Skip to main content

Vision Therapy On Vancouver Island, BC Call 888-506-5729

Cute Boy Tie Backpack 1280×480

Patching or Vision Therapy for Lazy Eye?

Amblyopia, commonly referred to as ‘lazy eye’, occurs when the brain and the eye are not working in unison. This results in decreased vision in an eye that otherwise seems healthy.

While patching was traditionally the default treatment for amblyopia, vision therapy is now a much better option—and for several reasons. The exercises performed throughout the vision therapy program are meant to teach the patient new visual skills in an engaging and motivating way until the learned skill becomes automatic. Vision therapy thus outweighs the benefits of eye patching.

How Does Vision Therapy Compare To Eye Patching?

Traditionally, placing a patch (occlusion or penalization) over the better-seeing eye was the only method used to treat amblyopia. In theory, this treatment makes sense because it strengthens the weaker eye without interference from the other eye. Some optometrists still use patching because they claim that the eye and brain will naturally tune in to perfect binocular vision.

Unfortunately, training the brain and eyes to work together isn’t so simple. With patching, the brain finds other ways to compensate for the lack of vision while a solid vision therapy program is meant to guide and retrain the eyes and brain to work together with clear direction. For example, if you’re learning to ride a bicycle, you wouldn’t start with learning to ride a unicycle. You’d have someone guide you on a bicycle, so you can navigate and ride the bike correctly. Your vision is multiple times more complex than the skills involved in bike-riding, and learning the subtle vision skills requires the expertise of an optometrist trained in developmental vision therapy.

Furthermore, another problem with patching is that children may resist wearing it, as it draws attention and may affect their confidence. On the other hand, children who undergo vision therapy are likely to experience a confidence boost as visual skills are refined.

Vision therapy developed based on significant advances in the neuroscience of vision. While still making use of partial penalization, vision therapy also encourages the development of proper binocular vision and eye-teaming. Vision Therapy improves the amblyope’s visual abilities by enhancing eye coordination, depth perception, and reduces suppression (where the brain inhibits blurred or double vision by ignoring the image of the weaker eye).

Vision therapy works through a regimen of individually prescribed and monitored exercises aimed at developing visual skills and processing. The course of vision therapy sessions are typically supplemented by exercises to be done daily at home. The length of the program can range from several weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the diagnosis, patient compliance, and eye health.

Speak with Dr. Shaun Golemba from Vision Therapy Center At Valley Vision Optometry and discover how vision therapy can help you or your child with amblyopia. Vision Therapy Center At Valley Vision Optometry serves patients in Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland, Okanagan, Kootenay’s, and throughout British Columbia.

Adjust Text Size Normal Large Extra Large

We are currently offering in-office care by appointment only.

logo

COVID-19 UPDATE

The following is a summary of the steps we have taken to protect your safety.

Physical Distancing Measures:

o Reducing density of people: We have adopted a schedule which will reduce the amount of patients in our facility at one time.

o We will have some of our team working from home operating a call centre and tele-medicine pre-screening.

o Spacing stickers have been placed on our floor.

Engineering controls:

o Forms have been digitized and will be emailed to patients in advance of the appointment to minimize contact.

o A “For Payment" button has been installed on our website, valleyvisionoptometry.ca for patients to be able to pay from home to minimize contact.

o Plexiglass barriers have been installed at all 3 Front Desk stations

o Our doors will remain locked during Phase 2, opening the door to let in scheduled patients only.

o A dropbox has been installed for patients to drop off glasses in need of repair.

o Contact lens sales are administered through our webstore.

Administrative controls:

o Cleaning protocols have been written. Staff training on these protocols has been scheduled.

o Clear rules are posted on our front door and throughout all of the stations in our office.

Personal protective equipment:

o Patients will be required to wear a mask upon entry to the office and throughout their time with us. Those who do not have a mask will be supplied a surgical mask upon entry.

Policies around sickness:

o Employees and patients with cold or flu symptoms will be required to stay home.

Frequent hand washing:

o Patients, Doctors, and our Team will be required to wash hands upon entry and exit in to the exam rooms.

o Eyewear Consultants will wear gloves when handling eyewear and performing adjustments.

We currently are operating a reduced schedule, so are triaging patients to ensure those with the highest needs are prioritized.

Sincerely,

Dr. Shaun Golemba

Book an Appointment

x

As of May 19th, we have re-opened by appointment only. Our current hours are Monday to Friday, 8am – 4pm. Please call our office to schedule an appointment. Read about our safety protocols here.