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19022 Freeport St NW Elk River, MN 55330

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Home » Eye Care Services » Your Eye Health » Children's Vision » Vision Therapy for Children

Vision Therapy for Children

As a child’s eyes develop, it is not uncommon for a number of problems to occur. Beyond blurred vision due to refractive error including nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia), children can develop a number of other visual and perceptual problems that are often not detected by a simple vision exam. Even a child with 20/20 vision, can have underlying vision problems!

Some of these issues are functional vision problems having to do with the actual eyes, how they move individually and as a pair, as well as their ability to focus. Functions such as eye teaming, tracking, focusing, and hand eye coordination, all affect a child’s success in school, sports or general functioning. Often children that have difficulty with these functions will suffer physical symptoms as well such as headaches, eye fatigue or short attention spans. With these critical visual skills lacking, tasks such as reading and writing can be extremely difficult and exhausting which can lead to frustration and behavioral problems.

Just like we are able to train our bodies to build strength, speed and agility, our vision skills can be strengthened. Vision therapy offers a doctor-supervised program to guide children to develop these skills.

What is Vision Therapy?

Vision Therapy is a program of progressive eye exercises individualized for each patient designed to retrain or help the patient develop or improve upon particular visual skills or to improve processing and interpretation of visual information. It is used to treat conditions like strabismus (crossed eyes) and amblyopia (lazy eye) as well as eye movement, focus and coordination problems.

Typically, the sessions take place in the optometrist’s office weekly or bi-weekly and utilize a variety of tools such as therapeutic lenses or prisms. Often the patient will be asked to practice certain exercises or activities at home as well in order to reinforce the skills that are being developed. Through repetition of these tasks, the ultimate goal is to strengthen the skills such as focusing, and improving eye movement and alignment, to the point where the eyes and vision are working efficiently and comfortably. The duration of the therapeutic program usually lasts about 6-9 months.

Vision therapy has been scientifically proven to improve functional vision skills and is approved by the major optometric bodies such as the American Optometric Association and the Canadian Association of Optometrists. It does not improve refractive error and should not be mistaken for some of the alternative self-conducted eye exercises out there that claim to improve your vision.

Vision therapy has also been shown to be effective in adults. If you think that vision therapy could be right for your child or yourself, it is worthwhile to have an assessment by a trained vision therapist to determine whether it could help resolve the vision problems that are present.

We are excited to announce we will be opening on May 4th with a limited amount of appointment openings. Our main focus is the safety and well-being of our patients and staff. We ask that you call once you are in the parking lot to allow us time to make sure everything is in order before you come in. We also ask that you email us copies of your insurance card (front and back) and paperwork before your appointment. Please email, customerservice@elkrivereyeclinic.com

In addition to these safety measures please be aware of the following:

- We will also be taking temperatures at the door with touchless thermometers and will ask patients to reschedule if their temperature is above 100.4 degrees

- All patients should wear masks into the practice

-Please come alone and do not bring extra family members when possible

-We will have a limited number of people in our optical department at one time and may ask that you wait in your car while others try on frames

-We will be open M-F  8am - 5pm

Thank you,

The Elk River Eye Clinic Team

763.441.1055