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Home » Vision+ Performance and Rehab » What is Vision Development?

If you or a loved one is experiencing conditions such as losing place when you read, trouble with eye-hand coordination, eye fatigue, double vision, amblyopia, or strabismus, it’s possible that you may benefit from vision development and rehab therapy at Vision+ Performance and Rehab in Blacksburg. It’s mportant to keep in mind that optometric vision therapy programs are not a substitute for corrective glasses or contact lenses, although in some cases, the need for bifocals or prisms in glasses can be reduced or eliminated.

Here’s what you need to know about our optometric vision therapy programs in Blacksburg, VA:

Optometric vision development and neurorehabilitation is a series of individualized therapeutic activities for retraining the eyes and visual system, strengthening pathways to help the patient function efficiently and comfortably, to ensure good binocular vision, and enhance visual perception.

Vision development and rehabilitation therapy does not teach reading, writing, or spelling, nor does it provide services normally provided by educational therapists, occupational therapists, educational psychologists, etc.

What It Entails

A typical in-office therapy or development session lasts between 45-60 minutes and are usually scheduled one or two times per week, depending on your particular vision needs. As with other therapies, at-home support (“homework”) is needed to reinforce the skills we are developing during the session. A common prescription for therapy is 12 weekly sessions in-office. Length of therapy certainly depends on individual diagnosis, goals, motivation, and compliance. Most straight forward diagnoses like convergence insufficiency or poor ocular-motor tracking generally resolve very well in the first 12 sessions. More complicated diagnoses like amblyopia, strabismus, and concussion rehabilitation will likely need more than 12 sessions.

How to Know if Visual Therapy May Be an Option for You or Your Child

Conditions benefiting from optometric vision therapy are often diagnosed in early childhood when children begin to learn to read, but there are many signs that can be picked up much earlier. Our optometrists, in agreement with the American Academy of Optometry, and the American Optometric Association, recommend your child’s first eye exam between the ages of 6-12 months. We are part of a nation-wide public healthcare program called InfantSEE, whose mission is get infants into the expert care of an eye doctor to rule out serious eye health or visual developmental issues that can’t be detected by pediatricians and parents.

Read more about InfantSEE here

If you notice your child holding books and other objects too close to the eyes, covering one eye with a hand when trying to read, or tilting their head when reading or otherwise focusing, you should make an appointment with your child’s eye doctor to discuss possible treatment options. Other signs include headaches while reading or focusing, skipping words, losing place while reading, poor eye-hand coordination, and lower reading comprehension.

Training and optimizing the visual system isn’t just for children with vision and learning issues. Adults can often benefit from optometric vision therapy as well. Signs and symptoms that it may be helpful are largely the same as those listed above for children, but adults may experience a greater degree of noticeable eye strain, especially at the end of a long day while working in front of a screen. Another sign may be that you need to use your finger to keep track of your place while reading.

Click HERE to review our Symptom Survey.

Browse our SERVICES menu above to get an idea of some of the opportunities that there are for development.

Schedule an Appointment

Dr. John Dovie and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann, in association with our sister office, Blacksburg Eye Associates, will perform the necessary testing to diagnose underlying visual or visual perceptual issues that could benefit from vision development and rehab therapy.

Only a thorough examination performed by an eye doctor experienced and trained for functional vision problems will be able to determine for sure if you have a condition that could be helped by prescribed vision therapy.

What is functional vision?

If you think you or a loved one could benefit from our services, please call and inquire about scheduling an appointment.