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Citrus Heights

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Vision Therapy Eyecenter Optometric

Citrus Heights

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Patching or Vision Therapy for Lazy Eye?

Amblyopia, commonly referred to as ‘lazy eye’, occurs when the brain and the eye are not working in unison. This results in decreased vision in an eye that otherwise seems healthy.

While patching was traditionally the default treatment for amblyopia, vision therapy is now a much better option—and for several reasons. The exercises performed throughout the vision therapy program are meant to teach the patient new visual skills in an engaging and motivating way until the learned skill becomes automatic. Vision therapy thus outweighs the benefits of eye patching.

How Does Vision Therapy Compare To Eye Patching?

Traditionally, placing a patch (occlusion or penalization) over the better-seeing eye was the only method used to treat amblyopia. In theory, this treatment makes sense because it strengthens the weaker eye without interference from the other eye. Some optometrists still use patching because they claim that the eye and brain will naturally tune in to perfect binocular vision.

Unfortunately, training the brain and eyes to work together isn’t so simple. With patching, the brain finds other ways to compensate for the lack of vision while a solid vision therapy program is meant to guide and retrain the eyes and brain to work together with clear direction. For example, if you’re learning to ride a bicycle, you wouldn’t start with learning to ride a unicycle. You’d have someone guide you on a bicycle, so you can navigate and ride the bike correctly. Your vision is multiple times more complex than the skills involved in bike-riding, and learning the subtle vision skills requires the expertise of an optometrist trained in developmental vision therapy.

Furthermore, another problem with patching is that children may resist wearing it, as it draws attention and may affect their confidence. On the other hand, children who undergo vision therapy are likely to experience a confidence boost as visual skills are refined.

Vision therapy developed based on significant advances in the neuroscience of vision. While still making use of partial penalization, vision therapy also encourages the development of proper binocular vision and eye-teaming. Vision Therapy improves the amblyope’s visual abilities by enhancing eye coordination, depth perception, and reduces suppression (where the brain inhibits blurred or double vision by ignoring the image of the weaker eye).

Vision therapy works through a regimen of individually prescribed and monitored exercises aimed at developing visual skills and processing. The course of vision therapy sessions are typically supplemented by exercises to be done daily at home. The length of the program can range from several weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the diagnosis, patient compliance, and eye health.

Speak with Dr. Randy Fuerst & Dr. Hannah Mikes from Vision Therapy Center at EYEcenter Optometric and discover how vision therapy can help you or your child with amblyopia. Vision Therapy Center at EYEcenter Optometric serves patients in Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, Elk Grove, and throughout California .

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EYECENTER IS RESUMING COMPREHENSIVE EYE CARE SERVICES BEGINNING
Monday, May 4th, 2020

Dear Patients:

We hope this notice finds you healthy and well. Our practice is preparing to welcome you back beginning Monday, May 4th for routine eye health and vision needs. On that day we will be resuming comprehensive eye care services for our family of patients based upon recommendations from our professional organizations, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and directives from Governor Newsom’s office.

Your doctors and staff at EYEcenter will continue to provide you with state of the art, advanced eye care services that you are used to. What will be different as part of our “new normal” will be policies, procedures, and safeguards that all are intended to ensure the health and wellbeing of our patients, doctors, and staff.  Click for more information and updated clinic hours.

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