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Author: cosmin

What Is 20/20 Vision Therapy?

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The visual system is a complex communication network between the eyes and the brain. Vision therapy aims to assist the visual system in ways that glasses, contacts, or corrective surgery cannot effectively treat.

Vision therapy is a non-surgical, doctor-supervised, individualized program of visual exercises aimed to improve vision problems like tracking and movement coordination, fixation, focusing, binocularity, perception, and more. Through the use of lenses, prisms, filters, computer programs, and vision games the vision therapist, supervised by the optometrist, is able to improve and/or correct these issues. A positive outcome is heavily dependent upon a coordinated effort between the optometrist, vision therapist, and patient. The end objective for any vision therapy patient is to obtain clear, comfortable, binocular vision through organized information transmission between the eyes and the brain.

Vision therapy can help treat an array of visual diagnosis. Due to neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to form new communication pathways), vision therapy can help treat vision problems like amblyopia or “lazy eye”, strabismus or “eye turn”, eye movement disorders, accommodative or“focusing” disorders, and visual perceptual disorders. These diagnoses are more easily treated when addressed at an early age. When vision therapy is considered later in life, results are more guarded.

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The first step to any eye-related concern is to schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Vision HealthSpecialties. Pending diagnoses and treatment options, a vision therapy evaluation will be scheduled to determine therapy treatment duration and assist with customization of the therapy program.

The Vision Therapy Department at Vision HealthSpecialties is directed by Dr. Cara Sczepanski and comanaged by a lead vision therapist, Brittany Self. Dr.Sczepanski is a native Texan with a Business Leadership degree from The University of Dallas. In 2016, she graduated from the Rosenberg School of Optometry in San Antonio, TX. Following graduation, she completed a 12-month, private practice residency in Pediatric Optometry and VisionTherapy/Rehabilitation in Portland, OR.

Brittany Self, the lead vision therapist, is originally from the Houston area. She has accumulated an array of eyecare experience and knowledge as a technician and assistant to doctors in pediatric general surgery, general ophthalmology, and optometry. She partnered with Dr. Sczepanski in early2018 to develop and operate the Vision Therapy Department at Vision Health Specialties.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Billy J. Cook

Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

  • A: Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

  • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Midland, Texas. Visit Vision Health Specialties for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

What is 20/20 eyesight for Pediatrics?

image 001Upwards of 80% of information processed by the brain is visual and about 67% of the brain’s electrical activity is allotted to vision. These statistics confirm the importance of healthy eyes, good vision, and sufficient visual acuity. Although commonly used as synonyms, “sight/acuity” and “vision” are two separate skills. Sight is the measure of the ability of one or both eyes to see and resolve details. It is
measured on the acuity chart and is commonly thought of as “20/20”.

Vision, on the other hand, is a skill that is progressively learned and refined through repeated and consistent interaction with our environment. Visual skills like focusing, tracking, 3D vision, and coordinated movements are foundational skills that we build upon for information identification, interpretation, and understanding. This process of interpreting visual information takes place in the brain and is called visual perception or vision. Young children learn the skills of vision and sight through environmental interactions. Immediately upon birth, infants are bombarded with constant visual stimulation.

This visual information and interpretation allows for motor development like learning to reach and grab objects, sit up, turn over, crawl, and walk. To prevent developmental delays, early detection and intervention of eye and vision problems ensure that children have the opportunity to meet their highest potential in life. Parents are instrumental in a child’s eye and vision developmental care and can advocate for their child when eye concerns are seen at home or school.

image 000Even if there are no apparent eye or vision problems, an optometrist can assess the need for spectacles for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism. A timely spectacle prescription can prevent a lazy eye or permanent visual acuity loss. Additionally, eye movement, eye alignment, and anatomical health are assessed. Considering the importance of efficient visual function our modern world, a proactive approach is necessary to care for a child’s visual development. Ideally, a child’s first three exams with an optometrist should be at ages 1 year, 2.5 years, and before starting school. Through a coordinated effort with parents, schools, and pediatricians, optometrists can help identify and treat eye and vision problems early in a child’s life to prevent developmental delays.

Vision Health Specialties is equipped with five optometrists to comprehensively examine your child’s eyes. Dr. Cara Sczepanski is the newest doctor on staff and residency trained in Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation.

Originally published in Midland Lifestyles, January 2021 in