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NeuroLens and NeuroLenses 

Looking for Neurolens? You want to find out if the Neurolenses are better than prism glasses prescribed by an optometrist, and if they are worth the money. I’ve seen patients using the NeuroLens, and tracked their changes.

Long Story Short: Click here

About the Author: Before optometry I was in engineering, and I bring an engineer’s view to how vision works. I love high tech gadgets and am quick to implement them in practice. I’ve found that many fall short of their lofty claims, often sacrificing patient outcomes.

What is NeuroLens

The Neurolens is meant to identify eye misalignment with the Neurolens machine and treat it with patented prism lenses. Headaches, eye fatigue, dry eye sensation and neck pain are all said to be part of eye misalignment problems, in a condition called Trigeminal Dysphoria. It is being advertised to identify eye misalignment as small as 0.01 Prism Diopters and using more than 10,000 data points. Does this matter? Or is it just good marketing?

Does Eye Misalignment Cause Symptoms?

Eye misalignment and binocular dysfunction are common problems that can cause headaches, eye strain, fatigue, migraines, neck pain, difficulty with screens and more. These are not new issues. However, many eye exams focus mostly on eye health and visual acuity, and only look at eye misalignment when it’s quite large. The original way of thinking was that only large eye misalignment problems could cause symptoms, but we now know that small misalignments can cause a lot of symptoms.

What Does Neurolens Test?

The Neurolens unit (NMD2) measures eye alignment horizontal and vertical at both distance and near. It measures what are called associated and dissociated phorias, which are different ways of measuring eye alignment. The patient sits with their head looking into what could be described as a virtual reality unit on a table. This is one area the Neurolens falls short, but more on that later.

Is This Different Than What an Optometrist Tests?

Associated and dissociated phoria testing can be done without a NeuroLens, although it is overlooked in many eye examinations.

Problems with the NeuroLens

One of the problems with the Neurolens is that all of the testing is done in an artificial environment of the machine. The Neurolens also does not account for visual-vestibular integration, or how the eyes and inner ear work together. This testing requires head movement, which cannot be done within the machine. NeuroLens also fails to consider how a person is controlling their eyes during testing, and how this changes with different positions, movement or cues.

NeuroLens prescription lenses.

NeuroLenses are heavily marketed and expensive. One of the main selling features of NeuroLenses prescription lenses is contoured prism. This means that there is more prism in the reading part of the lens. In theory this sounds great, because many (not all) people need more prism when reading than when looking at distance. However, it’s a bit like paying twice the price for a dress shoe because it is insulated for walking in the snow. You get better performance buying an equally nice dress shoe and dedicated snow boot for the same price.

A specifically prescribed pair of reading/computer glasses with the appropriate prism will always outperform the reading area of a NeuroLens. The two usage specific glasses can often be had for the same prices as a single pair of NeuroLenses.

Accurate Prescription Glasses

Neurolens takes the right approach by controlling the manufacturing. NeuroLenses come from the company itself, ensuring quality control. The issue is that when a prescription is ordered from a lens company, the prescription is altered in a number of ways to conform to the company’s designs, and it can create unwanted prism. The problem is that they are very expensive.

Taking the engineer’s approach, we figured out how to reverse calculate the changes many labs make, so that the final product has the exact optics that were prescribed. This can be done for significantly less expense than NeuroLens, and often yields better results. The problem of how a person’s prescription is translated into glasses is an industry-wide issue. Patients are often given many options of lens designs, measurements change, and standards aren’t upheld, resulting in incorrect prism and underperforming prescriptions.

Long Story Short

Neurolens may be better than a regular prescription, but it falls short. An optometrist who can conduct the correct testing will give you a better performing prescription at a more reasonable price than NeuroLens. If the only option in your area is NeuroLens, then it is worth at try.

Martial Arts: Improve Your Reflexes With Sports Vision Training

Martial Arts Improve Your Reflexes With Sports Vision Training 640×350As a martial artist, you want to show your hard-earned skills at every match. While martial artists know the importance of being physically fit, many don’t realize that their visual skills also play a central role in their performance.

Your eyes’ ability to focus, react instantaneously to another’s moves, and see movement from the edge of your visual field are all critical skills to succeed in martial arts. That’s where sports vision training comes in. Regardless of your age or level of ability, sports vision training can boost your visual skills to help you up your game.

What is Sports Vision Training?

Sports vision training is a customized program designed to enhance the communication between your eyes, brain, and body. Athletes who receive sports vision training are able to process visual information faster and react more precisely to what they see on the mat, field or track.

Sports vision training employs a unique set of strategies and exercises that enhances eye-brain communication so the body can respond more quickly, effectively and accurately. Visual skills such as depth perception, hand-eye coordination, dynamic visual acuity and peripheral awareness are all [emphasized] during sports vision training.

Visual Skills for Martial Arts

Visual skills allow the brain to quickly process the images received by the eyes and then relay this information to the body. People who do judo, karate, kung fu, Muay Thai, Krav Maga, Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido among other forms of martial arts rely heavily on these and other visual skills to succeed:

Dynamic Visual Acuity

This is at times referred to as “vision in motion,” or the capacity to see, understand and respond quickly to moving objects. In martial arts, fighters need dynamic visual acuity to accurately follow their opponents’ sudden kicks, throws or punches.

Eye-Hand Coordination

There is a three-way information pathway between our limbs, eye and brain. Any miscommunication between these three can impact eye-hand coordination. If the information is not conveyed quickly and accurately enough, the body may not be able to react in time to fend off an opponent.

From parrying a punch in boxing to grappling in Jiu-Jitsu, hand-eye coordination is required for a wide range of maneuvers and situations. It’s also important for enhancing your general timing in offensive and defensive reactions.

Peripheral Awareness

Your ability to recognize what’s going on at the edge of your vision is known as peripheral awareness. A fighter with a well-developed peripheral field will be able to see everything at once and perceive the battle’s flow.

Combatants of all levels, amateur and professional, can benefit from improving their visual abilities. Giving martial artists the ability to develop their sports vision skills has been shown to help them perform at a higher level.

Contact us at Opto-mization NeuroVisual Performance to schedule your appointment with one of our sports vision experts and discover how sports vision training can help you excel in martial arts.

Our practice serves patients from Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia and surrounding communities.
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Does Your Child Have 20/20 Vision Yet Still Struggles In School?

teacher with kids needing vision therapyYour child aced their school’s vision screening test with 20/20 eyesight. That means perfect vision, right?

Actually, no. 20/20 simply means that your child can clearly see things that are 20 feet away. While that’s good news, clear eyesight doesn’t mean a student has strong visual skills.

There are 17 crucial visual skills that can impact your child’s success in school and on the sports field. Fortunately, most children are able to improve their visual skills with vision therapy.

What Are Visual Skills?

A healthy visual system relies not only on healthy vision, but on the eyes’ ability to move correctly, send the correct information to the brain, and the brain’s ability to interpret this information. If any one of these visual skills is sub-par, it can impact a child’s reading, writing and learning. This, in turn, can harm their motivation and self-confidence.

The visual skills needed to succeed in school (and life) include:

  • Eye movement – the ability to accurately control the eye’s movements
  • Eye teaming – the ability of both eyes to work together
  • Focusing – the ability to maintain clear vision at all distances
  • Peripheral vision – seeing objects at the sides of our vision
  • Saccades – the ability for vision to jump between focal points

When 20/20 Vision Doesn’t Measure Up

When a child scores 20/20 on a simple vision test, problems with visual skills often go unnoticed because basic screenings rarely assess beyond eyesight. It’s no wonder that 1 out of 4 schoolchildren has an undiagnosed vision problem! That’s a lot of children struggling unnecessarily, and well into adulthood.

Only a functional eye exam performed by an eye doctor can detect subpar visual skills.

Signs Your Child Has a Visual Problem

Schedule a functional eye exam if your child:

  • Has learning difficulties
  • Reads below grade level
  • Exhibits behavioral problems
  • Has difficulty paying attention
  • Frequently rubs their eyes or blinks frequently
  • Squints or covers one eye when reading
  • Has poor hand-eye coordination

How Do You Improve Visual Skills in Children?

If your child is diagnosed with any visual skills deficits, their eye doctor may recommend vision therapy. This form of therapy involves the use of specialized eye exercises, prisms, therapeutic lenses and even fun computer-based games that recalibrate how the brain and eyes work together. Vision therapy involves a customized program to meet the individual needs of each child. The therapy is performed in-office and at home between office sessions.

Vision therapy is ideal for kids because their brains are still developing and have greater neuroplasticity (meaning, their brains are more adaptable to change through the strengthening of neural connections).

While the vision therapy program can range from a few weeks to several months, the results last a lifetime.

If your child is struggling to keep up in school or when playing sports, don’t delay and schedule an appointment with Dr. Cameron McCrodan or Dr. Scott Irvine at Opto-mization NeuroVisual Performance.

Our practice serves patients from Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Cameron McCrodan & Dr. Scott Irvine

Q: What is the success rate of vision therapy?

  • A: Vision therapy is a proven method to boost deficient visual skills and treat the visual system. In a multi-center National Eye Institute-funded study, 75% of patients with convergence insufficiency (problems with eye teaming), experienced normal vision or significantly improved symptoms following office-based vision therapy.

Q: Can vision therapy treat strabismus?

  • A: Yes. Vision therapy is the most effective and non-invasive treatment for strabismus— when the eyes don’t fixate or focus on the same place or visual target simultaneously. Eye exercises that train the brain and the eyes to work together can correct the eye turn and may even result in vision improvements, such as 3D vision and binocular depth perception.

References

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Can Your Vision Change After a Concussion?

women rubbing her head from neuro vision problemsIf you’ve hit your head in a fall while playing sports or in any other type of accident, your vision may have been impacted.

Between 69% and 82% of people who’ve experienced concussions report visual problems, such as eyestrain and double or blurred vision.

Head trauma causes the brain to move within the skull. The movement can stretch the fragile cranial nerves and can even damage brain cells. Since vision relies on efficient communication between the eyes and the brain, a concussion can disrupt these neural pathways, affecting your vision.

The resulting condition is called post-trauma vision syndrome (PTVS).

How Does a Concussion Affect Vision?

Our vision depends on our brain’s ability to accurately receive and interpret the images sent by our eyes. Therefore, anything that impacts the brain can severely affect our ability to see clearly. When we suffer head injuries caused by a traffic accident or a serious fall, the resulting head injury can impact the communication between our eyes and brain.

Although your eyes may be healthy, your vision may be blurred, or you might start seeing double or experience eye strain due to post-trauma vision syndrome.

What Is Post Trauma Vision Syndrome?

Post-trauma vision syndrome refers to a number of visual problems that tend to occur following a severe head injury. If you have PTVS, you may have trouble with:

  • Focusing – changing focus from close to far or keeping your vision clear
  • Eye teaming or binocular vision – your eyes’ ability to coordinate
  • Depth perception – judging distance or the relationship of one object to another
  • Eye-tracking – visually following an object or text on a screen or page
  • Peripheral vision – seeing things from the side of the eyes
  • Eye alignment – the eyes aren’t aligned correctly or point in different directions

Any one of these visual problems can negatively affect your ability to perform day-to-day tasks and significantly lower your quality of life. Driving, reading, watching TV, participating in sports, enjoying hobbies and even socializing can become difficult.

Why You Need a Neuro-Optometrist

A neuro-optometrist is trained to diagnose and treat visual problems related to the nervous system caused by head injuries, strokes and neurological diseases. After assessing your visual system for any aberrations, your neuro-optometrist will prescribe a customized treatment plan to strengthen your visual system and improve your quality of life.

What Treatments Improve Vision Following a Concussion?

A neuro-optometrist may prescribe any of the following to relieve symptoms after a concussion and help you see and feel better:

  • Prescription lenses – especially for blurry vision
  • Prism lenses
  • Syntonic phototherapy – the use of light to create balance in the autonomous nervous system and restore vision
  • Neuro-optometric therapy – a customized eye exercise program designed to rehabilitate your visual skills

How Long Do Visual Problems Last After a Concussion?

Typically, visual problems caused by a concussion don’t become noticeable for some time. Symptoms of visual problems can appear or remain for weeks, months or even years after the original incident. Any person who has had a concussion should be assessed by a neuro-optometrist, even if they’re not experiencing any obvious visual problems.

If you’re still experiencing any visual symptoms of post-traumatic vision syndrome, even weeks or months after your head injury, it’s essential to see a neuro-optometrist for diagnosis and treatment. If this is your case, we invite you to schedule your appointment with Dr. Cameron McCrodan or Dr. Scott Irvine at today.

Our practice serves patients from Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Cameron McCrodan & Dr. Scott Irvine

Q: Can a concussion permanently change your vision?

  • A: In some cases, a concussion can permanently impact your vision, especially if your visual system or optic nerve has been damaged. The good news is that most visual problems caused by a head injury respond well to neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy.

Q: Why can it take time for concussion-related vision problems to be diagnosed?

  • A: Diagnosis can depend on several factors. If someone has been in a serious accident, their physicians are focused on life-threatening injuries. As a result, all but the most obvious visual symptoms, such as vision loss, may be missed. In other cases, the signs of PTVS can be very subtle and undetectable in a routine eye exam. That’s why anyone who has experienced a concussion should have their vision thoroughly examined by a neuro-optometrist.

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    Can Vision Be Trained to Improve Sports Performance?

    Runner stretching on bridgeTo detect the exact angle of a tennis ball in midday glare, observe the subtle movements of a goalie or focus accurately on a target, you need great visual skills.

    How Vision Affects the Performance of an Athlete

    Many athletes find that in spite of consistent exercise and hard work, something is preventing them from reaching their goals. Often, it’s their visual system.

    In those with a healthy visual system, the eyes accurately relay images to the brain, which quickly turns these messages into actions, such as positioning your arm and hands to catch a ball. This eye-brain-body communication is dependent on the following visual skills:

    • Eye focusing: smoothly changing the focus from object to object
    • Depth perception: detecting the speed and distance of objects
    • Eye-hand or eye-body coordination: the ability to react efficiently to what one sees
    • Eye-tracking: tracking a moving object
    • Dynamic visual acuity: seeing moving objects clearly
    • Peripheral awareness: detecting things in the corner of your eye

    Good depth perception helps you gauge the distance between you and the basket, while poor peripheral awareness makes it harder to see players approaching from the side. Proper eye tracking and dynamic visual acuity help you follow the action on the field and hit a target.

    Yet even the best visual skills won’t help an athlete if their eyesight isn’t clear. That’s where glasses and contact lenses come into play.

    What Glasses and Contact Lenses Are Best for Sports?

    If you wear prescription glasses, you should also have a pair of sports glasses to use while you train or participate in a game or a race. Eyewear designed for sports:

    • Maximize vision so you can see clearly for your best performance
    • Prevents eye injuries due to a fast-moving ball or even an errant finger from an opposing player, potentially leading to vision loss
    • Reduces glare all year round

    Glasses with silicone padding can keep debris from making contact with your eyes. Choose polarized glasses to reduce glare from reflected light, such as off water, snow or a road surface, or photochromic lenses that will automatically darken as your surroundings get brighter. Impact-resistant lenses can add to the durability and strength of your sports glasses, which are often recommended for intense activity.

    Which Contacts Are Best for Sports?

    Some contact lenses can be more versatile and comfortable than eyeglasses for sports. They don’t slip, as glasses sometimes do, and may improve your peripheral vision. To protect your eyes from debris, glare or impact, you may need to wear additional protective eyewear or sunglasses along with contact lenses.

    Soft contact lenses are often used for sports since they move less on the eye, but some athletes prefer gas-permeable lenses because they may provide clearer vision and offer improved eye health for some patients. Check with your eye doctor which type of contact lenses are best for you based on your vision correction needs and the sports you play.

    For less glare and greater color contrast, you may want to consider custom-tinted soft contact lenses. These lenses filter light rays in a way similar to certain tinted optical lenses that may help you see a ball or a target more accurately.

    For example, amber tints can be helpful for people who play tennis, soccer, and baseball, while gray-green are sometimes recommended for golf, biking and running.

    Can Sports Vision Training Improve Athletic Performance?

    Just as you lift weights, run hills and do calisthenics to build your strength, endurance and flexibility, you can get your eyes into shape with sports vision training. A sports vision optometrist can help you improve your visual skills by prescribing exercises to hone your ability to focus, track objects, perceive objects in motion and at the periphery.

    How Does Sports Vision Training Work?

    A customized sports vision training program helps athletes of all ages and abilities boost the visual skills they need to excel at their chosen sports. During a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will assess both your eyesight and your visual skills. Your eye doctor will then prescribe a personalized program of eye exercises to sharpen your skills based on the exam results, the sports you play as well as your goals.

    Studies have shown that sports vision training enhances an athlete’s ability to react faster and more efficiently by improving visual skills. In fact, it’s now an integral part of many sports programs.

    Discover ways to boost your visual system so you’re in top shape for the next big game or race. To learn more or speak with a sports vision training eye care professional, contact Opto-mization NeuroVisual Performance today!

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Cameron McCrodan & Dr. Scott Irvine

    Q: What are the most common eye injuries sustained in sports?

    • A: Among the most common eye injuries in sports are:
      – Eyelid bruises
      – Eye punctures
      – Eye scratches. These injuries can result from an impact, or debris getting into or penetrating the eye. Some can lead to permanent vision loss while others may only need superficial treatment. Either way, an eye doctor should assess all eye injuries.
    • According to a study done by the University of Cincinnati Division of Sports Medicine, football players who had undergone sports vision training to improve their peripheral vision sustained fewer injuries than those who did not do it.
    • This is because sports vision training helps the eyes and brain react more quickly to changes in the environment, resulting in more successes and fewer accidents.

    Q: Is Sports Vision Training exclusively for professional athletes?

    • A: The best thing about sports vision training is that it can help both amateur and professional athletes take their game to the next level. This includes children, teens as well as adults.

    References

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    Do You See Better When You Tilt or Turn Your Head?

    blue eye tilted head to see betterDo you find that you need to tilt or turn your head to see better? This is known as an anomalous and compensatory gesture. Many people – including children – don’t even realize they’re doing this until their neck begins to feel really sore. Naturally, it’s hard to imagine that the source of their problem is their eyes or the optic nerves.

    Why Does My Vision Improve When I Tilt or Turn My Head?

    You may turn or tilt your head for any of the following reasons:

    Eye Misalignment (Strabismus)

    When your two eyes are misaligned or “crossed” (strabismus), they aren’t able to point in the same direction. The result: each eye sends a different image to your brain, which then struggles to merge the images to create one clear, unified 3D image. Moving your head compensates for this and may enable your brain to more comfortably combine the images to see more clearly.

    This misalignment can be caused by a malfunction of the nerve that controls the muscles surrounding the eyes. Depending on which nerves and muscles are affected, the head turn or tilt is essentially an adjustment to enhance the comfort and clarity of vision.

    Duane Syndrome

    Duane syndrome is a specific type of strabismus. It is a congenital disorder of the 6th cranial nerve that controls the lateral rectus muscle. As a result, the eyes may rotate inward and outward and can lead to compensatory head movements.

    Nystagmus

    Nystagmus, involuntary jerky or shaky eye movements, can cause you to tilt your head in a specific position when the nystagmus is slow or stops. This is called a “null point.” Nystagmus can have a neurological basis, as in cases of:

    • Stroke
    • Trauma to the head
    • Brain tumor
    • Central nervous system diseases, such as multiple sclerosis

    Ptosis

    Ptosis is often called “droopy eyelid,” and can be caused by an injury to the muscles surrounding the eyelid or to the nerves controlling these muscles. People with ptosis will compensate by looking upward to see objects as if trying to see past the eyelid.

    Refractive Errors

    Refractive errors occur when the eye is either too long or the corneal focusing power is too high or too low. They aren’t a result of a neurological problem. However, refractive errors often cause a child or adult to tilt or move their head to compensate for their blurry vision.

    These are the refractive errors that affect eyesight:

    • Astigmatism
    • Myopia (nearsightedness)
    • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
    • Presbyopia (age-related farsightedness)

    In the event of a refractive error, you or your child may also squint your eyes in an attempt to see better. Having an eye exam can determine the type of refractive error and the best way to correct the problem.

    How Can I Stop By Head From Tilting or Turning to See Better?

    If you find that you’re tilting or turning your head to see objects or read better, it’s important to schedule an eye exam to identify the cause of the problem.

    Patients with ocular neurological problems may be experiencing some of these symptoms:

    • Eye strain, headaches or migraines
    • Eye turn or blurry vision
    • Reading or attention problems
    • Difficulty moving the eyes
    • Involuntary eye movements
    • Pressure in the eyes or head
    • Uneven pupils
    • Double vision
    • Droopy eyelids
    • Facial distortion

    If your eye doctor suspects that your eye condition may be rooted in the nerves or the brain, they may recommend an appointment with a neuro-ophthalmologist, who is trained to diagnose and treat eye irregularities with a neurological cause.

    Do you want to get rid of your head tilt and treat your eye problem? Schedule an appointment at Opto-mization NeuroVisual Performance today.

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Cameron McCrodan & Dr. Scott Irvine

    Q: What are some causes of neurological problems that affect the eyes?

    • A: – Inflammation of the optic nerve (optic neuritis)
      – Swelling of the optic nerve (papilledema) – commonly caused by increased pressure inside the brain
      – Nerve damage leading to paralysis of eye muscles – this leads to strabismus or misaligned eyes
      – Optic neuropathy – can be caused by toxic substances such as alcohol, tobacco or B12 deficiency
      – Stroke or brain tumor

    Q: How is strabismus treated?

    • A: Strabismus, characterized by crossed or misaligned eyes, is treated by:- Eyeglasses for milder cases
      – An eye patch placed over the stronger eye to help the weaker eye become stronger
      – Orthoptics – eye exercises
      – Botox – can temporarily weaken the overactive muscle
      – Surgery on the eye muscles

    References

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    Should My Child Have Vision Therapy?

    Should My Child Have Vision Therapy 640×350Children may fail to recognize that they’re having difficulty reading, or that their eyes are struggling to focus, so it’s up to parents and teachers to be aware of the many visual problems that are common in children of all ages.

    About one in four school-aged children has a visual problem, but school vision screenings aren’t equipped to diagnose the majority of visual deficits.

    This is concerning, given that visual dysfunction is strongly linked to behavioral problems and poor academic performance. Only a comprehensive eye exam can examine your child’s eyesight, determine whether they have visual deficits and assess whether they can be treated with vision therapy.

    What Is Vision Therapy?

    Vision therapy is an evidence-based treatment program developed over decades that has undergone extensive research and clinical trials to prove its effectiveness.

    Vision therapy works by strengthening the communication between the visual system and the brain through a customized program of eye [exercises] prescribed by an eye doctor. Just as physical therapy trains your muscles to function normally, vision therapy applies the same principle to strengthen eye-brain communication. Even children with 20/20 vision can have visual problems, such as eye-tracking, focusing, and eye teaming.

    Can Children Undergo Vision Therapy?

    Vision therapy is ideal for children as it can correct problems early on, while their brains are still developing. Furthermore, vision therapy doesn’t involve invasive procedures or medications, so it’s an appropriate treatment method—even for young children. It’s also engaging for children, as many of the activities and exercises use objects such as prisms, special lenses and computerized exercises.

    VT Works Wonders for the Following Vision Conditions:

    Vision Therapy for Strabismus (Crossed Eyes)

    Strabismus, also known as crossed eye or eye turn, is a condition where the eyes are turned in different directions from each other. One eye might be looking straight while the other is turned in or out. The eye turn might be constant or intermittent.

    Vision Therapy for Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

    Amblyopia is more commonly known as lazy eye and occurs when one eye doesn’t develop the same level of visual acuity as the other eye. Lazy eye results when the brain develops a stronger connection with the clearer eye and fails to process the images sent from the weaker eye. This can eventually lead to permanent vision loss in the weaker eye. Vision therapy works by strengthening the weaker eye to “balance” vision.

    Vision Therapy for Accommodative (Focusing) Disorders

    Many children struggle to maintain focus for hours on end, impacting their school performance. These eye disorders affect a child’s ability to maintain focus or switch focus between various objects or distances, causing blurred vision and attention difficulties.

    Vision Therapy for Eye Movement Disorders

    Vision therapy can treat many eye movement disorders, such as eye-tracking problems and more complex eye movement problems characterized by involuntary eye movements, such as nystagmus. Eye movement problems can hamper reading fluency and cause double or blurred vision.

    Vision therapy is commonly used to treat a form of eye movement disorder called convergence insufficiency, characterized by the inability to maintain focus on close objects or while reading. This can result in eye strain and reduced concentration, significantly affecting a child’s reading grades and even sports performance.

    How Can I Tell Whether My Child Has Vision Problems?

    To determine whether your child has a vision problem and can benefit from vision therapy, our Victoria eye doctor will carry out a comprehensive eye exam, including an assessment of their functional visual skills, lazy eye and more. This test, known as a functional eye exam, goes beyond the standard “20/20” sight test and is performed by eye doctors with experience and years of training in vision therapy.

    Once your optometrist determines that vision therapy is the suitable treatment, he or she will create a personalized plan of exercises and eye activities based on the patient’s condition, age and other factors. The therapy typically includes any of the following:

    • Prisms
    • Lenses
    • Filters
    • Balance boards
    • Metronomes
    • Computer-based activities

    Sessions last between 45 to 60 minutes and take place once or twice a week, or for less serious conditions, every two weeks. Vision therapy typically lasts a few months.

    To find out whether your child has any vision problems or to learn more about vision therapy, schedule an appointment with Dr. Cameron McCrodan or Dr. Scott Irvine at Opto-mization NeuroVisual Performance today!

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Cameron McCrodan & Dr. Scott Irvine

    Q: Does vision therapy mean my child will no longer need glasses or contact lenses?

    • A: No. Vision therapy performed under the guidance of an optometrist should not be confused with [unauthorized] programs that promise patients they will no longer need glasses or contacts. Vision therapy doesn’t treat refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism that eyewear is often prescribed to correct.

    Q: How long will it take before my child sees results from vision therapy?

    • A: Some children experience results from vision therapy in the first week, but it typically takes about six to eight weeks to notice a dramatic change. This, of course, hinges on how consistent the child is with performing exercises during the week.

    Our practice serves patients from Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia and surrounding communities.

    References

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    Toys and Games to Help Your Child Succeed in School

    Adult and Child Playing Games

    If your child is showing signs of a learning difficulty, it is important to rule out an underlying vision problem that may be hindering their ability to successfully complete the tasks required for academic achievement.

    Early detection of a vision problem is crucial for preventing years of learning difficulties and feelings of frustration and reduced self-esteem. Contact Opto-mization NeuroVisual Performance to book a comprehensive eye exam and assess whether any underperforming visual skills may be interfering with your child’s academic achievement.

    Below are a few ideas of toys and games that promote children’s visual skills.

    Building Toys

    Building toys fuels the imagination develops spatial awareness and spatial organization skills. These skills are useful in understanding maps, geography and geometry, and solving math problems. Spatial awareness is also essential for sports and dancing.

    When children build with toys, they also develop hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills and visualization skills.

    Popular building toys include Legos, Lincoln Logs, Duplos, Mega Bloks, Magnatiles and Clics.

    Games for Visual Processing

    Children develop visual processing and reasoning by playing checkers, chess, dominoes and Rush Hour.

    Memory games require players to identify pairs from memorized pictures, develop cognitive and visual skills. Puzzles and games strengthen visual skills [utilized] in geometry, math problems and reading comprehension.

    Visual processing skills are essential not only in school but in life. They help us navigate using written directions, detect visual patterns, gather clues from the world around us and notice essential details.

    Spatial Awareness Games

    Spatial awareness is the process by which people become aware of themselves and other objects in the space around them. This is important for developing peripheral vision and a range of visual skills. Playing “ball” sports such as baseball, soccer, tennis, basketball and ping pong develops space perception and hand-eye coordination. These games require a fast reaction and an exact perception of the location of any object around you and how far or close the object is.

    In addition to sports, marbles and pick-up sticks also encourage three-dimensional depth perception, which can also improve visual skills such as eye-tracking, eye muscle coordination and focusing.

    A Child’s Vision Is Vital for Fun and Learning

    Vision involves more than just seeing clearly. It gives children the confidence to join in games and participate in school. Often what appears to be a lack of interest in studies or behavior difficulties can be caused by underdeveloped visual skills.

    School vision screenings are rudimentary and aren’t designed to assess a child’s visual skills. Even a child with 20/20 vision can have visual skills deficits.

    If you suspect your child is struggling in school, bring them to Opto-mization NeuroVisual Performance for a functional vision evaluation.

    If an issue with visual functioning is detected, your eye doctor can map out a personalized therapeutic program to suit your child’s needs. Research supports vision therapy as an effective treatment for a wide range of functional vision problems. Vision therapy is like a gym that trains the brain and the eyes to work together and improve eye-brain-body coordination.

    For more information or to schedule a functional vision evaluation, call Opto-mization NeuroVisual Performance today.

    Our practice serves patients from Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia and surrounding communities.

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Cameron McCrodan & Dr. Scott Irvine

    Q: How common are vision problems in children?

    • A: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 2 out of every 1,000 people under the age of 25 have a vision impairment and 5.6% of children with learning disabilities have poor visual skills.

    Q: What eye conditions can vision therapy treat?

    • A: Vision therapy is a non-surgical, personalized program that corrects vision problems in children and adults. The following conditions are commonly treated using vision therapy:
      – Amblyopia or lazy eye
      – Strabismus or irregular eye alignment
      – Binocular vision problems
      – Focusing problems

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    4 Tips To Improve Sports Performance

    child skiing improving performanceIn sports, being even just a fraction of a second slower than your opponent can make all the difference between lifting a trophy as champion or heading back to the showers.

    So what is the best way to achieve your goals? Here are 4 tips to improve your sports performance and be the athlete you aspire to be.

    1. Eating and Drinking Right

    When planning meals, try to avoid simple carbs and sugars like baked goods, many cereals and fruit juices from concentrate. Instead aim for more complex carbs such as fresh (not canned) fruits and vegetables and whole-grains such as quinoa. These complex carbohydrates break down more slowly, supplying your body with a more steady supply of energy, keeping you full longer.

    You should also make sure to have plenty of protein-rich foods in your diet, such as fish, meat and eggs. They support muscle growth and help your muscles recover more quickly after workouts.

    When choosing what to drink, water is always the best option. It lacks the added sugars of sodas and juices, wards off dehydration, supports muscle growth and helps prevent muscle tears and cramps during workouts.

    To maintain optimal hydration throughout the day, women should aim to drink approximately 2.7 liters of water each day, and men should aim for approximately 3.7 liters.

    2. Change Up Your Workouts

    Doing the same thing day in and day out for your workout has a number of disadvantages.

    First of all, it can get boring. If workouts become monotonous, it’s much more difficult to stay motivated day after day.

    Maintaining the exact same workout routine every day can also reduce the effectiveness of those workouts.

    Every day or two, you should change the muscle groups you’re targeting and the type of exercise you’re doing. Set up a workout schedule for yourself that emphasizes cardio on some days and strength training on others. Concentrate on your arms one day, your legs the next day and your core another day.

    Changing up your workout routine can make it easier to overcome mental blocks around working out, and make those workouts more effective overall.

    3. Don’t Neglect Recovery Time After Exercise

    Many people don’t realize that recovery time between workouts is just as important as the workouts themselves. Every time you work out, your muscles experience stress and tiny micro-tears. This is why your muscles feel sore and tender after a good workout.

    Resting time between workouts allows the muscles to heal thicker and stronger than before. If you ignore muscle soreness and exercise despite the pain, you run a very serious risk of long-term injury that can prevent you from participating in sports for a long time.

    Resting after workouts also allows your muscles to recharge their glycogen stores, which are used up during your workout. Glycogen is essentially your muscles’ energy source, so resting between workouts will ensure that your muscles have the energy to work.

    Consider skipping your workout every few days to give your body time to rest and recover from the rigors of your exercise routine.

    4. Sports Vision Training

    Being prepared for sports means more than lifting weights and going for a run. If your eyes have trouble following a moving ball or you react too slowly to a play, your big moment may pass you by.

    Sports vision training is a scientifically proven vision therapy regimen that uses in-office and at-home eye exercises to strengthen the connection between the eyes and the brain. These exercises have been shown to improve an athlete’s performance and reaction time.

    During a sports vision exam your eye doctor will evaluate your overall vision profile. This includes checking for refractive errors that may affect your ability to clearly see objects close up or far away, and visual skill deficiencies that may make it hard to track objects as they move, or to gauge distances.

    Once your eye doctor has evaluated your vision and visual skills, they can construct a customized sports vision therapy regimen that addresses your specific needs, including an emphasis on the particular visual skills required for success in your sport.

    To learn more about how sports vision training can boost the visual skills you need to exceed in sports, book an appointment with Opto-mization NeuroVisual Performance today!

    Our practice serves patients from Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia and surrounding communities.

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Cameron McCrodan & Dr. Scott Irvine

    Q: What vision skills does sports vision therapy help improve?

    • A: Strong visual skills are an essential part of success in just about any sport you play. Some important visual skills that sports vision training helps you improve include:
    • – Depth Perception – the ability to efficiently and accurately tell how far something is from you, and how fast it’s moving.
    • – Focusing – the ability to quickly and efficiently focus from one object to another.
    • – Eye Tracking – the ability to move your eyes in a continuous, smooth motion to keep moving objects in sight.
    • – Reaction Time – Quickly and accurately registering the presence and movement of an object, and translating that into appropriate action.
    • – Contrast Sensitivity – the ability to see an object and distinguish between it and the background.
    • – Peripheral Awareness – the ability to register objects and their movement in your side vision.
    • – Eye-Hand or Eye-Body Coordination – the ability to coordinate eye and body movements with visual information acquired by the eyes and sent to the brain.

    Q: Is sports vision therapy effective for high school and college athletes?

    • A: Absolutely! Sports vision therapy is recommended for both professional and amateur athletes, at any age and skill level. Deficiencies in visual skills can cause high school and college athletes to get frustrated and abandon the sport they love. Sports vision therapy is an excellent way to clear the visual obstacles that may be preventing their success, paving the way to greater enjoyment of the game and greater success.

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    4 Reasons Why 3D Vision is So Important

    Woman Covering One Eye to Test 3D VisionOur sense of depth perception and ability to see in 3 dimensions are often-overlooked benefits of our complex visual system.

    Our eyes gather a significant amount of visual data as we observe our surroundings. Both eyes send this gathered data back to the brain, where it is interpreted and combined into a single cohesive image.

    The fact that the eyes are set a small distance apart from each other allows them to gather slightly different sets of visual information, which the brain interprets as depth and distance when combining the two images. This produces 3-D vision.

    Here are our top 4 reasons why 3D vision is so crucial:

    1. Learning

    3D vision plays a key role in a child’s ability to learn in school. Children who have problems with 3D depth perception will often have difficulty with spatial skills and visualization. This impacts their ability to form letters correctly, develop accurate word memory and easily understand complex shapes. These challenges can significantly undermine their reading speed, spelling abilities, handwriting, understanding of mathematics and comprehension.

    3D vision is especially important in subjects such as geometry, where a sense of depth and space are essential to understanding basic concepts.

    2. Sports

    In sports like basketball, football and soccer, it’s essential to know where other teammates are standing on the field or court in order to pass the ball. It’s also a key part of catching incoming passes and judging the distance to the basket or goal post.

    In baseball, 3D vision is necessary for sizing up the ball as it comes across the plate, for judging distances, swinging, catching and hitting, and running the bases.

    3. Driving

    Driving safely is absolutely tied to depth perception and the ability to see in 3D. Without them, drivers may not be able to avoid hitting other cars, know when it is safe to change lanes, and how far to go when backing into or moving out of parking spots to avoid other cars, the curb or pedestrians.

    Accurate 3D vision is particularly important at night, where there are fewer visual cues, such as the size and movement of nearby objects, to make quick decisions.

    4. Day-To-Day Tasks

    Even the most basic day-to-day tasks, such as shaking another person’s hand, are made easier with proper depth perception and 3D vision.

    3D vision also makes the world around you safer. Crossing the street requires you to estimate the distance between yourself and any cars that may be on the street, as well as the speed those cars are traveling. Even walking downstairs can be hazardous if you can’t properly gauge the distance from each step down to the next.

    Your Eye Doctor Can Help With 3D Vision Issues

    If you’re experiencing difficulties with 3D vision, speak to your eye doctor about vision therapy. This doctor-prescribed, evidence-based regimen of in-office and at-home eye exercises helps reset and strengthen the connection between your eyes and your brain. For 3D vision, this means helping coordinate the signals coming from your brain to each eye, so that the eyes can move and focus in unison.

    For more information about 3D vision, and how our eye doctors can help, visit Opto-mization NeuroVisual Performance today.

     

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Cameron McCrodan & Dr. Scott Irvine

    Q: How can vision therapy help with 3D vision issues?

    • A: After we perform a functional eye exam to confirm that vision therapy is the right choice for you or your child, we’ll begin creating a customized therapy program for your specific needs. The vision therapy program will help strengthen the connection between the eyes and brain, to help the entire visual system work together more effectively and efficiently. In the case of 3D vision issues, this may mean working on helping the eyes move in unison more effectively or improving the eyes’ ability to converge effectively on objects close-up.Though vision therapy can sometimes take a while to address the problem (4 to 6 months on average), it is usually quite successful.

    Q: What is the difference between a functional eye exam and a standard eye exam?

    • A: A standard eye exam will check for visual acuity and the presence of eye disease. However, a standard exam doesn’t assess eye teaming, convergence/divergence and other problems affecting 3D and binocular vision. That’s why a functional eye exam is so important. If your child is behind in school or having developmental issues, these may be tied to vision problems that can be detected as part of a functional eye exam.

    Our practice serves patients from Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia and surrounding communities.

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