Friday, February 8, 2013

If Vision Therapy were an alternative treatment, what exactly is it an alternative to?

Nothing annoys me more than someone calling developmental or behavioral optometry ‘alternative medicine’. What exactly is it an alternative to? Cutting into peoples eye muscles leaving them with an even greater challenge to overcome? Too often poor eye control is blamed on the muscles surrounding the eyes and surgery is advised to alter the length of the muscles. The cause of strabismus however is at the cortical level (in the brain) and cutting the eye muscles is rarely of benefit other than in rare cases of paralysis or partial paralysis of muscles. In too many cases surgery leaves the patient even further from a cure because of the extra physical trauma that has to be overcome adding to the initial brain problem. Sometimes surgery can help someone to come closer to eye alignment but Optometric Vision Therapy, also called visual rehabilitation, is the ONLY way to really cure strabismus at the cortical level and acquire healthy stereo vision through practice.  Whether you had surgery or not, visual rehabilitation is necessary to effectively treat binocular vision problems. As I posted earlier: strabismus is less of a problem to be cured, than to be controlled.

Spreading information that indicates otherwise is unethical and nothing short of assault. If someone claims something of this sort out of ignorance, it’s negligence. If they know better and still don’t act accordingly, it’s criminal negligence and they don’t deserve to call themselves doctors.

Having excellent vision themselves most ophthalmologists focus on the aesthetic side of strabismus and don’t realize what kind of mental strain vision imbalances put on a person’s brain. The academic, physical, emotional, social and financial opportunity costs of not being treated with VT as soon as needed are huge for the individual and for society. On top of the 4% strabismics, there’s a huge group of roughly 20% of the general population with more subtle binocular eye problems not being handed the tools to a better life. They cannot reach up to their potential, get (mental) health problems, cannot maintain normal social relationships and more than once are financially punished for their undetected and untreated vision problem because of inability to perform adequately. Any eye doctor not trying to combat this great injustice with the neuroscientific truth that Vision Therapy allows children and motivated adults to alter their vision should find another profession.

Peer reviewed study:

Related articles of the Vision Help Blog:
- Quid pro quo - VT works

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