We talk a lot about Vision Therapy for kids because of its obvious ability to improve their learning and schoolwork. It is also because it is so important to discover problems and correct them as early as possible. However, that does not mean adults cannot gain the same benefits from this therapy. If an adult’s vision problems were not caught early than they would still exist into adulthood, and occasionally symptoms that were once manageable become more problematic.
Vision Therapy can even be more effective for adults in some cases because they are typically more motivated to improve their visual abilities, whereas children may not understand that they have a problem or how that problem may affect them.
We recently had a 35-year-old woman named Robin in our clinic. Robin was experiencing challenges in adjusting her focus when she transitioned from an up-close task like shopping or reading to a wider-scoped activity like walking in traffic. She would get the sensation that her eyes were trying to focus on everything at once and were getting overwhelmed.
Vision problems like Robin’s can be daunting for adults. They will often come home from work extremely tired when all they did was sit at a desk and do paperwork! Their eye problems are exhausting them.
If you are an adult, these are the symptoms to look out for that could be benefited by Vision Therapy:
- Tiring easily while reading
- Avoiding near tasks such as reading
- Squinting, closing or covering one eye
- Difficulty tracking moving objects
- Shortened attention span
- Making errors when copying
- Writing crookedly or poorly spaced
- Confusing right & left directions
- Confusing or reversing letters, numbers or words
- Eyes bothered by light
- Tiring or soreness after close work
- Print seems to move or comes in & out of focus when reading
- Text seems to double when reading, driving or looking at signs
- Unusual posture or head tilt when reading or writing
- Frequent head turning while reading
- Skipping lines or losing place when reading
- Rereading or omitting words
- Difficulty using binoculars
- Discomfort in crowded areas such as shopping malls
- Difficulty judging distance when parking or pulling into traffic
Through re-training your eyes with Vision Therapy (the same way that you’d train muscles in sports), problems from the above list can be helped. For 35-year-old Robin, after Vision Therapy treatments she has noticed that her eyes are not feeling fatigued as often as they were before. Her problems with focusing when transitioning from close to far away activities are significantly reduced. She’s also gained awareness and ability in techniques that help her eyes relax.
If you are interested in seeing an example of a vision therapy treatment that would be used to help focusing problems like Robin’s, take a look at this video:
If you think you might have a problem with your eyes that can’t be helped with glasses or contact lenses, book an appointment for a full, comprehensive eye exam.
By Dr. Nazima Sangha of Family Eyecare Centre