• What is Vision Therapy?
  • Acquired Brain Injury
  • Learning Related Vision Problems
  • Strabismus & Amblyopia
  • Sports Vision Enhancement
  • Optometric Syntonic Phototherapy

Optometric Vision Therapy is an area of optometric care that focuses on developing, improving, and enhancing an individual’s visual performance. It is an individualized treatment program prescribed by a doctor of optometry to treat various visual deficits that affect all areas of life, such as learning, sports, and job performance. If you experience visual discomfort even with 20/20 vision you may benefit from vision therapy. Vision therapy can be effective but requires a commitment to bring about results.

Optometric Vision Therapy effectively treats & improves:

  • Eye Movement
    • Difficulty maintaining fixation
    • Reduced tracking skills (pursuits & saccades)
    • Nystagmus (involuntary shaking of the eyes)
  • Focusing
    • Reduced acuity (amblyopia/lazy eye)
    • Difficulty maintaining clear focus (accommodation)
    • Difficulty changing focus from near and far
  • Binocularity (eye alignment)
    • Crossed eye/wandering eye (strabismus)
    • Convergence Insufficiency
    • Divergence Excess, Poor depth perception
  • Visual-Motor Integration
    • Poor hand-eye coordination
    • Difficulty crossing midline
    • Poor balance
    • Clumsy behavior
    • Sloppy handwriting
    • Difficulty catching/hitting a ball
  • Visual Information Processing
    • Poor memory
    • Difficulty finding objects in a busy environment
    • Letter/number reversals
    • Poor visualization abilities
    • Poor reading comprehension
    • Difficulty spelling

Each vision therapy program is unique and is designed on an individual basis depending on a patient’s specific needs. Vision therapy uses a combination of optical devices and physical and visual activities. Vision therapy options include in-office, online (video conferencing), computer-based, and at-home therapy sessions.

If you think you may have a vision disorder, take this quick survey here:

For more information regarding Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation, please call our office or visit:

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There is nothing mild about injuring your brain

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) can be broken into two categories:

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Sports
  • Workplace injuries
  • Falls
  • Violence
  • Concussion

Non-Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Infection (i.e. meningitis, malaria, encephalitis)
  • Anoxia/Hypoxia (i.e. heart attack, drowning, carbon monoxide poisoning)
  • Toxic drugs or chemicals

Statistics show that 160,000 Canadians will experience a brain injury each year. (Braininjurycanada.ca, 2017). According to the Canadian Institute for Health Research:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury is the key cause of disability in individuals under the age of 45
  • Two-thirds of mild traumatic brain injuries occur in males
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries are most common in the young and the elderly
  • There is increasing evidence that multiple mild TBIs may pre-dispose to early onset dementia, later substance-use disorders and mental illness
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Vision is the most pervasive sense in the brain. In fact, 35 areas of the brain are primarily or totally involved with the processing of visual information and there are at least 305 intra-cortical pathways that link these 35 areas. Furthermore, 65% of the sensory information in the brain is visual and there are more areas of the brain dedicated to vision than all the other sense modalities combined.

Any disruptions or disturbances to any of these 35 areas of the brain or any of these 305 intra-cortical connections can have a negative effect on vision and result in symptoms such as, but not limited to, light sensitivity, blurry vision, double vision, tired/aching eyes, headaches worsening with visual tasks, visual field loss, fatigue, difficulty reading, comprehension difficulty, difficulty with memory, and difficulty with attention.

Optometric Neuro-Vision Rehabilitation can resolve many of the effects of Acquired Brain Injury. Individuals do not need to live with these symptoms. InDepth Vision offers Optometric Neuro-Vision Rehabilitation which includes many different treatment options such as lenses, prisms, filters, overlays, vision therapy, and syntonics.

For more information regarding Neuro-Vision Rehabilitation, please call our office or visit:

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Double vision is extremely disruptive to reading. It often gets worse as the day wears on, or as reading extends beyond a few minutes. Many children block the vision of one eye in order to avoid seeing double.

Successful learning requires an individual’s eyes, brain, and body to all work together as a team. When they don’t, even someone with 20/20 eyesight can have trouble gathering, processing, and responding to visual information.

As children move on to higher grades, their visual demand is constantly increasing (i.e. the size of print in schoolbooks becomes smaller, time spent reading and studying increases, etc), which makes an efficient and accurate visual system even more important.

It is estimated that 80% of classroom learning is visual and that 1 in 4 children has some form of vision problem. What makes things difficult is that children rarely complain of vision problems, as they don’t know that what they are seeing isn’t how everyone else sees.

Children with vision issues (i.e. convergence insufficiency) are often misdiagnosed as having a learning or behavioral condition such as dyslexia or ADHD. This is due to the fact that 15 of the 18 symptoms of ADHD and 13 of the 17 symptoms of dyslexia can also be associated with vision disorders. If your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability or is having behavioral difficulties, we highly recommend bringing them in for an assessment.

Any child who struggles with school work, reading, sports, and/or attention may have an undiagnosed visual problem that is holding them back.

Vision Rehabilitation Milton

There are many ways in which vision issues can present, such as:

Symptoms Possible Vision Problems
  • Complains of blurred vision
  • Rubs eyes frequently
  • Squints
  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Closes of covers one eye
  • Double vision
  • Rubs eyes frequently
  • Able to read for only a short time
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Words move on the page
Eye coordination problem (inability to coordinate the eyes together effectively)
  • Holds things very close
  • Complains of blurred vision
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Says eyes are tired
  • Able to read for only a short time
  • Has headaches when reading
Eye focusing problems (inability to easily refocus eyes or maintain clear focus)
  • Moves head when reading
  • Frequently loses place, skips lines when reading
  • Uses finger to keep place
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Short attention span
Eye tracking problems (inadequate ability to smoothly and accurately move the eyes from one point to another)
  • Mistakes words with similar beginnings
  • Difficulty recognizing letters, words, or simple shapes and forms
  • Can’t distinguish the main idea from insignificant details
  • Trouble learning basic math concepts of size, magnitude and position
Faulty visual form perception (inability to discriminate differences in size, shape, or form)
  • Trouble visualizing what is read
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Poor speller
  • Trouble with mathematical concepts
  • Poor recall of visually presented material
Faulty visual memory (inability to remember and understand what is seen)
  • Sloppy handwriting and drawing
  • Can’t stay on lines
  • Poor copying skills
  • Can respond orally but not in writing
Faulty visual motor integration (inability to process and reproduce visual images by writing or drawing)
  • Trouble learning right & left
  • Reverses letters, numbers or words
  • Trouble writing and remembering letters and numbers
Difficulty with laterality and directionality (poor development of right/left awareness)

Table courtesy of COVD

Optometric Vision Therapy re-trains the brain’s control of the eyes and visual system to improve the visual skills necessary for effective learning, reading, and writing. Optimizing these visual skills allows a child to perform up to their full potential without vision holding them back.

For more information regarding Learning Related Vision Problems, please call our office or visit:

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It is never too late to treat a lazy eye

Any treatment that addresses the eye muscles alone will likely not change the brain and nervous system enough to improve vision

Research has shown that both strabismus and amblyopia can be treated at any age

Vision therapy trains the brain to use both eyes together as a team

Strabismus, commonly referred to as an eye turn, crossed eyes, or wall-eyed, is a visual condition in which an individual’s eyes are not aligned; this can occur intermittently or be constant. The eye turn may be inward, outward, upward, downward, or a combination of these. In order for the individual to not have double vision, the brain will often suppress one eye, which can result in Amblyopia (“lazy eye”).

Amblyopia, commonly referred to as lazy eye, is a visual condition in which vision is reduced due to the eye and brain not working together properly. This reduction in vision is not a result of ocular disease. Amblyopia most commonly occurs in one eye but can occur in both eyes. A few possible causes of amblyopia are strabismus (eye turn), asymmetric prescription, high prescription, or cataracts. According to the National Institute of Health, amblyopia is the most common cause of visual impairment among children.

Vision Therapists Milton

Someone with Strabismus or Amblyopia may experience:

  • Reduced depth perception
  • Poor spatial localization (where your brain perceives an object in space)
  • Headaches due to visual stress
  • Self-esteem issues due to the appearance of “crossed eyes” or “wandering eyes”
  • Visual processing problems

Previously, it was thought that individuals with these conditions couldn’t be helped after a certain age, the “critical period”. In the past, the cut-off age for treating amblyopia was typically around age 7-9. Recent research has disproven this long-held belief and shown that both strabismus and amblyopia can be treated at any age.

Why not Patching or Surgery?

Traditionally patching has often been used as a treatment for these conditions. Patching can lead to increased visual acuity (eyesight) in the unpatched eye but does not train the brain to use both eyes together as a team. Instead patching actually encourages the brain to only use one eye at a time. When patching is discontinued the brain will resume the way it knows best how to use the eyes, and thus regression typically occurs.

Surgery typically only treats the cosmetic elements of strabismus, it does not restore binocular vision (eye teaming). In most cases, strabismus is not caused by a problem with the eye muscles themselves, instead it is usually due to the brain having a hard time controlling & coordinating the two eyes together as a team. Even though the eyes appear straighter after surgery the brain typically continues to only use one eye at a time leaving a person with double vision, suppression, and/or lacking depth perception. Often the eye will turn again over time, therefore requiring multiple surgeries over the individual’s lifetime. Any treatment that addresses the eye muscles alone will likely not change the brain and nervous system enough to improve vision.

Vision Therapy for Strabismus and Amblyopia

Vision therapy is a non-surgical treatment that strengthens the Amblyopic or Strabismic eye and trains the brain to use both eyes as a team. Research has shown over and over again that vision therapy is an effective treatment for strabismus and amblyopia. Vision therapy can improve binocular vision and depth perception, along with other functional visual skills. With training, vision becomes comfortable and efficient. In addition to this, it also creates cosmetic improvements that are lasting.

The team at InDepth Vision is trained to design a vision therapy program to treat Amblyopia and Strabismus. Through a variety of eye exercises, bodywork, lenses, and/or other therapy devices the patient will be led to the ability to make lasting changes in their eyes, body, and brain. If you or someone you know has an eye turn or lazy eye, call the clinic today to schedule an appointment to see how we can help.

For more information regarding Strabismus and Amblyopia, please call our office or visit:

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Vision Therapy Clinic Milton

TAKE YOUR GAME TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Vision is an essential aspect of athletic performance. Unfortunately, it is also one of the areas of training that are often overlooked. Whether you play hockey, baseball, soccer, or another sport, we are here to help you take your game to the next level. Many athletes, amateur and professional alike, have had great improvements in their sports performance following vision training. Sports Vision training is individually designed for the athlete and the type of sport. Sports Vision Training has been shown to improve:

  • Tracking
  • Eye coordination
  • Eye-hand-body coordination
  • Dynamic visual acuity
  • Reaction time
  • Depth perception
  • Peripheral vision
  • Visualization
  • Visual concentration
  • Visual memory
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For more information regarding Sports Vision Enhancement, please call our office or visit:

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Keep your vision in balance

Optometric Syntonic Phototherapy, or Syntonics, is a branch of ocular science dealing with the application of specific wavelengths of light (colors) through the eyes. It has been used effectively by Optometrists, since the 1920s, in the treatment of visual dysfunctions, including strabismus (eye turn, crossed eye, wandering eye), amblyopia (lazy eye), focusing, and convergence problems, learning disorders, and the after-effects of stress and trauma. In recent years, Syntonics has been shown to be effective in the treatment of brain injuries and emotional disorders.

Not all retinal nerves in the eyes serve vision; some connect the retina directly to non-visual brain centers such as the hypothalamus and pineal gland. These centers influence electrical, chemical, and hormonal balances which affect all body functions including vision. Years of clinical application and research have demonstrated that certain wavelengths of light, applied by way of the eyes to these centers, can produce beneficial results in the body. The Greeks were the first to document the use of phototherapy. Currently, light is used, in multiple areas of medicine for a variety of disorders; from the “bili” lights used on newborns with jaundice, to the more recent psychiatric use of light for the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). In optometry, the use of phototherapy to treat visual dysfunctions is called Syntonics.

Patients are diagnosed by symptoms, vision evaluation, visual/motor performance, peripheral vision sensitivity, and pupillary assessment. If appropriate, they are treated by exposure to a selected specific wavelength of light; this exposure can be in many different forms (i.e. through a syntonizer, a pair of syntonic glasses, a penlight, etc).

Controlled clinical studies by Dr. Robert Michael Kaplan and Dr. Jacob Liberman proved that the usual result of this relatively short-term treatment is improvement in visual skills, peripheral vision, memory, behavior, mood, general performance, and academic achievement. They confirmed that large numbers of children with learning problems have a reduction in the sensitivity of their peripheral vision. During and after phototherapy they demonstrated improvement in peripheral vision and visual skills. Control subjects who did not receive therapy showed no improvement in their peripheral vision, symptoms, or performance.

Syntonics can be used as the primary treatment, or to support other therapies to aid in the remediation of strabismus, amblyopia, accommodative or convergence problems, asthenopia, ametropia, visual attention deficit, vision-related learning and behavior problems, and visual field constrictions associated with visual stress, brain injury, degenerative ocular disorders, and emotional trauma.

Text provided by College of Syntonic Optometry (CSO)

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