ONE OUT OF FOUR CHILDREN STRUGGLE WITH reading and learning unnecessarily because of undiagnosed vision problems, making vision therapy a simple and effective tool in helping children (as well as adults) overcome these obstacles to perform everyday tasks more easily and efficiently. But what is vision therapy and how does it work? Dr. Lianne Pino is a Developmental Optometrist dedicated to treating children and adults with visual skill deficiencies and founder of the Exceptional Vision Therapy and Learning Center in Palmetto Bay. Offering treatment on a wide range of conditions, including Amblyopia (or “lazy eye”), Learning-Related Visual Disorders (ADHD, Dyslexia), post traumatic rehabilitation (concussions, TBI) and occupational hazards (computer vision syndrome). The center screens patients via a developmental eye exam before creating a program to treat the issue. We spoke with Dr. Pino to learn more about her center, including what to expect from a session, insurance coverage and signs you or your child may be in need of vision therapy.
WHAT IS A VISION THERAPY PROGRAM?
Vision therapy sessions include procedures designed to enhance the brain’s ability to control eye alignment, eye movements, focusing ability, and eye teamwork. The visual skills are developed through the use of specialized computer and optical devices, including therapeutic lenses, prisms and filters. Throughout the vision therapy process, a person maximizes their visual skills to become more effective in school, at work, or on the playing field.
WHAT DOES A SESSION ENTAIL?
Like many skills, visual skills are developed. Therefore, they can generally be improved through proper therapeutic techniques. In vision therapy, the doctor prescribes visual tasks to be practiced under controlled conditions with the direction of a vision therapy technician. Repetition of these tasks enhances vision by coordinating and improving eye movements, focusing ability, eye teaming, eye-hand coordination and visual information processing skills.
HOW LONG DOES VISION THERAPY TAKE?
Weekly office visits are combined with daily home exercises to practice the skills learned in the therapy room. A typical program will last a few months, although the total duration can vary based on the nature and complexity of the condition, the age and motivation of the patient, as wells as other factors.
IS IT COVERED BY INSURANCE?
While each insurance plan is different, they do at times reimburse for the evaluation. After the evaluation we can provide you with the information you need to give to your insurance company to help in determining benefits. Our office will assist you as best we can.
WHAT ARE SOME SIGNS OR SYMPTOMS YOU HAVE A VISION ISSUE?
There are many but some of the common signs could be anything from rubbing eyes frequently or complaints of blurred vision. If your child closes or covers one eye or frequently loses their place when reading, those can also be signs that you may want to look into further.