Vision Therapy: How Do I Get Started?

Dr. Russel Lazarus, September 22, 2021

Up to 15% of all people have a vision problem that can be successfully treated with vision therapy.

Has your eye doctor recommended vision therapy?

If you have a vision problem that’s affecting your quality of life— your performance of daily activities, your academic or professional success and your athletic abilities, vision therapy may be the answer you have been searching for.

Many people visit doctor after doctor looking for answers to why they suffer from frequent headaches, dizziness, eye strain, restlessness, reduced concentration, and more. Unfortunately, after many tests and procedures, many people are still left without a diagnosis for their unexplained symptoms.

Fortunately, developmental optometrists have heard many stories like these and are able to search within the person’s visual system for the answers.

In most cases, these unexplained symptoms are due to a visual dysfunction, or a problem within the eye-brain connections that impacts the functioning of the eyes and results in a range of uncomfortable symptoms.

What is vision therapy?

Vision therapy is an effective program designed to treat a variety of vision problems that cannot be treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses alone.

Vision therapy aims to strengthen your entire visual system, to enhance your vision for all aspects of living.

Vision therapy gets to the core of the problem by strengthening the connections between the eyes and brain to improve vision clarity and comfort.

If you or your child has been diagnosed with lazy eye, convergence insufficiency, strabismus, or difficulties with eye tracking or visual processing, contact an eye doctor near you that is trained and experienced in vision therapy.

SEE RELATED: Do All Optometrists Provide Vision Therapy?

Find a Vision Therapy Eye Doctor Near You

How to get started

The first step is to have your eyes and visual skills fully evaluated by a developmental optometrist, an eye doctor who has undergone extensive post-graduate training to become a vision therapy provider.

The best way to start is to use the ‘Find an Eye Doctor’ search on this page to find the nearest vision therapy eye doctor.

Once the eye doctor has performed an extensive range of tests you will understand where the vision problems lie and which visual skills require strengthening.

With a comprehensive vision evaluation, your eye doctor will be able to design an individualized vision therapy program for you or your child’s specific needs.

What to expect during your first vision therapy session

Vision therapy is performed together with a vision therapist on a weekly basis in sessions lasting 30-45 minutes. Each vision therapy program is personalized, and depending on your needs, your program may include the use of lenses, prisms and occluders, along with a variety of eye exercises.

In some cases, corrective eyewear, prism lenses, or surgery may be required as well.

At the end of your session, your eye doctor or vision therapist will give you exercises to practice at home for the duration of the week. This will help to reinforce what has been learned during the in-office sessions. For optimal results, commit to performing these exercises as directed by your optometrist.

LEARN MORE: Guide to Vision Therapy 

Schedule an appointment with an eye doctor near you to learn more about vision therapy and take your first step forward!