Hi, I have a slight cross eye problem. I don't look crossed eyed but if you look closely you can tell my eyes aren't exactly aligned in the middle, its sort of crossed I guess you can say. I was wondering if I qualify for vision therapy-eye alignment? And if so do I talk to my optometrist about this?
Let me warn you--vision therapy is controversial, and many (most?) ophthalmologists view it in a negative light. That said, I had a positive experience with a home computer vision therapy (Computerized Home Vergence Exercises). However, the limited (yet measurable) progress I made after many hours of very frustrating work couldn't compare with the results I got from a 40-minute, painless surgical procedure (which involved no effort on my part). And my surgery results were not subject to the type of regression you can get if you stop doing the vision therapy exercises.
Vision therapy works best with eyes that turn outward for near vision tasks (mine turned inward for distance vision). It also works best when the misalignment is minor. It can run over $75 for a weekly session (not covered by insurance), with a course of treatment lasting many months. I would not recommend that anyone spend hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on this modality. But if you can find a vision therapist who would let you do most of the work at home (on your own time) with a computerized program, it might be worthwhile for you.
I have read your post and the responses and as a Occupational Therapy practioner and a Vision Therapist I strongly disagree with the above posts. Optometrists are not medical doctors, this is true, but Vision Therapy is not a medical procedure. It is a therapeutic intervention meant to retrain the eye-brain connection. Eyes are the tool used to send visual information to the brain - eyes=eyesight and brain=vision. OT's aren't medical doctors either but I wouldn't say that what they do isn't medical. I treat patients all day long with brain injuries of all kinds - including visual deficits that opthomologists have diagnosed as untreatable- with great results. I agree that there is a time and a place for surgical and medical intervention but I strongly belive in a therapeutic approach when possible. Please feel free to contact me with
any questions you may have for me..I would be happy to provide you with some insightful reading and websites with more in depth information.
I did vision therapy for a year and a half with an optometrist for a slight strabismus. During this time I became so hypersensitive to anything that flickered that I could not watch a TV or look at a computer screen without becoming dizzy. According to vision therapists, this was perfectly fine, and I was told to do more and more exercises. I saw three optometrists who all said the same thing. I even called the optometric association and was told this was normal. I eventually found a neuro-ophthalmologist who diagnosed me with migraine aura. I wasted $4000 on vision therapy and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars when I couldn't work because I couldn't look at a computer screen. I would strongly counsel against vision therapy unless someone can explain how this kind of result can happen, how treating a slight strabismus can result in uncontrollable migraine aura.
I have heard scores of stories like pauline 135's. In one case parents paid over $10,000 for visual exercises for poor reading skills. Didn't work. The school district did the trick with free remedical reading teachers.
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