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Vision Therapy

by on May 6, 2010

You all may recall that I was quite disappointed that our inner ear doctor couldn’t give us further guidance with Satomi’s dizziness.  Going to therapy twice a week and “letting it heal” is just to passive for us.

After this recent disappointment, we decided to pursue other options; Satomi mentioned Vision Therapy.  Apparently while still employed back at Healthsouth Tustin Rehab, Satomi had met a Neuro-Optometrist that specialized in Vision therapy.  After a bit of research Satomi thought it may help with her nystagmus problem.  We met with our Neurologist and discussed the Vision therapy.  He agreed with Satomi’s assessment and wrote a referral.

Until this time, I knew nothing about Vision Therapy.  I recently did a bit of digging and took the following excerpt from an Optometrists website:

“Vision Therapy is an individualized, supervised, treatment program designed to correct visual-motor and/or perceptual-cognitive deficiencies.  Therapy sessions include procedures designed to enhance the brain’s ability to control eye alignment, tracking and teaming, focusing abilities, movements, and visual processing.  Visual-motor skills and endurance are developed through the use of specialized computer and optical devices, including therapeutic lenses, prisms, and filters. During the final stages of therapy, the patient’s newly acquired visual skills are reinforced and made automatic through repetition and by integration with motor and cognitive skills.”

Here is the full website address for more information:  http://www.optometrists.org/drericikeda/vision_therapy.html

It sounds quite promising.  We set our initial appointment for this past Monday May 3rd.

The initial appointment was at the doctors store-front office.  It was filled with eyeglass frames and glass display cases-Not what I expected for a Vision therapy specialist.  We spoke of Satomi’s fairly lengthy medical history and described her problem in-depth.  We started the large battery of tests necessary to accurately define Satomi’s baseline condition.  The testing is so extensive that it will take 3 separate office visits to complete all of them.

We returned today May 5th to continue with the testing.  Here is a photo of Satomi trying to draw lines on a lighted table while wearing some crazy lenses.  I’m sure that there is an impressive name for this test but I just don’t know what that is. 

The session took 2 hours and is still not completed.  Satomi is getting through them but is doing quite poorly on nearly all tests.  That is an unusual change of pace.  We are all so used to Satomi exceeding all expectations. 

In this case, I think her poor performance is a good thing.  It gives us a clear and practical target for improvement.  These tests are designed to simulate real world conditions.  Any improvements in test scores is a direct indicator of improvements in Satomi’s daily function.

The doctor is optimistic and has already begun discussing with us the therapy techniques that she will be using.  We are returning for the final test session next Wednesday May 12th and expect to start vision therapy shortly thereafter.

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From → Medical Update

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