Vision Therapy and Dyslexia

Success today is heavily dependent on good vision. Digital displays are everywhere. Computers and cell phones, highway signs and academic classrooms. Not seeing or processing images well can impact one’s opportunities adversely.

It is of the utmost importance, when a child exhibits signs of difficulty in reading and cognitive skills, as with dyslexia, to have a thorough evaluation done. Perfect 20/20 vision does not tell the whole story. Nor does a regular physical exam. It is only when the visual and neurological matrix is embraced as an interconnected whole, and all functions relating to visual performance are examined, that an appropriate plan for treatment and management can be derived.

The American Academy of Optometry and the American Optometric Association have developed a joint policy statement voicing the need for those at risk of cognitive or learning-related problems due to vision disorders to undergo a comprehensive vision exam including eye health along with eye function. A post-evaluation plan, including guidance for future treatment and referral to specialists, should make the assessment and recommendations known.

The group notes that there are three parts of vision that are integral to the learning process: the visual pathway, visual efficiency, and information processing. The visual pathway includes all of the structures of the eye and brain that contribute to the learning process. Visual efficiency embraces movement, accommodation, teaming, and focusing. Information processing includes spatial awareness, coordination of vision with touch, sound, and the other senses, as well as identification and discrimination.

Like the visual process itself, dyslexia has a complex set of challenges that display acuity disorders in addition to processing and other physical errors. It is important to review all areas involved in cognitive tasks for academic work to truly assess a patient exhibiting dyslexic tendencies.

Early detection and treatment or management of vision disorders related to dyslexia is advised, keeping the patient as functional and as on schedule as possible in relation to peers. That said, however, it is never too late to seek help for an adult with dyslexia, as many older patients find they are able to develop skills through the help of a developmental optometrist that they never thought would be possible.

Vision therapy, sometimes thought to be connected with less effective treatment, is actually a proven, well-researched, and well-respected area of treatment for those suffering from vision disorders common to dyslexic individuals. Through use of exercises, lenses, and prisms patients are able to function as close to their goals as possible, enjoying academic pursuits and careers that would otherwise not be possible.

In many cases people often consider a reading disorder to be a Dyslexia, even though it’s not. A true dyslexia needs its own diagnosis by a psychologist or reading expert.

Although Virginia Vision Therapy Center does not treat dyslexia, as it’s a language disorder. The doctors at Virginia Vision Therapy Center have been treating significant vision processing problems of patients with dyslexia for over 30 years, putting their expertise and experience to work, creating programs that give patients the tools to succeed. Virginia Vision Therapy Center can help in diagnosis and treatment of patients exhibiting difficulty with reading and other cognitive tasks, working to move patients toward goals that once seemed out of reach.


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