The staff at 1st Street and Village Eye Centres in Edmonton and Sherwood Park has assembled answers to some common questions about Visual Therapy. We hope you find this page informative.
Q: How does Visual Therapy work?
A: "Seeing" is a process of learning. It begins the first few days of life. Walking and talking are similar, but less complex forms of learning. As the "learning to see" process begins to unfold, the infant progresses through an established pattern of stages—from the earliest uncoordinated jerky movements through many intermediate series of steps to the final level of 3-D vision—much later. The pattern of learning at any one of these many stages may be faulty or incomplete. Or, later in life, deficiencies may develop as a result of the demands and stresses placed on the eyes. Now, Visual Therapy is a process of helping the patient to learn—or relearn—the proper way of seeing. We will arrange the conditions so that you can successfully do the learning—and we will guide you in the proper direction. Much of the responsibility is yours because this, by nature, is a learning process.
Q: How do I know Visual Therapy will be successful for me?
A: The success of Visual Therapy depends upon your ability to learn. The two most important factors in learning are motivation (you must have a strong desire to improve) and practice (you must be willing to follow a definite schedule of training and practice diligently. Since the visual difficulty you have is not a disease, we do not cure your problem. We provide the opportunity and guidance for you to do the learning, which will help you to improve your visual skills and abilities. If you are certain that you cannot or will not be able to follow instructions and to practice (or to help your child)—particularly with out-of-office training—you are not a good candidate for Visual Therapy and should not take it. As a matter of fact, we will not consider a patient acceptable for therapy unless they indicate the proper motivation and willingness to work.
Q: If I take this Therapy, will I have to wear glasses?
A: Lenses themselves are a form of Vision Therapy. They are aids in this process much like shoes on your feet are aids for walking. Your shoes protect your feet from stress (stones, cold weather, etc.). Shoes are not worn for a "weakness," but they are worn for protection. Similarly, lenses are worn to help protect against visual stress and to help you retain the level of visual efficiency given you through visual therapy. In some cases it is not necessary, but protective lenses are usually used after the conclusion of active therapy.
Q: Will I ever need more Therapy later?
A: Vision is a learned skill. As with any other learned skill (tennis, typing, piano, etc.), there are many different levels of performance and efficiency. Your Visual Therapy will raise your visual performance level. How much it is raised and the amount of therapy necessary depends on the nature and intensity of your visual problem at this time, the demands placed on your eyes by your vocational or scholastic requirements, your desire to learn and to improve and your ability and desire to continue to apply the instructions.