The Power of Vision Therapy


V. U. was referred to an ophthalmologist and seeing him for over a year before she was referred to me for a full optometric binocular function assessment.

When V.U. first seen the ophthalmologist she was nine years old and in the 3rd grade. The primary complaints were that her mother noticed V.U.’s left eye “moving independently” especially when tired. She also had trouble reading. She couldn’t keep the print together and in focus. She did see another eye doctor previously for glasses, but that doctor said she did not need them. There was no family history of eye problems reported. The findings at this time were visual acuity of 20/30 in the right eye and 20/30 in the left, exophoria (outward eye posture) but no strabismus (eye turn), and with no significant refractive error (nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatism). The ophthalmologist planned no treatment but to follow the case by way of return visits.

Five months later V.U. returned. She is now in the 4th grade. The complaint was that the left eye turns out during the day; and after about ten minutes of reading her eyes will hurt and she has to stop. The findings were as before: eyes healthy, exophoria, very poor stereopsis (depth perception), and no significant refractive error. Another return visit was scheduled.

Six months later – about the same report, but this time V.U. was prescribed low plus single-vision lenses (+1.00 spheres for each eye) to “try it out”. Another six months later V.U. returned with the same complaints. She is now ten years old and will be entering the 5th grade. The findings by the ophthalmologist were similar except that V.U. had developed an intermittent exotropia (outward eye turn) of about 12 prism diopters (exostrabismus). The doctor didn’t want to perform surgery because, after all, a surgical cure is anything within 15 prism diopters of eye deviation. The findings were discussed and it was decided to refer V.U. to me, Dr. Joseph Pederzolli, for an evaluation for “eye exercises”.

And so the “fun” begins. I was challenged to resolve the visual problems of a soon to become 5th grader. Her oculomotor skills were weak, she had intermittent strabismus, poor depth perception with suppression, visual acuities had dropped to 20/50 or worse, no significant refractive error, and the visual demand of school work was increasingly becoming more difficult. Her mother wanted V.U. to have better alignment of the eyes, to stop seeing double, have less eye strain, improve self-esteem, become less frustrated, and for V.U. to become more relaxed and happier.

I kept V.U. in the +1.00 spheres and put her in Vision Therapy (not “eye exercises”). I estimated about 30 office visits to meet those goals.

Twenty-two Office Vision Therapy visits later, V.U. was completed – all of the goals had been met. No strabismus, normal binocular depth perception, no eyestrain, unaided visual acuity of 20/20 in each eye and 20/15 with both eyes, doing much better with school, and a much happier young lady. The cost of Vision Therapy – priceless!

I kept V.U. in the original +1.00 spheres for reading, and scheduled a follow-up exam.

Seven months later, the above results stayed the same. This was also confirmed by the referring ophthalmologist.

So, when asked, why do I provide Vision Therapy? Because it works!

  • Dr. Joseph M. Pederzolli