LIVONIA, MICHIGAN--(Marketwire - July 31, 2012) - When children are having trouble learning, vision problems are often suspected. But when they are taken to the optometrist for an exam and found to have vision problems, corrective lenses are often the only treatment they receive. Although corrective lenses can help, they do not necessarily get to the root cause of the problem. Nor do they always handle the symptoms the child is experiencing - including learning disabilities. According to Dr. John Jacobi, OD, FCOVD, Developmental Optometrist and principal of Suburban Eye Care in Livonia, Michigan, these children may also need vision therapy.
What is vision therapy? "Vision therapy is like physical therapy for the eyes," says Dr. Jacobi. "Just as physical therapy improves or restores mobility and function in the back, shoulder or knee, vision therapy helps improve or restore the mobility and function of the entire vision system."
Vision therapy can involve a number of exercises and other activities using everything from computers to balance boards and metronomes. But first the exact problem has to be diagnosed and you have to find out whether or not vision therapy is appropriate.
"To determine if someone needs vision therapy," said Dr. Jacobi, "we do a complete evaluation of the visual system. We don't just check which size letters the person can see clearly on the chart; we check to see what happens when they actually read and perform other visual tasks. We also take note of symptoms like headaches, double vision, unusual blinking, dry eyes, tilting of the head while reading, and so on. Once we have a clear picture of the situation, we design a vision therapy program based on the symptoms and their severity."
At Suburban Eye Care, treating learning disabilities is a specialty.
"So many children could be helped with their learning disabilities if their medical exams, including those conducted by an optometrist, were more thorough or included developmental problems. There are many physical problems that can cause a child to be distracted, uncomfortable, disruptive, or unable to think and process data correctly - vision problems are just one of those on the list. Addressing these physical problems can be the difference between a pleasant childhood and one fraught with problems. Sometimes those problems are carried right through to adulthood - so we treat adults as well. In our clinic, we successfully help people with learning disabilities every day."
To find out more about vision therapy, how it can be used to treat learning disabilities, and whether or not it would be of benefit to someone in your family, visit Dr. Jacobi's website at www.suburbaneyecare.com.