Vision Therapy

Vision therapy is a specialized program designed to improve the way our eyes work together and enhance visual skills. It’s a non-surgical and non-invasive approach to treat various vision-related issues. In this article, we’ll provide simple, plain English explanations for various aspects of vision therapy, including types, indications, contraindications, procedures, and side effects.

Vision therapy, also known as orthoptics or visual training, is a series of exercises and activities aimed at improving visual skills. These skills include eye coordination, focusing, and tracking. The goal is to enhance the quality of your vision and the way your eyes work together.

Types of Vision Therapy:

  1. Orthoptic Therapy: Focuses on improving eye alignment and coordination.
  2. Visual Perceptual Therapy: Enhances the brain’s ability to interpret visual information.
  3. Visual-Motor Integration Therapy: Improves the coordination between vision and body movements.
  4. Amblyopia Therapy: Helps treat “lazy eye” by stimulating the weaker eye.
  5. Convergence Insufficiency Therapy: Concentrates on improving the ability to maintain focus on close objects.
  6. Accommodative Dysfunction Therapy: Targets difficulties in focusing on near objects.
  7. Binocular Vision Therapy: Aims to improve how both eyes work together.
  8. Sports Vision Training: Enhances visual skills for athletes.

Indications for Vision Therapy:

Vision therapy may be beneficial for various vision-related issues, including:

  1. Strabismus (Crossed Eyes)
  2. Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
  3. Convergence Insufficiency (Difficulty Focusing)
  4. Binocular Vision Problems
  5. Eye-Tracking Issues
  6. Double Vision
  7. Visual Processing Disorders
  8. Eye Fatigue
  9. Reading Problems
  10. Poor Depth Perception
  11. Eye Turn (One Eye Turns In or Out)
  12. Difficulty Following Moving Objects
  13. Eye Strain
  14. Headaches from Reading or Computer Use
  15. Blurred Vision
  16. Problems with Visual Memory
  17. Attention Deficit Disorders with Visual Issues
  18. Traumatic Brain Injury-Related Vision Problems
  19. Visual Discomfort While Driving
  20. Reduced Visual Efficiency for Work or School

Contraindications for Vision Therapy:

While vision therapy can help many people, it may not be suitable for everyone. Contraindications include:

  1. Severe Eye Diseases (e.g., Glaucoma)
  2. Recent Eye Surgery
  3. Uncontrolled Medical Conditions (e.g., Diabetes)
  4. Certain Medications (discuss with your eye doctor)
  5. Lazy Eye with No Improvement Potential
  6. Advanced Macular Degeneration
  7. Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
  8. Severe Developmental Disabilities
  9. Seizure Disorders Induced by Visual Stimuli
  10. Acute Eye Infections
  11. Severe Motion Sickness
  12. Severe Allergic Reactions to Therapy Materials
  13. Unwillingness or Inability to Participate in Therapy
  14. Extreme Fear or Anxiety Regarding Eye Exercises
  15. Children Too Young to Cooperate (Usually under 3-4 years old)
  16. Inadequate Communication Skills to Follow Instructions
  17. Untreated Severe Refractive Errors
  18. Certain Types of Eye Muscle Problems (consult your eye doctor)
  19. Pregnancy (some activities may be unsuitable)
  20. Individuals Unable to Attend Regular Therapy Sessions

Vision Therapy Procedures:

Vision therapy involves various exercises and activities that are tailored to an individual’s specific needs. Here’s a simplified overview of the procedures:

  1. Assessment: An eye doctor evaluates your vision to identify issues.
  2. Goal Setting: Specific goals for therapy are established based on assessment results.
  3. Customized Exercises: A personalized program of exercises and activities is designed.
  4. Regular Sessions: You attend therapy sessions, typically once a week.
  5. Home Exercises: You may be given exercises to practice at home.
  6. Progress Tracking: Regular assessments track your improvement.
  7. Adjustments: The therapy plan may be adjusted based on progress.

Common Side Effects of Vision Therapy:

Vision therapy is generally safe, but some individuals may experience temporary side effects, including:

  1. Eye Fatigue: Common during the initial stages but improves with time.
  2. Headaches: May occur due to eye strain but often diminish with practice.
  3. Temporary Blurred Vision: Can happen as your visual system adapts.
  4. Increased Sensitivity to Light: Usually temporary.
  5. Eye Strain: May occur when doing therapy exercises.
  6. Double Vision: Can occur when retraining eye coordination.
  7. Nausea or Dizziness: Rare, but some may experience motion sickness.
  8. Tiredness: May feel tired after therapy sessions initially.
  9. Increased Tear Production: Temporary and normal.


Vision therapy is a valuable option for addressing a wide range of vision-related problems. It’s a non-invasive approach that involves various types, is indicated for numerous conditions, and has minimal contraindications. The procedures are tailored to individual needs and are generally safe, with any side effects being temporary. If you’re experiencing vision issues, consider consulting an eye specialist to determine if vision therapy could benefit you.