Well, here at Dr. Hussey’s office, we use many visual motion activities to stimulate the connections between the eyes and the brain.  The primary issue we treat with Vision Therapy is Intermittent Central Suppression. In “normal people” terms, the message from one or both eyes traveling to the brain goes to sleep, like a computer screen.  Eyes like to pay attention when something is moving, so once the suppressed eye sees something moving, it turns back on again, like when you move the mouse, and the computer screen wakes up. 

Using visual motion exercises, we have designed our VT to teach eyes how to stay awake and team up with the brain.  This process is similar to any physical exercise; the more you do it, the faster you get better.  Sessions are scheduled for 45 minutes, 1-3 times per week for approximately 9 months, but everyone is different.

A glimpse into Vision Therapy:

In Vision Therapy, our primary goal is to train the eyes to work as a team and talk to the brain properly. When this does not happen, one symptom is the eye muscles don’t receive enough instruction to move properly or hold their position. One activity we have for our patients is to follow a rotating wheel to stimulate the vision with motion and strengthen the muscles. This is called “dissociated rotations” if you are a doctor. Think of this as push-ups for the eyes: not all that fun, but pretty effective.

Now, remember that eyes like to pay attention when something is moving. Knowing that we have designed our program activities around it. A major part of our program is using equipment developed and designed by Dr. Hussey himself. We call them our “Spacegoggles.” Although even we are not sure where we came up with that name, it just sounded fun at the time.  Eyes like to pay attention when something is moving, but if the signal strength from the eye to the brain via the motion pathway drops just 20%, vision can go to sleep, just like the computer. 

When this happens, the message going from the eyes to the brain gets confused, causing letters and numbers to move around on a page, disappear, or even change into other letters.  To prevent that and to strengthen the signal going to the brain, we send visual signals using motion through the Spacegoogles to demand both eyes see simultaneously. An on-off flicker, the high-motion stimulus is used in the Spacegoggles to teach the eyes and the brain how to talk to each other and work as a team.

We will introduce you to the next two activities we use in combination with the Spacegoggles.

The video below shows another activity that we do in therapy. In order to understand what this is showing us, we need to go over a short lesson in stereoscopes. Stereoscopes are when things are split down the middle. The right eye sees on the right side, and the left eye sees on the left side. We use prisms to accomplish this. So, in the video, two big circles appear, then move together. That’s roughly what you see when the two eyes are used together. The second part of the video shows what a simple drawing should look like in the stereoscope. We have you put one pencil on each number 1 and pull your pencils together until they LOOK like they touch. NOT when they physically touch. Then on to each of the next numbers. When you’re done drawing lines from each of the corresponding numbers, if your eyes are combining, your drawing should resemble the video drawing. There were a lot of technical terms in there, but when we do this with patients, we just call it lines.

Another important activity in Vision Therapy is coloring. Sounds simple, but we have a gift for making the simple, challenging, and effective. We use prisms (stereoscopes) to move images and separate the information going to the Right eye and the Left eye. When you look through the prisms, one eye sees the outlines of the picture, and the other eye sees the colored pencil. If your eyes are doing what you want them to, it will look to you like you are coloring in a coloring book. But, if your eyes don’t like to team up, you will likely see the lines disappearing, or the colors disappearing, or maybe the outlines will jump away from your pencil. All of that happens when an eye shuts off and can’t see what is directly in front of it.

Can you imagine trying to read when your eyes keep shutting off? We utilize the motion of the pencil tip coloring to train your eyes to wake up and pay attention.

Who’s a good candidate for Vision Therapy? 

If you have trouble reading and glasses are not solving the problem, Vision Therapy just might be for you. We often talk about kids needing VT because parents pay attention when school is hard, but adults have reading problems too. 

If you see words moving around on the page, letters changing, or even disappearing, let us know. If you frequently read a book but can’t remember 10 seconds later what you just read, or maybe reading makes you really tired, we can help. 

If this sounds like you or someone in your life, call our office today and make an appointment with Dr. Hussey. 

And check out the questionnaire on our website with all of the common symptoms we can treat in Vision Therapy.

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