How long do the effects of vision therapy last?

When performed properly and completed in its entirety, vision therapy should provide life-long benefits (within anatomical and physiological limits). In order to understand how vision therapy is able is able to provide such long-lasting affects, it is important to clarify a few misconceptions about vision therapy.

 

Misconception #1: Vision Therapy is a series of “eye strengthening” exercises.

The muscles that control eye movement and eye position are actually far stronger than they need to be. For this reason, there is never a need to “strengthen” any eye muscle during therapy. Anyone who has worked out (or more specifically stopped working out) knows that weeks of work to strengthen your muscles quickly goes away with inactivity. If vision therapy relied on strengthening, the results could only be maintained through constant work. Thankfully, vision therapy does not strengthen, but instead teaches coordination. Instead of comparing vision therapy to lifting weights, you could think of it as learning to ride a bike (a skill you never forget).

Vision therapy relies of the concept of neuroplasticity to develop new neural connections within the brain as you truly learn to use your eyes and brain in a new way. Many “vision” or “eye” problems are actually not isolated to a problem with the eyes themselves. In strabismus (eye turn), for example, changes occur within the brain while the eye and the muscles controlling its position are anatomically normal (one reason why a treatment such as surgery may not be successful in establishing normal binocular functioning). Vision therapy addresses “vision” and “eye” problems by addressing the underlying deficits rather than fixing the cosmetic outcome. When you address the deficit, the results are permanent.

Misconception #2: Vision Therapy only helps improve the activities that you performed during therapy.

Because vision therapy addresses the cause of the “vision” or “eye” problem, the learning that has occurred is transferred from one activity to another. Vision therapy is not one or two activities that are repeated for countless repetitions (like pencil pushups), but instead relies on variety to produce both a fun and effective treatment environment. This is why research, such as the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trials, has shown vision therapy to be the most effective treatment option for certain binocular vision dysfunctions. As our patients know, the results of vision therapy helps in school, sports, driving, and many other aspects of life.

Misconception #3: The brain is unable to change/learn after a certain age.

The field of neuroplasticity has finally provided the science behind vision therapy. Although there has been decades of empirical evidence that vision therapy can help patients of all ages, only recently has there started to be a change in the understanding of neural development. Old thinking suggested that new neural pathways could only be formed during a critical period. This outdated thinking has been replaced with the field of neuroplasticity, which shows that new neural pathways can be produced at any age. This deeper understanding of neural functioning helps explain why vision therapy has helped people of all ages for over 50 years.

Now that vision therapy is understood to be a program designed to enhance control of eye coordination and modify neural connections, it makes sense that the effects last long after the end of the program.

 

Back to Frequently Asked Questions.

Improvement Starts Here

With over 25 years of proven success, you can trust Advanced Vision Therapy Center to provide the care you need.

Our Clinical Director is Idaho's only residency trained optometrist in vision therapy and neuro-optometry and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.  His residency at University of California, Berkeley means he has the expertise and experience to treat even the most complex cases.

Read what our patients have to say.

Blog
  Everyday in our schools students are presented with information that they are required to look at, interpret, and process that information. For years it was believed that the eyes had nothing to do with learning. That is definitely not the case. Did you know it is estimated that 80% of what we learn is through visual information?     ... Read More
  Convergence Insufficiency (CI) is a common eye-teaming problem which occurs when the eyes are unable to maintain the ocular posture necessary for reading or near tasks. Convergence Insufficiency results from misalignment of the eyes when focusing on up close, such as when reading. The eyes have a strong tendency to drift outward when reading or doing close up work. The exact cause is unknown.    ... Read More
  After this abnormally tedious Boise winter, we are all ready to get outside and play in the sun! Hold on though, before you rush outside, have you taken the necessary precautions to protect yourself for ultraviolet rays? There are three types of ultraviolet rays, these wavelengths are not visible to the human eye and are shorter than violet wavelengths of light.    ... Read More
  Whether you are playing sports as a hobby or competitively there is a lot to consider. Are you using proper form? Is your equipment up to date? Are you warmed up? Are you wearing the appropriate safety gear? Is you opponent looking bigger and stronger than last time? Seriously, did he grow six inches? Whatever your thought process or preparation is you may be missing a key step. Are you wearing your protective eye-wear?   ... Read More
  Eye tracking, also referred to as visual tracking, is the ability of one's eyes to ?track? from left to right in an efficient manner, and ?follow? the movement of objects. Eye movements should be smooth and consistent, with the ability to be completed quickly.    ... Read More
  As children with undetected vision problems continue year after year, frustration with academic activities can be observed in behavior.  ... Read More
  The human brain measures time continuously, and has developed three general classes of timing systems: circadian, interval, and millisecond timing. Neuroscientists believe that we have distinct neural systems for processing these different types of time. Poor timing or synchronization between the three major brain networks has been implicated in several conditions.   ... Read More
  Well folks, Idaho has officially been taken over by ?Snowpocalypse.? While this record amount of snow poses a lot of challenges (school cancellations, treacherous driving, shoveling, flooding, etc.) it can also be an exciting time for outdoor enthusiasts! Anytime there is precipitation coming down in town winter sports enthusiasts can be spotted with enormous grins. What does that grin mean? Powder day, the best day of the year!   ... Read More
In this blog we are going to discuss Binocular Vision Assessments, how they differ from annual comprehensive eye exams and what type of doctor performs Binocular Vision Assessments. Binocular Vision Assessments diagnose and establish a treatment plan for Binocular Vision Dysfunction (also referred to as Binocular Vision Disorders); while annual comprehensive eye exams diagnose and establish a treatment plan for myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), astigmatism, presbyopia,... Read More
Hockey is a fast paced, dynamic sport that requires a myriad of skill sets. Players aspiring to move up to the next level train year-round, both on and off the ice. Highly competitive players, and those on the brink of moving up, are using sports visual training to give them an edge against the competition.   ... Read More
Contact Us

7960 W. Rifleman Street, #155
Boise , Idaho , 83704 USA
Phone:  208-377-1310
Fax:  208-321-1952