now, looking past it to the trees outside, I could get the two images even closer together, but still not quite all the way. My vision therapist said she could see my eyes moving, so I was definitely doing something, even if I wasn’t totally sure how it was happening!
Just when I was getting overloaded with frustration, something lucky happened and a bus drove past the window. Aha! The stars snapped into a single image for the first time! Even though the bus was gone, that split second of movement behind the target had given my eyes the clue they needed and suddenly I knew exactly how to do it. Most of the skills I’ve learned up to this point have been things I can describe as a particular feeling, but I’m still not sure exactly how I’m doing this. All that matters is that I can, and now I can keep practicing until it’s just as instantaneous to diverge as it is to converge.
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!