Skip to main content
Home »

Vision Therapy

What’s the Link Between Vision Therapy and Self-Confidence?

Whats the Link Between Vision Therapy and Self Confidence 640×350When most people think of vision, they think of how well a person can see up close or from afar. Many schools perform a simple vision screening to identify students who may be having difficulty seeing the board in the classroom.

Unfortunately, these vision screenings don’t evaluate a child’s functional vision, which comprises all of the fundamental visual skills required for learning.

As a result, many children with inadequate vision skills go undiagnosed and end up struggling in school and on the sports field. Often, these children are considered clumsy and sluggish and tend to be misdiagnosed and labeled as having a learning disability, dyslexia or ADHD.

Improving visual skills enables many of these students to read more effortlessly, boost grades and improve athletic performance.

Visual skills can be learned and retrained with vision therapy, particularly during childhood and adolescence, when the brain is still developing.

What Is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is a specialized treatment program that aims to enhance visual processing by developing and/or improving the communication between the eyes and the brain. The training is typically made up of specialized lenses, prisms, and eye exercises.

The following eye conditions can be effectively treated with vision therapy:

  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Strabismus (eye turns)
  • Convergence insufficiency
  • Eye movement problems
  • Binocular vision problems
  • Accommodative/focusing disorders
  • Visual processing difficulties
  • Visual disturbances from a brain injury

Vision Therapy Can Boost Your Child’s Confidence

Children who endure difficulty in school or on the sports field in reaction to subpar visual skills tend to feel frustrated that they cannot perform like their peers. This, in turn, affects their confidence levels and may lead them to exhibit behavioral issues and thwart their ability to make friends.

Vision therapy has been shown to transform lives. Children who previously struggled to read or catch a ball due to a deficit in visual skills usually see a significant improvement in their abilities and results in increased self-confidence and competence.

Vision therapy can help a child become a better student and achieve his or her academic goals. Moreover, vision therapy can be indispensable when preparing for higher education, since accomplishments can lead to a greater belief in one’s own talents and abilities. This newfound self-assurance will undoubtedly spill over into other areas, improving the child’s quality of life.


Don’t let your child’s visual dysfunction prevent them from experiencing self-confidence and self-assurance. Contact Family Eye Care to learn how vision therapy can unlock your child’s hidden potential.

Family Eye Care provides vision therapy and other services to patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: How long does a vision therapy program last?

  • A: Since each case differs based on the nature and severity of the visual condition, there is no defined time limit. Patients can observe progress after just a few sessions, but treatment might last for several months. In general, once a child has completed a vision therapy program, the effects are permanent.

Q: How young can a child start vision therapy?

  • A: Children as young as 5-6 years old can begin vision therapy, but formal in-office sessions are recommended for children aged 7 and up since they are better able to follow instructions.

 

Book An Appointment
Call Us 732-993-3420

Children’s Vision and Learning Awareness

Children’s Vision and Learning Awareness 640×350Brain scans show that up to 80% of the sensory input that the brain receives comes through vision. In fact, no other sense takes up as much brainpower or contributes to learning as much as vision does.

So, if a child is having learning difficulties, it is likely that there is a n underlying vision problem that is likley more than just an eyeglass issue. We need to look more closely as to how well the child’s visual system is functioning.

How are Vision and Learning Linked?

Experts agree that the majority of classroom learning is based on a child’s vision and the functioning of their visual system. Optimal visual skills allow a child to read easily, process visual information efficiently and concentrate for extended periods of time.

Children with visual problems may experience difficulties with writing, reading, math, sports and even social skills. Poor vision can also cause a child to withdraw in the classroom and shy away from raising their hand to answer questions.

What Can Parents Do for Their Children’s Vision?

Know the Warnings Signs to Watch For

Bring your child to your family’s optometrist if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Reading or learning difficulties
  • Poor attention or concentration
  • Frequent eye rubbing
  • Disinterest or refusal to engage in visually demanding activities
  • Squinting or closing one eye while reading
  • Frequent head tilting
  • Headaches or eye strain
  • Short attention span, especially when reading
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Poor hand-eye coordination

Schedule Regular Eye Exams

A child’s vision can change rapidly. The only way to detect changes in your child’s visual system is through regular comprehensive eye exams with an optometrist. Even the most motivated child may not be aware that something is wrong with their vision and believe that they see the way everyone else does.

Parents, please take note: School vision screenings are not enough, as they only check for a handful of vision problems and don’t take into account the important visual skills needed for efficient learning. Moreover, school vision screenings fail to identify up to 75% of children with visual problems.

To make sure this doesn’t happen to your child, it’s recommended that they get their vision evaluated with an optometrist annually, or as often as their eye doctor recommends.

Consider Vision Therapy

If your child is diagnosed with a vision problem, there is hope!

We offer Vision Therapy specific programs that are specific and personalized. They target the root cause of the issue and correct the problem. Children who complete Vision Therapy gain the visual skills needed to succeed in school. They often do better in school, enjoy reading and have more confidence.

If your child is struggling with any aspect of classroom learning or homework or is exhibiting behavioral problems, bring them in for a functional vision assessment to rule out visual dysfunction as an underlying cause or contributor.

To schedule your child’s appointment and learn more about what we offer, call Family Eye Care today!

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, New Jersey and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: What is Vision Therapy?

  • A: Vision Therapy is an in-office series of visual procedures that enable the patient to develop strong eye-brain communication. This specialized care helps treat adults and children with conditions like crossed-eyes and eye-turn (strabismus), as well as problems with eye tracking, eye teaming, convergence insufficiency and hand-eye coordination, among others.

Q: How long does a Vision Therapy program last?

  • A: We have “average” program lengths, however, each individual is different. Some may take less time or more time than “average”. The type and severity of the visual condition are mitigating factors. Most patients can begin to notice improvements within a few sessions but the program is intended to arrive at the point that the visual skills are strong and sustained.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 732-993-3420

Menier’s Disease Patient Testimonial from Neuro-Otologist

We’re here with AG and she’s gonna relate her story. She’s now completing her program and vision therapy. She was originally referred by a neurologist as a specialist, as a specialist in not only hearing, but rather the balance system, uh, particularly after somebodies suffered, some sort of brain injury. But doesn’t necessarily have to be a brain injury, could be like you’ve described many years disease. So why don’t you share with us, what precipitated, what brought you to our office, how you feel now, what benefits, how you work this into your life?

I think I’ve always had some sort of an issue with my eyes working together, even as a child. When I first got glasses, I would always close one. I’d read to actually have everything in focus. And then quite recently I was having some bad vertigo spells, and I was diagnosed with the nearest case and the doctor, Meniere’s disease, checked my vision because I was having many headaches and also on the eval to read basically a full email for work or even work on many Excel sheets or, um, I was tired, irritable at the end of the day. And really couldn’t, couldn’t do very much, I couldn’t drive.

I wasn’t able to even go to those simple some things and blows the grocery store without getting dizzy or having a headache. And so the doctor thought that it might be something with my eyes and referred me to Dr.

Roth and the team here. And I’ve been here, before my therapy since, I think it’s been, I don’t know, 72 sessions and I have, I feel like I’m living a different life now. I’m able to do the things that I couldn’t do with ease. Work is a lot easier. Reading emails, transposing numbers, even reading books to my children. Isn’t a task anymore. It’s fun.

I can go to the grocery store without getting dizzy. I can, I can drive again. And it’s, it’s, you know, things that I’ve forgotten almost were happening now because it’s been, it’s been such a difference in change in my vision.

That’s great. So we’re, we’re so we’re so proud of you and we’re so happy that we were able to help. Sounds like, like there’s been a huge impact in your life.

Yes. And I’m so grateful. So everyone you know, I’m sure my, I was just leaving you out, how different even my kids and my husband have seen the impact because I can do more and it’s happier. So it’s been wonderful. It’s really wonderful.

What is your husband or your kids say? What did he say?

Well, they were quite interested in some of the exercises I would doing, especially my ten-year-old said C would help me, but they were, you know, they’re just, they’re just happy to have me back basically.

That’s wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing that. Thank you.

Does your Child Have a Vision Problem? Here are 20 Signs to Look Out For

Does your Child Have a Vision Problem640x350A vision problem will directly impact a child’s performance in the classroom and on the sports field. It with then negatively affecting self-esteem and confidence levels. An estimated 80% of learning is vision based. Vision is so much more than just eyeglasses and refractive condition (nearsighted, farsighted, astigmatism. Vision is crucial in making the difference between the game-winning catch versus watching the opposing team score runs.

One in four (25%) children have an vision problem that is preventing them from succeeding in school and sports. If your child is struggling in school to keep up with their peers in the classroom or on the sports field, they may very well have certain visual skills that are not well developed. Any of the following 20 signs may indicate that your child has a vision problem.

20 Signs of Child May Have a Vision Problem

  1. Blurred vision
  2. Double vision
  3. Headaches
  4. Eye strain or fatigue
  5. Sensitivity to bright light
  6. Excessive blinking or squinting
  7. Drifting or turning of one eye
  8. Poor eye-hand coordination
  9. Misjudging distances while moving in space
  10. Frequently falling or bumping into objects
  11. Difficulty maintaining attention
  12. Closing one eye while reading
  13. Turning or tilting head while reading
  14. Reduced reading speed or fluency
  15. Difficulty with reading comprehension
  16. Skipping words or lines of text while reading
  17. Losing place while reading
  18. Seeing words floating on the page
  19. Bringing text close to or far away from eyes to improve clarity
  20. Difficulty copying text

You, the parent, know your child the best and are his / her most important advocate. You can make the difference in helping your child by looking for these symptoms because that is the first step in identifying a vision problem. The next step is to visit our office. We are here to assess not only eye health and eyeglass issues, but at times, more importantly, your child’s functional vision. We cab identify and remedy these under-developed visual skill through the process of Vision Therapy. We are now in the throws of the Olympics. In the same way athletes can develop sports skills, children (and adults) can develop the visual skills needed for school success.

How Can Vision Therapy Help?

Vision Therapy is an individualized and specialized program to improve the connection between the eye and the brain. The eye sends information to the brain and the brain then sends information to the eyes so it can then collect more information. This is called a feedback loop. This connection is crucial for academic and athletic success.

Each Vision Therapy program is customized for the individual. The “coaching” includes the use of lenses, prisms, occluders, filters, computer programs, and other equipment.

If these symptoms describe your child , it is incumbent on you to help your child. The first step is to call our office and schedule an appointment for a comprehensive vision evaluation. We are located in Old Bridge, NJ.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: Isn’t 20/20 Vision Good Enough?

  • A: Vision involves a lot more than just how clearly you can see from a distance of 20 feet. There are 17 visual skills that are absolutely essential for success in reading, writing, math, and even athletics. A problem with any of these visual skills can cause poor academic and athletic performance.A comprehensive eye exam is the best way to rule out any vision problems that may be getting in the way of your child’s success.

Q: Why Are Comprehensive Eye Exams Important?

  • A: Basic vision screenings conducted at schools or by pediatricians may detect a distance vision problem, but they cannot detect other vision problems that can interfere with learning. During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will not only determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses but will also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team, and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

{
“@context”: “https://schema.org”,
“@type”: “FAQPage”,
“mainEntity”: [{
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “Isn’t 20/20 Vision Good Enough?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: “Vision involves a lot more than just how clearly you can see from a distance of 20 feet. There are 17 visual skills that are absolutely essential for success in reading, writing, math, and even athletics.

A problem with any of these visual skills can cause poor academic and athletic performance.

A comprehensive eye exam is the best way to rule out any vision problems that may be getting in the way of your child’s success.”
}
},{
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “Why Are Comprehensive Eye Exams Important?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: “Basic vision screenings conducted at schools or by pediatricians may detect a distance vision problem, but they cannot detect other vision problems that can interfere with learning.

During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will not only determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, but will also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.”
}
}
] }

 

Book An Appointment
Call Us 732-993-3420

COVID-Induced Brain Injury and Persistent Visual Problems

Dr. S. Moshe Roth, OD, FCOVD

I have seen patients who have “recovered” from COVID but despite that, have persistent visual and visually-induced problems. Their symptoms are similar to individuals who have suffered a Brain Injury. Examples of an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) are stroke and brain tumor. A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can be caused by a fall or a car crash. A concussion is a “mild” Traumatic Brain Injury.

Individuals who have had COVID-19 may suffer vision problems such as blurred vision, double vision, poor depth perception and sensitivity to light. Other common visually-induced symptoms are difficulty paying attention, headaches, brain fog, memory problems, and forgetfulness. Some people complain of vertigo and dizziness. The reason for that is that the visual system is directly linked to the balance system, located in the inner ear. These visual issues are very different from eyeglass problems. Patients may report these symptoms to their doctors but may be frustrated in getting relief. Most of the information available online relates to the eye itself, termed “ocular” (conjunctivitis, retinitis, etc.) rather than visual problems that occur in the brain.

Most people who have had COVID recover completely within a few weeks. Patients expect to feel back to normal but some people continue to experience symptoms. They struggle even weeks and months later, and are often at a loss where to seek help. The virus can damage the lungs, heart and brain, which increases the risk of long-term health problems. COVID deprives the body of oxygen. Ventilators are used to mitigate the effects on the lungs, but the effects of oxygen deprivation on the brain are less publicized. It stands to reason that anoxia (lack of oxygen) is the underlying reason for the brain-based problems and the vision complications.

More general symptoms include: difficulty breathing, difficulty making it through the day without having to take a nap, and difficulty exercising. Patients present with symptoms of lightheadedness and feeling lethargic for months after the illness. They often talk about its impact on their mental health.

The term “Long Haulers” is used to describe individuals who have persistent post-COVID symptoms. The National Institutes of Health refers to long-term COVID-19 symptoms as PASC; Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2. More common terms are: post-COVID syndrome, long COVID-19, or long-term COVID.

Neuro-Optometry and Neuro-Ophthalmology sound similar but are really 2 different subspecialties. Dr. Eric Singman, MD PhD, a Neuro-Ophthalmologist at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore MD, best explained the difference between these two professions when he said: “Neuro-Ophthalmologists can diagnose what HAD happened, but Neuro-Optometrists can change what CAN happen”. Neuro-Optometrists help individuals who have suffered a brain injury, to regain abilities through Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy. People who have suffered COVID-Induced Brain Injury are helped in a similar manner to those individuals who have suffered Acquired Brain Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, and concussion.

Dr. Roth is a Neuro-Optometrist and is a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.

4 Causes of Lazy Eye in Children

3 Causes of Lazy Eye in Children 640

Amblyopia, commonly known as ‘lazy eye,’ is a neuro-developmental vision condition that begins in early childhood.

One kind of lazy eye develops when one eye is unable to achieve normal visual acuity, causing the affected eye not to see clearly, even when wearing glasses. When this is left untreated, amblyopia leads to permanent vision loss in one eye.

It’s important to understand that a lazy eye isn’t actually lazy. Usually it occurs because there is a large difference in prescription between the two eyes, so the brain ignores the visual signals from that side and doesn’t process that information. The communication on that side then deteriorates further, and this usually leads to permanently reduced vision in that eye. Fortunately, Vision Therapy can improve the condition by training the brain to work with both eyes equally.

What Causes Lazy Eye?

When the neural connections between the eyes and the brain are healthy, each eye sends a visual signal to the brain. The brain combines these two signals into one clear image, enabling us to see what we are looking at.

When someone has amblyopia, the brain doesn’t recognize the weaker eye’s signals. Instead, it relies only on the visual input from just the other eye. The child assumes this is normal and is not aware of this, so they don’t complain.

The two most common reasons for Amblyopia are: Strabismus (when an eye turns in or out), and Anisometropia (when there is a large difference between the two eyes).

Strabismus

Strabismus means that the eyes don’t line up with one another. One might point in or out relative to the other. This can occur some of the time or all of the time. We use the terms “constant” or “intermittent”. The child may alternate; meaning that at some time, the child uses one to fixate and then the other eyes to fixate.

When the eyes don’t line up, and they point in different directions, then the brain receives two images and it can’t combine the two into one single, clear image. So when the two eyes don’t line up properly, the brain cannot process the two images, so it ‘turns off’ one of the images. That side gets ignored and the wiring between the eye and the brain does not develop. The eye is healthy, but the information from the eye to the brain gets shut off. This protects the child from getting 2 confusing pictures which would cause double vision.

As the brain ‘turns off’ the weaker eye, this eye will eventually become ‘lazy’—unless we treat the problem.

Anisometropia – one form of Refractive Amblyopia

Anisometropia is when the refractive powers (visual acuity) of the two eyes are very different from one another. This causes a conflict for the brain. It causes the visual signal from one eye to be much clearer than the other. The brain then can’t make the two images work together. The brain uses only the visual signal from the eye that is sending the clearer image and begins to ignore the information from the eye with the blurrier image. This further weakens the eye-brain connection from that side. If not treated, this results in permanent poor vision in that eye.

Bilateral Amblyopia – another form of Refractive Amblyopia

Bilateral Amblyopia is when the refractive power of BOTH eyes are very high, usually when someone is very FARsighted in BOTH eyes, but it can occur in people that are highly NEARsighted in both eyes. In this case, BOTH eyes do not develop a good connection to the brain.

Deprivation

If something doesn’t allow light to reach the back part of the eye, the retina, then the wiring between the eye and the brain doesn’t develop. We actually don’t see in the eye; rather, we see in the brain. Can you “picture” yourself at home? Can you “see” yourself at the beach or on your vacation? Those are examples of how we Visualize, and actually see in the brain, not in the eye.

Deprivation Amblyopia means that light was blocked from reaching the retina the back of the eye. That can be caused by a cataract, a cloudy cornea, or a tumor of the eyelid. Each of these can affect a child’s vision, resulting in amblyopia. Sometimes these are hard to notice and that is why a child should have a full examination and not just a screening at school or at the pediatrician’s office. When identified, we can treat the problem swiftly.

How To Treat Amblyopia

The goal of most amblyopia treatments is to 1st strengthen the signal to the eye that has been neglected, and then 2ndl, to learn how to use the two together as a team. Once we do that, amblyopia is cured. Patching does not cure this long term, although many doctors practice this “old thinking”. You see, amblyopia is more of a brain issue than an eye issue.

Common ways we treat amblypia are:

  • Special Eyeglasses
  • Vision Therapy
  • Special Contact Lenses
  • Special Foils or Prisms placed on eyeglasses
  • Special Eye Drop Therapy
  • Patching- often recommended by some eye doctors, but this does not treat or cure amblyopia long term

Vision Therapy

Vision Therapy is the most effective treatment for amblyopia. It is often used along with other treatments.

A Vision Therapy program is customized to the specific needs of the patient. It may include the use of lenses, prisms, filters, occluders, and other specialized equipment designed to actively make the lazy eye work to develop stronger communication between the eye and the brain. Ultimately, the goal is not only for the eye to see better, but for the patient to be able to use their two eyes together as a team. Once the patient achieves that, the problem is cured and does not return. Some eye doctors still recommend patching alone, but this often does not resolve the problem and the problem then returns.

Vision Therapy is extremely effective and successful to achieve the ability to use the two eyes together as a team. That is called binocular vision. This improves visual acuity, visual processing abilities, depth perception and reading fluency.

Vision Therapy programs for amblyopia include procedures that improve the following visual skills:

  • Accommodation (focusing)
  • Binocular vision (the eyes working together)
  • Fixation (visual gaze)
  • Pursuits (eye-tracking)
  • Saccades (eye jumps)
  • Spatial skills (eye-hand coordination)
  • Stereopsis (3-D vision)

Call our office and schedule an appointment. Discover how Vision Therapy can help improve your child’s vision. Our doctors will ask about your child’s vision history, conduct a thorough evaluation, and take your child on the path to effective and lasting treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: How do I know if my child has lazy eye?

  • A: It’s difficult to identify lazy eye (Amblyopia) on your own. Even patient that have strabismus is not obvious to parents. Children generally learn how to ignore the side that is not working as well and that side does not develop the connection between the eye and the brain. Some symptoms of lazy eye include:
  • Closing one eye or squinting
  • Difficulty with fine eye movements
  • Poor depth perception
  • Poor eye-hand coordination
  • Reduced reading speed and comprehension
  • Rubbing eyes often

Q: How is lazy eye diagnosed?

  • A: Our doctors will conduct specific tests during your child’s eye examination to assess the visual acuity, depth perception and visual skills of each eye.

 

 

Amblyopia, commonly known as ‘lazy eye,’ is a neuro-developmental vision condition that begins in early childhood, usually before the age of 8.

One form of lazy eye develops when one eye is unable to achieve normal visual acuity, causing blurry vision in the affected eye, even when wearing glasses. Left untreated, amblyopia leads to permanent vision loss in one eye.

It’s important to understand that a lazy eye isn’t actually lazy. Usually it is because there is a large difference in prescription between the two eyes, so the brain ignores the visual signals from that side and doesn’t process that information. Eventually, the communication on that side deteriorates further, and this usually leads to permanently reduced vision in that eye. Fortunately, Vision Therapy can improve the condition by training the brain to work with both eyes equally.

What Causes Lazy Eye?

When the neural connections between the eyes and the brain are healthy, each eye sends a visual signal to the brain. The brain combines these two signals into one clear image, enabling us to see what we are looking at.

In the case of amblyopia, the brain doesn’t recognize the weaker eye’s signals. Instead, it relies only on the visual input from the stronger eye.

Amblyopia can be caused by strabismus, anisometropia and deprivation.

Strabismus

Strabismus occurs when the eyes are misaligned and point in different directions. The most common cause of amblyopia is eye misalignment, which causes the brain to receive two images that cannot be combined into one single, clear image.

A child’s developing brain cannot process images when both eyes are not aligned in the same direction, so it ‘turns off’ the images sent by the weaker eye. This is the brain’s defense mechanism against confusion and double vision.

As the brain ‘turns off’ the weaker eye, this eye will eventually become ‘lazy’—unless treatment is provided.

Anisometropia – one form of Refractive Amblyopia

Anisometropia is when the refractive powers (visual acuity) of your eyes differ markedly, causing your eyes to focus unevenly – rendering the visual signal from one eye to be much clearer than the other. The brain is unable to reconcile the different images each eye sends and chooses to process the visual signal from the eye sending the clearer image. The brain begins to overlook the eye sending the blurrier image, further weakening the eye-brain connection of the weaker eye. If not treated, this results in permanent poor vision in that eye.

Bilateral Amblyopia – another form of Refractive Amblyopia

Bilateral Amblyopia is when the refractive power of BOTH eyes are very high, usually when someone is very FARsighted, but it can occur in people that are highly NEARsighted in both eyes. In this case, BOTH eyes do not develop a good connection to the brain.

Deprivation

Deprivation refers to a blockage or cloudiness of the eye. When an eye becomes cloudy, it directly impacts the eyes’ ability to send a clear image to the retina, harming the child’s ability to see images clearly from that eye. When clear images can’t reach the retina, it causes poor vision in that eye, resulting in amblyopia. Deprivation is by far the most serious kind of amblyopia, but it is also incredibly rare.

There are several types of deprivation: cataracts, cloudy corneas, cloudy lenses and eyelid tumors. Each of these can affect a child’s vision, resulting in amblyopia. Because these are also difficult to notice from a child’s behavior, it’s crucial to have your child tested for eye-related problems so that treatment can begin right away.

How To Treat Amblyopia

The goal of most amblyopia treatments is to naturally strengthen the weaker eye so that your child’s eyes can work and team with the brain more effectively. Amblyopia treatment will be determined by the cause and severity of their condition.

Common types of treatment include:

  • Special Eyeglasses
  • Vision Therapy
  • Special Contact Lenses
  • Special Filters and Prisms
  • Special Eye Drop Therapy
  • Patching- often recommended by some eye doctors, but does not treat or cure amblyopia long term

Vision Therapy

Vision Therapy is the most effective treatment for amblyopia, and is often combined with other treatments.

A Vision Therapy program is customized to the specific needs of the patient. It may include the use of lenses, prisms, filters, occluders, and other specialized equipment designed to actively make the lazy eye work to develop stronger communication between the eye and the brain.

Vision Therapy is highly successful for the improvement of binocular vision, visual acuity, visual processing abilities, depth perception and reading fluency.

Vision therapy programs for amblyopia may include eye exercises to improve these visual skills:

  • Accommodation (focusing)
  • Binocular vision (the eyes working together)
  • Fixation (visual gaze)
  • Pursuits (eye-tracking)
  • Saccades (eye jumps)
  • Spatial skills (eye-hand coordination)
  • Stereopsis (3-D vision)

Contact Family Eye Care to make an appointment and discover how vision therapy can help improve your child’s vision. Our eye doctor will ask about your child’s vision history, conduct a thorough evaluation, and take your child on the path to effective and lasting treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: How do I know if my child has lazy eye?

  • A: It’s difficult to recognize lazy eye because the condition usually develops in one eye, and may not present with a noticeable eye turn. As such, children generally learn how to ignore the lazy eye and compensate by mainly relying on the sight from the ‘good’ eye. Some symptoms of lazy eye include:
  • – Closing one eye or squinting
    – Difficulty with fine eye movements
    – Poor depth perception
    – Poor eye-hand coordination
    – Reduced reading speed and comprehension
    – Rubbing eyes often

Q: How is lazy eye diagnosed?

  • A: Your child’s eye doctor will conduct specific tests during their eye exam, to assess the visual acuity, depth perception and visual skills of each eye.

{
“@context”: “https://schema.org”,
“@type”: “FAQPage”,
“mainEntity”: [{
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “How do I know if my child has lazy eye?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: “It’s difficult to recognize lazy eye because the condition usually develops in one eye, and may not present with a noticeable eye turn. Also, children generally learn how to ignore the lazy eye and compensate by mainly relying on the sight from the ‘good’ eye.

Some symptoms of lazy eye include:

Closing one eye or squinting
Difficulty with fine eye movements
Poor depth perception
Poor eye-hand coordination
Reduced reading speed and comprehension
Rubbing eyes often”
}
},{
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “How is lazy eye diagnosed?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: “Your child’s eye doctor will conduct specific tests during their eye exam, to assess the visual acuity, depth perception and visual skills of each eye.”
}
}
] }

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 732-993-3420

Vision Therapy: Facts and Myths

5 Vision Therapy Myths 640Vision Therapy is a customized program to train the brain and the eyes to work together more effectively and efficiently. We would like to explain the facts and address some of the myths about Vision Therapy.

5 Myths and Facts about Vision Therapy

1. Myth: Vision Therapy is just for children

Fact: People of all ages benefit from Vision Therapy.

Vision Therapy is often prescribed for younger patients, but many adults benefit as well. The basis of vision therapy is neuroplasticity, meaning, the brain’s ability to change and learn new habits.

Your brain is capable of forming new neural pathways throughout your entire life, so Vision Therapy is effective at any age; whether someone has amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (an eye that turns in or out), sports vision. Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation is a special form of Vision Therapy to help individuals who have suffered a stroke, brain injury, or concussion.

2. Myth: Vision Therapy isn’t based on scientific research

Fact: Many scientific studies that have been funded and published by the National Eye Institute (NEI), prove the effectiveness of Vision Therapy. Vision Therapy has been available and effective for nearly 100 years !

One study, funded by the National Eye Institute, states that Vision Therapy is the most effective treatment for a common binocular vision problem, Convergence Insufficiency. Vision Therapy is also effective to treat Amblyopia (lazy eye), Strabismus (eye turn), and difficulties related to reading and learning.

3. Myth: All Vision Therapy is the same

Fact: Vision Therapy is directed to the specific problem that someone has. A Developmental or Behavioral Optometrist is the expert in the diagnosis and treatment of Vision problems. At times Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists say they offer Vision Therapy. Vision is complex and to be the most effective, it should be addressed by someone who understands the visuals system.

Our Vision Therapists have been trained in our office to use the specific technique and the specific time it is needed within the Vision Therapy program. The various techniques in a Vision Therapy program must be done in a specific sequence for it to be most effective. There are various awareness procedures so the individuals learns the skill so they own it and apply it to their schoolwork, driving a car, or playing a sport. Within the program, we use computer programs, lenses, prisms, and other equipment for treatment.

4. Myth: Eye surgery is the only option for treating eye misalignment

Fact: Eye surgery to “correct” strabismus (misaligned eyes) usually does not yield the intended outcome and it is common for an eye surgeon to then recommend more and more eye surgery. At best, it gives the appearance as though the eyes look straight to others, but it is rare for the individual to then develop the ability to use the two eyes together as a team.

The best way to obtain eye alignment is to improve binocular function.

In other words, surgery attempts to correct the mis-alignment but doesn’t teach the eyes and brain to work together. Vision Therapy is recommended for patients who have had strabismus surgery or those that are considering it.

5. Myth: I don’t need Vision Therapy, I have 20/20 eyesight

Fact: The notation 20/20 tells us how each eye sees individually. It is not a measure of how the individual uses the two eyes together as a team. The 20/20 notation is a measure of eyesight and not a measure of Vision. Vision includes the ability to use peripheral vision, color vision, integrate the central and peripheral vison, tracking, saccades ( jumping from one word to the next), making sense of what we are seeing, etc.

Therapy has little to do with eyesight, and everything to do with how your eyes function.

Even a person with 20/20 eyesight can have poor tracking skills, eye movement skills, depth perception, and other visual deficits.

In fact, you may have poor visual skills and not even know it. If you experience symptoms like headaches, dizziness, nausea, eyestrain, or difficulty with concentrating and reading, it may be time to have your vision evaluated by a doctor who is expert in this are.

To schedule a Vision Evaluation for these issues, for you or your child, call Family Eye Care today! You can reach us at 1-732-679-2020.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: #1: What is Vision Therapy?

  • A: Vision Therapy is a customized program of eye and brain exercises and procedures. The initial therapy is done in-office and home activities are encouraged. Vision Therapy enables the visual system to develop and trains the eyes and brain to work in unison. Duration of treatment varies from patient to patient, and is dependent on the problem that someone has. Each person responds differently. Speak to us to learn more about what we offer and how we can help.

Q:#2: Is Vision Therapy covered by insurance?

  • A: Vision Therapy may be covered in part under major medical insurance plans. Medical Insurance is very selective on what types of problems they will cover. Vision Therapy is most often applied to a medical policy rather than a Vision Plan. Medical insurance companies may deny or place severe limits on coverage for Vision Therapy to limit their financial exposure. It is important to ask the right questions, and know the diagnosis and procedures. We find that often medical insurance representatives may say one thing, but ultimately when the claims are submitted, the medical insurance may not necessarily parallel what was told.

{
“@context”: “https://schema.org”,
“@type”: “FAQPage”,
“mainEntity”: [{
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “#1: What is vision therapy?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: “Vision therapy is a program of [curtomized] eye exercises that are performed in-office with an at-home component as well. Vision therapy helps develop the visual system and trains the eyes and brain to work in unison. Duration of treatment varies from patient to patient, as each person responds differently. Speak to us to learn more about what we offer and how we can help.”
}
},{
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “#2: Is vision therapy expensive?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: “The cost of vision therapy is comparable to other eye care services. Some insurance plans provide partial coverage for vision therapy, so ask your insurance provider about what’s included in your family’s plan. Additionally, if you are spending a significant amount on tutoring, you may find that the benefits of vision therapy will enable your child to become a better learner, reducing their need for tutoring.”
}
}
] }

Book An Appointment
Call Us 732-993-3420

Does Vision Therapy Aid in Controlling Myopia?

Can Vision Therapy Help Myopia 640

Vision Therapy is certainly effective in helping adults and children with a lazy eye (amblyopia), eye turn (strabismus), and learning difficulties, but did you know that Vision Therapy is effective in preventing, reducing, or slowing myopia (nearsightedness)?

The fact of the matter is that rate of myopia is increasing in children. In the US, it has increased from about 25% to 40% over the past few decades. In Asia, some countries have a rte of myopia in children that approaches 90%.

Many have attributed it to the amount of screen time on digital devices. The concept is: “how you use your body, changes your body”. Someone who lifts weights or plays sports certainly changes their body. How we use our visual system, changes our visual system. It is not that the digital device “does it to us”, rather, it is how we use our visual system when working at near, computer, cell phone, text books, that changes our system and causes us to become more nearsighted. Many have sought a “cure”, and some have even proposed “outdoor time” as a cure. It is not the out-door time, but rather the less digital screen time, that helps curb the myopia. Obviously eyeglasses alone, that compensate and enable someone see more clearly at distance, does not correct the problem. The individual continues to use their visual system the same way, and that is the reason the myopia increases, and the prescription becomes higher each year. Vision Therapy addresses the root cause.

Other options have included special eyeglasses, special molding lenses at night (orthokeratology). There are special soft lenses; MiSight and Natural Vue, that are designed to stem the progression of myopia. Atropine is an eye drop medication that has been found to reduce the rate of progression. Vision Therapy addresses the core, the reason that someone is becoming more nearsighted. It puts out the “fire” rather than addressing the smoke. It teaches the individual how to use their visual system in a more effective way to prevent the progression, and at times reverse myopia.

If your child is becoming more nearsighted, it is best to evaluate what is causing the myopia. Not all eye doctors look for the same things. Some are eye surgeons and look primarily for eye disease. Some are prescribing regular eyeglasses as we have done for decades. But what if there was a way to address the underlying reason for the myopia? In our office, Family Eye Care in Old Bridge that is exactly what we do. We offer all of the options above, including a program that is specific to address myopia progression.

How Does Vision Therapy Work?

What is Vision Therapy and how does it work? Vision Therapy is a set of visual procedures tailored to your specific needs. Therapists specifically trained to provide Vision Therapy instruct using a specifically programed sequence, with the aid of specialized prisms or filters, computer programs, and other therapeutic tools. Vision Therapy works on the brain so that the brain and eyes work as a team. It enables the individuals to develop visual skills that include eye tracking, teaming, accommodation, convergence, visual processing, visual memory, focusing, and depth perception. There is usually an at-home component, to reinforce what is learned in the office.

Can’t I Just Do This At Home?

Similar to school-based teaching, that is directed by a teacher, Vision Therapy is most effective when directed by a Vision Therapist. It is not effective as a do-it-yourself program because it requires guidance and oversight by a skilled professional. It is evidence-based. Published data has shown that it is effective in helping the individual gain the visual skills that are needed and are precursors to reading, learning, overall school and sports performance.

How Does Vision Therapy Relate To Myopia?

As stated above, how you use your visual system, changes our visual system. Myopia occurs when the individual uses their visual system in a less than optimal way.

In Vision Therapy the individual learns how to use the visual system so the underlying problem no longer exists. We work on accommodation—the eyes’ ability to maintain clear focus on objects. Poor focusing skills have been linked to myopia. Fusion is the ability to use the two eyes together as a team. Fixation is the ability to “lock on” to what you are looking at, for example locking onto a word on a page. Saccades are a visual skill of being able to “jump” your eye accurately from one word or phrase to the next. Pursuits are the skill of being able to track across a line of print. These are SOME of the visual skills that we work on to improve.

Can an Occupational Therapist provide Vision Therapy?

Occupational Therapists are excellent at what they do. Physical Therapists are excellent as well. These are 2 different discipline and each brings benefit, but they don’t do the same thing. There is obviously some overlap between the two.

Vision Therapist are specifically trained to help individuals improve the visual system. It is a separate field, much as Occupational Therapy is separate from Physical Therapy.

What is the Bottom line?

If you or your child has myopia and is becoming more and more nearsighted each year, then schedule a functional visual assessment for your child.

To schedule your appointment with Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno, call Family Eye Care today.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: #1: Who can benefit from Vision Therapy?

  • A: Children and adults with various visual dysfunctions can benefit from a personalized program of Vision Therapy. Visual dysfunction can manifest in many ways, including—but not limited to—behavioral and learning problems, coordination difficulties, headaches, dizziness, nausea, anxiety, and attention deficits. These problems cannot be addressed with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery.

Q: #2: Do All Optometrists Offer Vision Therapy?

  • A: No. This is a subspecialty area within Optometry. Behavioral Optometrist also known as Developmental Optometrists are men and women who have a special interest and have taken additional work to know how to provide Vision Therapy. Some have attained the level of Fellowship in the College of Optometrist in Vision Development. As stated above, there are other types of therapists that claim to offer Vision Therapy, but only an eye doctor who understands how the visual system works, rather than how the eye works, can prescribe the necessary visual treatments for optimal results.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.

{
“@context”: “https://schema.org”,
“@type”: “FAQPage”,
“mainEntity”: [{
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “#1: Who can benefit from vision therapy?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: “Children and adults with visual dysfunction can benefit from a personalized program of vision therapy. Visual dysfunction can manifest in many ways, including but not limited to behavioral and learning problems, coordination difficulties, headaches, dizziness, nausea, anxiety, and attention deficits.”
}
},{
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “#2: Do all optometrists offer vision therapy?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: “No. You should only seek vision therapy from a qualified optometrist who has experience performing vision therapy for a variety of visual disorders. Other types of therapists sometimes claim to offer vision therapy, but only an eye doctor can prescribe the necessary visual treatments for the best results.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.”
}
}
] }

Book An Appointment
Call Us 732-993-3420

Common Visual Symptoms to Watch for in Children

kid playing outside 640

People often believe that if a child has 20/20 vision, they have perfect eyesight. This isn’t always the case. Having 20/20 eyesight refers to the ability to see clearly from 20 feet away. This doesn’t guarantee that a child has the visual skills needed to read properly, pay attention in class, writing, and other tasks required for academic success.

It may surprise you to know that many students who show signs of a learning difficulty actually have an underlying vision problem. According to the National PTA, approximately 10 million school-age children suffer from vision problems that make it more difficult for them to learn in a classroom setting.

If your child is struggling in school, Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno can determine whether the problem is related to their vision and provide a vision therapy program to help them succeed.

Vision Screenings vs Comprehensive Eye Exam

While school vision screenings might detect significant lazy eye or myopia, they miss many other vision problems, such as issues with focusing, depth perception, or eye tracking.

A comprehensive eye exam, on the other hand, checks for farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism, eye focusing abilities, eye tracking, eye focusing, visual skills, binocular eye coordination, and visual processing.

What Signs Should Parents and Teachers Look For?

Below is a list of signs and symptoms indicating that a child may be experiencing vision difficulties:

  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Complains of frequent headaches
  • Difficulty with comprehension
  • Complains of double or blurry vision
  • Makes errors when copying from the board
  • Reads below grade level
  • Holds reading material close to the face
  • Reverses words or letters while reading or writing
  • Loses place or skips words when reading
  • Confuses or omits small words while reading
  • Rubs eyes
  • Slow to finish written assignments
  • Frequently squints
  • Tilts head or covers one eye
  • Spelling difficulties
  • Uses finger pointing when reading

How Does Vision Therapy Help Solve These Problems?

Vision therapy is a personalized treatment program designed to strengthen and improve your child’s visual skills.

Each vision therapy program is customized to your child’s needs and may include specialized lenses, filters, or prisms, alongside personalized eye exercises to help retrain the brain-eye connection and improve your child’s school performance.

If you think a vision problem may be affecting your child’s academic performance, vision therapy may provide them with the necessary visual skills to succeed in school.

Frequently Asked Questions with Our Vision Therapist in Old Bridge, New Jersey

Q: How do vision problems impact learning?

  • A: A child’s vision problem can impact all aspects of learning. Often, children with vision problems are told they have a learning difficulty, when in fact, their brain isn’t properly processing what their eyes see. Vision problems can affect a child’s reading skills and comprehension, handwriting, spelling, classroom performance, concentration and attention, and visual skills.

Q: Does my child have a vision problem?

  • A: It is often difficult for a parent to determine if their child has vision problem that is affecting learning. A child would not realize that they have a vision problem because they have no point of comparison to know what correct vision is. They assume that everyone sees the way that they do. These types of problems are not obvious by a parent just looking at the child. A child rarely has the verbal skills to describe what they are experiencing.

Common indicators that your child may have a vision problem include:- Covering one eye- Behavioral problems- Reading avoidance- Difficulties with reading comprehension- Frequent blinking- Excessive fidgeting- Limited attention span- Reading below school grade level- Tilting head to one side

Developmental Optometrists are specifically trained to identify and treat these problems. They have taken additional coursework and study. Some have attained the level of becoming Fellows of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, which means that they have demonstrated expertise in this area.

If your child displays any of these signs, make sure you set up an appointment with our eye doctors at Family Eye Care to evaluate their visual skills, and find out whether your child could benefit from Vision Therapy.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 732-993-3420

Should My Child See an Occupational Therapist or a Developmental Optometrist that provides Vision Therapy?

vision therapy 640When a child struggles in school, parents naturally want to help. At times it is difficult to know what kind of help a child needs and who is best to provide that service.

Occupational Therapists (OT) are employed by schools and that may be a good place to start. School systems, and their OT’s, are often stretched thin and can offer only a limited therapy program. It also draws the child out of the classroom, and may take them away from learning. Many private OT’s offer pediatric care and provide OT care outside the school system.

When a vision problem interferes with learning, the best place to turn is a Developmental or Behavioral Developmental Optometrists. This is a subspecialty within Optometry. Optometrists obviously understand the vision system, provide eye examinations, eye medications, and eye glasses. Developmental Optometry is the subspecialty that understands how vision impacts learning and helps individuals to solve vision problems that affect learning. These doctors provide Vision Therapy (VT).

How are OT and VT similar? How are they different? Perhaps we can offer some guidance for parents and educators.

Most people are aware that there is an overlap between OT and PT, physical therapy. There is also an overlap with SLP; speech and language pathologists. Some OT’s and some PT’s say they provide Vision Therapy. Vision Therapy is an entity onto itself, much as Occupational Therapy is not Physical Therapy. It is specific to visual problems that affect learning and for other visual problems that eyeglasses and contact lenses can’t treat.

Developmental Optometrist offer Vision Therapy. Problems with the visual system are often best treated by someone who understand the visual system. There are parts within a Vision Therapy program that are similar to OT and PT, but in Vision Therapy, as the name implies, the main ‘focus” is vision. Vision is the sense that supplies our brain with the most information.

What is the Difference Between OT and VT?

diagramThere is some overlap between OT and VT, but there are considerable differences as well.

Occupational Therapists help people gain or regain the ability to perform various daily tasks through the use of sensory-motor exercises and interventions. OT aims to improve gross and fine motor coordination, balance, tactile awareness, bilateral awareness, and hand-eye coordination.

Eye Doctors that provide Vision Therapy, and the Vision Therapists in those practices help children and adults who have not yet developed the visual skills needed to succeed in school. Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists help patients improve how the vision system works and strengthens the eye-brain connection. This then helps solve vision problems that affect learning and schoolwork. It is often these vision problems that causes a child to struggle with poor reading and then produces anxiety. Children then procrastinate completing assignments and become frustrated. The reasons for these problems are not always apparent to a parent. A child assumes that the way they see is normal, and is the same as how their classmates see. They may not realize that they see blurry or double. They may not realize that they have eye strain or headaches that are due to a vision problem.

Some of the important visual skills for reading and school success are eye teaming, tracking, focusing, depth perception, visual processing, and visual-motor skills. These are eye movement and higher visual function skills.

How does a visual deficit look in a real world situation?

A child may have 20/20 eyesight, but that only means how someone can see at a distance of 20 feet. Yes, that’s where the “20” of 20/20 comes from. It does not tell us how someone functions at near, for example reading or computer use, that is so critical now, when so much of learning is computer-based. It doesn’t tell us how the two eyes work together, as a team. A child may need to read a sentence several times in order to understand its meaning, or tilt their head to read the whiteboard. They may ultimately avoid doing activities that are visually demanding. Poor performance in school and on the playing field can often be attributed to visual skill deficits.

Which Therapy Is Right For Your Child?

If the child’s visual system is the underlying cause of behavioral or learning problems, then a personalized Vision Therapy program is usually the best answer to help the child gain the visual skills needed to succeed.

So, when is best to consider Vision Therapy for your child? The answer is simple and straightforward. If your child is struggling in school it is important to first be evaluated by a doctor who specializes in vision problems that affect learning. If a child has trouble with visually demanding tasks, like homework, reading, spelling, or complain of headaches, then a doctor skilled in this area is able to evaluate and determine if Vision Therapy is indicated. This also applies to children who avoid sports. There may be an issue in judging space and how fast a ball is coming toward them. Developmental optometrists also work on sports vision.

The point is that a Doctor of Optometry, and specifically a Developmental Optometrist, is the doctor that provides the expertise needed to address the visual system, and how someone is able to read and learn.

This is not to lessen the benefits that Occupational Therapists provide. OT’s and PT’s often refer patients to our office. OT’s sometimes perform visual exercises with children, but only an eye doctor experienced in Vision Therapy can prescribe therapeutic lenses, prisms, and filters that enable the child to develop visual skills needed for school success.

Not all optometrist are trained in Vision Therapy. Dr. Roth is a Fellow of the College of Optometrist in Vision Development. This means taht he is certified in this subspecialty. Dr. Tiomno, Dr. Roth’s associate, completed her residency with Dr. Roth. Our doctors are experienced in diagnosing and treating people of all ages with all types of visual dysfunction.

Often children who have passed a school’s vision screening, or “passed the eye test” at the pediatrician’s office, may still have a significant problem with visual processing and other skills. A screening “test” usually measures how each eye sees individually and does not test how the two eyes work together as a team. A school vision-screening tests only for visual acuity (eyesight) and do not test for the other visual skills that are so important for a child to be able to succeed.

The visual system is highly integrated with other systems, and therefore, an interdisciplinary approach is often the most effective approach. OT and VT overlap, but don’t always have to be undertaken simultaneously. Some children may benefit from both of these therapies

If your child is struggling with learning or behavioral problems, their vision could be an underlying cause or contributing factor. To schedule your child’s functional visual evaluation, contact Family Eye Care in Old Bridge today.

References:

Book An Appointment
Call Us 732-993-3420