What is Vision Therapy (VT)?

 

The following are a series of definitions of VT from a variety of published sources.  References are given for each of the definitions.

1. Optometric VT has been defined as the art and science of developing visual abilities to achieve optimal visual performance and comfort. It provides the patient with an opportunity for both development and learning experience. Journal of Behavioral Optometry, Vol. 1, 1990, Number 3,       p. 66-67.

 
2. Vision therapy is a clinical approach for correcting and ameliorating the effects of eye movement disorders, non-strabismic binocular dysfunctions, focusing disorders, strabismus, amblyopia, nystagmus, and certain visual perceptual (information processing) disorders. The practice of vision therapy entails a variety of non-surgical therapeutic procedures designed to modify different aspects of visual function. Advanced Therapist Vol. 34, Number 1, p. 131 (Quote from N. Flax). Also used by M. Scheiman in his VT Manual.
 
3. Vision therapy creates a visual environment in which the patient may modify their visual behavior and alter their visual performance to meet the visual needs of their specific environment. Rehabilitation Techniques for Binocular Dysfunctions by Richman and Cohen, p.1.
 
4. Vision therapy arranges conditions ... so that the patient can learn many visual abilities which will allow them to take in, use and understand more information over a large area in less time. It allows one to use his vision to learn more and succeed better at his task or pastime, whatever it may be. Rather than exercises for the eyes, it involves an awareness of movement, control of movement and, ultimately, the automatic movement of eyes integrated with movement in many of the body systems. Learning to See and Seeing To Learn - Orem, R.C., p. 84
 
5. Visual training, also referred to as vision therapy, is the art and science of developing visual abilities to achieve optimal visual performance and comfort. R M Greenburg, J. Amer. Optom. Assn., Jan 1985, 56 (1):57-58 (SAME AS #1)
 
6. Optometric vision therapy is based on a medically necessary plan of treatment which is designed to improve specific vision dysfunctions determined by standardized diagnostic criteria. Treatment plans encompass lenses, prisms, occlusion and other appropriate materials, modalities and equipment. AOA Definition of Vision Therapy
 
7. Vision therapy sets the stage for you to learn or improve visual abilities. This allows you to quickly take in, use, and understand more information over a larger area of space. It also allows you to use vision to learn more and succeed better at work, school, or in athletics. Rather than exercises for the eyes, it involves an awareness of movement and control of movement. The result leads to smooth and automatic movement of eyes coordinated with movement. by Dennis Hoover who was the head of vision therapy services at the Baltimore Vision Fitness Center for 20+ years.