Vision Therapy

McDonald Eye Care Associates

Optometrists located in Lakeville, MN

McDonald Eye Care Associates has been providing Vision Therapy (VT) since 1999. The therapists are all certified through The Optometric Extension Program Foundation. They train a wide range of ages with many types of diagnoses, specializing in basic visual dysfunctions (VT 1), learning-related visual dysfunctions (VT 2), strabismus and amblyopia (VT 3), and traumatic/acquired brain injuries.

Vision Therapy Q & A

McDonald Eye Care Associates

What is vision therapy?

Vision therapy is a form of brain training through your eyes. It works by improving the efficiency of your eye movements. This improvement is achieved by strengthening the neurological connections from your eyes to your brain.

Our program starts at a foundational level, building the function one eye at a time, and as skills progress, we progress to more complex binocular tasks. The later portion of treatment aims to automate the skills into the system and improve visual processing and multitasking abilities.

Your eye doctor at McDonald Eye Care Associates tailors your vision therapy program to your needs. Vision therapy happens once per week in our office for 30-60 minutes, with at home daily exercises for approximately 15 minutes per day.

The treatment course for each patient is different and individualized. An average treatment plan is 20-25 weeks, with mild cases as little as 15 weeks and more advanced cases at 30 weeks or more. Every patient will have a final progress check with their same doctor once the vision therapy program is complete.

Who needs vision therapy?

Vision therapy can help patients of all ages. In previous years, it was most common to treat children, but adult cases are becoming more and more common. Currently, it is estimated that half of our vision therapy patients are adults, many of which are post-concussion or post- traumatic brain injury. Vision is more than just 20/20 acuity. You can pass a basic vision screening but still experience struggles in the classroom, playing field or at work.

Sometimes, parents or teachers assume that a child simply needs eyeglasses if they are having trouble in school. If children have an issue such as visual processing, new glasses won't correct the issue, but vision therapy can often do so quite effectively.

There are a common symptoms to look for that cannot be commonly corrected by just glasses. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Persistent eye strain/fatigue
  • Diplopia
  • Problems focusing
  • Car sickness
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Homework takes longer to finish than it should
  • Low comprehension
  • Difficulty concentrating while reading
  • Letters appearing to move while reading

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, talk to your eye doctor at McDonald Eye Care Associates about whether or not vision therapy might be right for you.

How does the eye doctor determine if vision therapy is right for you?

These are the steps that need to be completed in order to determine if vision therapy is needed:

  • 1: Complete medical eye exam (with cycloplegic eye drops): This ensures we know your eyes are healthy and you have an up-to-date glasses or contact lens prescription if needed.
    • If you have had an eye exam in the past year, you do not need to get another.
  • 2: Records faxed to McDonald Eye Care Associates: If your exam was completed elsewhere,  please have your eye doctor fax these records to our office at 877-795-9884.
  • 3: Visual Efficiency Examination (VEE): A  21 point binocular vision examination to evaluate the function of your eyes. At this time, the doctor will determine your diagnoses and treatment plan.
  • 4: Schedule vision therapy: Scheduling will be discussed with vision therapist after your VEE.

Wondering whether vision therapy can help with your issues? Request an appointment online now, or call the office anytime to talk with a vision therapist to begin the process.