Vision Therapy at ECS
As COO of EyeCare Specialties, I decided to go through Vision Therapy more to evaluate and learn about the entire process rather than to be an actual patient. However, I quickly realized that I actually needed Vision Therapy as an adult after hearing about the symptoms and common frustrations that occur while reading. Those symptoms were validated as one of the tests proved that my eyes do not team well together and they tend to bounce around and move back-and-forth while reading. I thought that everyone had those issues and that I just needed to push through it. I have always loved the “idea” of reading but as a result of my frustration with bouncy eyes, I never actually liked to read. In high-school and college I thought the reasons why others read better or got their college tests done before me was simply because they could read faster. So, this issue with my eyes not teaming well was kind of an “Aha!” moment for me. One of our therapists, Michelle, noticed that I may be also having contrast sensitivity issues with the black text on white paper. Once again, I just thought the “ghosting” or fading of the black letters was normal. She tested my reading with a few different color filters placed over the page. The moment she placed a specific color of green over the page, all the annoying fading effects of the text disappeared. I could read clear and smooth like never before.
Over the next several weeks, I had the pleasure in working closely with Dr. Morrissey and each Vision Therapist we had on staff. It was quickly apparent that Dr. Morrissey and our Vision Therapists were not simply working intently with genuine enthusiasm just because I was the COO, but rather because they all truly believe in what they are doing. They have a dramatic and direct hand with enhancing vision with kids and adults in ways that are unique. In ways that most people take for granted and in ways that others simply think that their only option is to push through the difficulty like I had done all those years. You see, I have 20/20 vision without the need for glasses and was always praised for how well I could see. So, I thought I had no visual issues at all. This Vision Therapy team has a chance to work with patients that may have prefect or subpar visual acuity and enhance that patient’s life in new ways that glasses simply can’t completely fix at times.
Through the various exercises and instruments our therapists used, it was also quickly apparent that my left eye lagged a little in catching up to meet my right eye when focusing from near to distance. Working on these exercises in the clinic and at home helped improve the speed of eye-teaming with my left eye. In fact I noticed a significant improvement with lining up my putting game while playing golf. I wish I could say that Vision Therapy shaved 10 strokes off my game. However, that is not the case, but it isn’t the lack of positive effects from Vision Therapy but rather my lack of practicing at my golf game. ;) I bring this up because as an adult, I need to practice more often than the kids do with keeping my eyes teaming up. I use the home computer program often that the Therapists gave me early in the process. I do notice that when I haven’t used the program in a while or any other home techniques, that my reading can tend to feel slightly frustrating. However, I quickly notice reading improvement after spending some quality one-on-one time with my computer program and exercises.
The amount of time I spent with the Vision Therapy team and all the hours of home practicing was a commitment, but for me the benefits far outweighed the time invested. I wish I would have known about Vision Therapy in high-school or even college. It would have saved me from numerous unnecessary moments of frustration.