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What Conditions Can Vision Therapy Help Treat?

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Patient undergoing vision therapy at optometrist office with eye doctor

You use your vision constantly throughout your day-to-day interactions with the world around you. Many people assume vision only affects how well you see, but you may have problems with your visual skills due to an injury, eye condition or poor development in childhood. 

Vision therapy is an effective way to improve visual skills and abilities, and it can benefit someone at any age. If you’re interested in vision therapy, what conditions can this treatment help address? 

Continue reading to learn more about vision therapy, including what conditions it can treat. 

What Is Vision Therapy? 

Vision therapy is a specialized treatment used to improve visual skills and abilities. While each person’s vision therapy program is unique, treatment includes one-on-one sessions with a trained therapist to retrain specific visual skills. A vision therapy program includes in-office and at-home exercises with increased difficulty as skills improve. 

This treatment can benefit anyone, including children with learning-related vision problems, someone with amblyopia or strabismus, or someone with an acquired brain injury or concussion. Each person’s vision is unique, so every patient receives a personalized treatment program. 

Your child may benefit from vision therapy if they experience any of the following

  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Headaches during close-up tasks
  • Words that run together when reading
  • Forgetfulness
  • Short attention span
  • Writing that slopes up or downhill
  • Holding objects close to the face
  • Omitting small words when reading
  • Clumsiness 

The Importance of Vision Therapy

Your vision is essential—you utilize it daily when completing different tasks. For children, vision is vital for their development. Approximately 80% of learning is visual, so a vision problem may affect a child’s ability to do well in school. 

There are many vital visual skills needed for everyday life, including: 

  • Eye-tracking: How the eyes follow moving objects
  • Simultaneous alignment: How the eyes line up at the same point from different distances
  • Depth perception: The assessment of how far away or close together objects are 
  • Visual perception: The ability to determine what is going on around you through visual cues
  • Sustaining focus: The ability to keep viewing a clear image from various distances 

Traumatic brain injuries and other similar issues can affect these visual skills. Another possibility is that these skills don’t develop, making focusing and other visual tasks harder. 

What Conditions Can Vision Therapy Help Treat? 

Vision therapy can help address several problems related to your vision. From specific conditions to how well your eyes work together, vision therapy can help improve your quality of life. 


Many people refer to amblyopia as a lazy eye. This condition occurs due to abnormal development during childhood, causing one eye to be weaker than the other. Amblyopia typically develops between birth and age 7, but many children don’t notice problems with their vision. 

The more developed eye tends to take over visual tasks, causing the other eye to become weaker. This imbalance between the eyes can cause several vision-related problems, such as poor depth perception and reaction time. 


Strabismus is a vision problem where the eyes don’t properly align. One eye begins to turn away because the eye muscles fail to work together. This condition is commonly hereditary. 

Strabismus can lead to double vision or amblyopia due to the brain learning to ignore vision from the turned eye. This condition can affect someone’s visual skills, such as spatial awareness and attention span. 

Convergence Insufficiency 

Convergence insufficiency occurs when the eyes struggle to work together when looking at nearby objects. One eye turns outward instead of inward, causing double or blurry vision. This condition is common in children but can develop due to a brain injury, like a concussion. 

Convergence insufficiency can make reading and concentration more difficult. 

Eye Teaming Problems

Eye teaming refer to the eyes’ ability to work as a team, creating a single image when looking near or far. Visual confusion can occur when the eyes don’t work together. Someone may experience blurred vision, headaches, or struggles when reading. 

Eye-Focusing Problems

The eyes relax and constrict when focusing on objects at different distances. Someone who struggles with eye focusing may have trouble working on close-up tasks. Headaches and blurred vision are common complaints when someone has eye-focusing problems. 

Visual Processing Problems

Visual processing skills help you make sense of the surrounding world. Difficulty with these skills can lead to a struggle to notice differences and similarities between objects. Someone may struggle with reading or writing, such as reversing letters or words. 

Eye Movement Problems

Your eye movement involves the ability to move both eyes along an intended path or at a specific target. You use these skills when reading or tracking moving targets. Someone with problems relating to eye movement may struggle with reading, skipping words or losing their place on a line. 

Daughter and mother portraying healthy vision after undergoing vision therapy by making circles around their eyes

See the Benefits of Vision Therapy for Yourself

Depending on your goals, vision therapy can help improve how your eyes work together and how you interpret visual information. Your vision therapy program can help you meet these goals with various exercises. There are many conditions vision therapy can help treat. 

Contact your optometrist if you or your child has visual struggles. Your eye doctor can assess your vision and recommend if vision therapy is an appropriate treatment. 

Written by Dr. Cynthia Markarian Bahoshy

How many doctors does it take to change a lightbulb?”

One or two.

Clear, comfortable vision is such an integral and important part of our lives. I enjoy interacting with our patients, learning about them and their visual needs and I get great satisfaction when I can improve their quality of life by providing them with optimal eyesight at the same time as screening for and treating potentially sight-threatening conditions.

I have been an optometrist at Brantford Eye Care (previously known as Dr. Robert Schumacher and associates) since 2002. I became the new owner of Brantford Eye Care in October 2012.

I attended the University of Ottawa where I studied Biochemistry as part of my undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree. I completed my Doctor of optometry (OD) degree at the University of Waterloo in 2002.

My externship was completed at the Houston Eye Associates in Texas. During that time, I gained extensive experience in all aspects of ocular health diagnosis and management. This included exposure to various retinal conditions, glaucoma, cataracts, children’s vision, binocular vision, and other aspects of ocular disease.

I worked as a student researcher at the Centre of Contact Lens Research at the School of Optometry, University of Waterloo where I gained extensive experience in all aspects of contact lenses. I also worked as a student researcher at the Ottawa General hospital in the Department of Ophthalmology during my university years.

I am an active member of the Ontario Association of Optometrists, The Canadian Association of Optometrists, the Ontario College of Optometrists, and the Hamilton and District Area Society of Optometrists. I am certified in the Treatment and Management of Ocular Diseases.

My main interests are in dry eyes, contact lenses, and in children’s vision. I have experience working as an optometrist at a Toronto LASIK centre and I am able to answer any questions you may have regarding LASIK and other refractive surgeries. We are affiliated with the various LASIK centres and can refer you for a complimentary LASIK consultation as well as perform your pre and post-op examinations at our office.

I enjoy many activities such as swimming, yoga, playing the piano, and spending time with my family. I enjoy solving visual issues and challenges and meeting new people.

I’ve been very fortunate to have met so many wonderful patients and families at our office. I enjoy being a part of Brantford’s health care team and look forward to seeing you at the office!

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