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A Reintroduction to Advanced Vision Therapy Center for 2021

We hope your new year is off to a good start. If you’re here, you’re probably researching what vision therapy can do for you or someone you love. You may have found us through a web search, social media, or through word of mouth. Either way, welcome to our website. 

This post will give you a brief overview of who we are, what we do, our approach to vision therapy, and why vision therapy is important. 

doctor treating child

Who We Are

Advanced Vision Therapy Center serves patients from all around Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, and Utah-- and we’ve been helping people for over 30 years. Our experts are dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of binocular vision problems, visual perception deficiencies, working memory, and processing speed deficits.

We value team collaboration and research. Our approach, combined with our residency-trained specialists’ decades of experience, gives us the expertise to provide effective, individualized treatment plans for all our patients.  

Dr. Ryan C. Johnson, our clinical director, is Idaho's only optometrist residency-trained in neuro-optometry-- providing him with both the experience to treat even the most complex cases. 

You can learn more about Dr. Johnson and the rest of our team on our specialists page

What is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is a highly effective non-surgical treatment for both children and adults for many common visual problems such as lazy eye (amblyopia), crossed eyes (strabismus), double vision, convergence insufficiency, and vision conditions that interfere with learning.

The most effective vision therapy programs provide individualized treatment under the medical supervision of residency-trained neuro-optometrists, utilizing licensed therapists to provide prescribed treatment plans.

Vision therapy improves the speed, flexibility, endurance and accuracy of the visual system's accommodative response (eye focusing), vergence response (eye teaming) and oculomotor skills (eye tracking). Vision therapy also helps develop higher level visual skills, such as visual processing speed and visually-guided motor responses (visual reaction speed or eye-hand coordination).

An easy way to better understand vision therapy is to think of vision therapy as a type of physical therapy for the eyes and the brain. In physical therapy, you relearn or enhance the use of various muscles and body parts that are not functioning properly. In vision therapy you relearn or enhance the function of eye teaming, tracking, convergence, visual perception, eye-hand coordination and visual motor integration. This is possible because vision is a learned process.

doctor treating child

Treating Vision Conditions with Vision Therapy

There are several vision conditions that can be treated with neuro-optometric vision rehabilitation using vision therapy.

Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation addresses many of the functional changes to vision, including those that result from an acquired brain injury. These conditions include:

Accommodative Dysfunction (Eye Focusing Deficits):
Many people, especially younger individuals, notice changes in accommodation following an acquired brain injury. Accommodative dysfunction can result in blurred or fluctuating vision as well as visual discomfort during near tasks (reading, phone, tablet or computer use).

Binocular Vision Dysfunction (Eye Teaming Deficits):
The inability to use both eyes in a coordinated manner. This can result in double vision, headaches, eye strain, poor depth perception, strabismus (one eye turns out/in/up/down) and difficulties performing visual tasks (such as driving or reading)

Oculomotor Dysfunction (Eye Tracking Deficits):
Many people notice impaired eye tracking and reading performance following an acquired brain injury. Eye tracking abilities can be independently deficient or they can be impaired as the result of greater visual deficits. For this reason, struggles with eye tracking must be evaluated and treated as part of a competent visual system.

Vergence Dysfunction (Convergence Insufficiency, Convergence Excess, Divergence Deficits):
Often results in double vision, visual discomfort, headaches, poor depth perception and impaired balance or coordination. Convergence (the coordinated crossing of the eyes) and divergence (the coordinated uncrossing of the eyes) can be actively improved through vision rehabilitation.

Visual Perceptual Deficits (extracting information from visually-presented material):
Visual perception is a skill set that allows one to interpret visual information. While visual input allows one to 'see' what they are looking at, visual perception allows one to understand what they are seeing.

Visual Processing Deficits (quickly being able to 'make sense' of one's visual environment):
Visual processing speed allows one to quickly interpret visual information to then make decisions. Visual processing deficits are quite common following an acquired brain injury, making the patient feel that they cannot think clearly or quickly.

Vision rehabilitation, and specifically vision therapy, has been practiced for decades and extensively researched. At Advanced Vision Therapy Center, our licensed therapists follow an evidence-based, medical approach to Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation that provides predictable and successful outcomes.

To learn even more about how we treat vision conditions, visit our Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation page

Why Research-Based Vision Therapy Treatment is Important

When considering vision therapy it is important to choose a provider who follows research-based protocols (versus a developmental or behavioral provider) for both testing and treatment, employs only state licensed therapists, and is overseen by a residency-trained physician. These are critical points of differentiation when setting outcome goals, determining length of treatment, and monitoring progress. A research-based approach to vision therapy allows both the doctor and the parent to monitor measurable results throughout treatment.

A research-based provider will start with a comprehensive evaluation, using standardized tests based on the child's age and grade-level, to determine if the child is a candidate for vision therapy. If a candidate, the test results will be used to provide a baseline from which improvement can be measured and tracked throughout the duration of treatment.

Throughout the vision therapy program, a research-based provider will use treatment protocols and techniques that have been proven to be effective. This takes the guesswork out of how many sessions are needed to achieve treatment goals.

Licensed therapists are another point of differentiation among vision therapy providers. Developmental or behavioral vision therapy programs typically employ certified therapists, rather than state licensed therapists. Not only do results and length of treatment differ between the two types of vision therapy providers, if insurance is involved it can be a financial decision as well - and another reason to choose licensed therapists.

To learn more about our research-based approach to vision therapy, visit this blog post

 

If you are considering vision therapy please give us a call. Since 1991 we have been Idaho's #1 choice for effective, research-based vision therapy. That's why our vision therapy program is physician recommended and parent preferred.

Schedule an assessment so we can help determine if vision therapy is right for you. We also offer second opinions. If you have questions, or would like to schedule an evaluation, please give us a call at (208) 377-1310.

Posted by Ryan Johnson at 1/20/2021 7:44:00 PM
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Call 208.377.1310 to Schedule Your Assessment

Advanced Vision Therapy Center is Idaho’s premier clinic for Vision Therapy, Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation and Sports Vision Training. We offer vision assessments and customized treatment for both children and adults that are tailored to the specific vision condition of each individual.

Not sure which type of vision assessment is right for you? Call us today and we'll help you determine the best assessment to achieve your visual goals.

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