FAQ's

What is Vision Therapy?


Also called neuro-visual rehabilitation, vision therapy helps those who struggle with how their eyes track and team together. It is comprised of many different types of prescribed activities to treat visual dysfunctions. Over time, the brain develops new neuro-visual (brain-eye) pathways - this allows the visual system to operate with improved visual function, efficiency, and control... and all this leads to less effort, less strain, less symptoms, and happy patients!




What are some common visual problems that can be treated?


They come in all shapes and sizes, but what are they? They include

  • Strabismus, or an "eye turn", in one or both eyes, and can turn in, out, up or down.
  • Amblyopia, or a "lazy eye", where one or both eyes can't see 20/20 vision (even with glasses, and even though the eye is healthy).
  • Visual effects from Post-Concussion or Post-Traumatic Brain Injury Syndrome
  • Poor eye tracking
  • Poor eye teaming and focusing
The most common binocular vision problem is called "Convergence Insufficiency", and is where the eyes have a hard time teaming at near causing symptoms like eye fatigue, strain and pain, intermittent blur when reading, words doubling and ensuing headaches from reading or near work. Studies show 8-15% of people have convergence insufficiency - If you experience these symptoms, take the Symptom Survey, or set up an appointment. Jump to: Conditions We Treat.




What does vision therapy look like and how does it work?


With vision therapy, also called neuro-visual rehabilitation, we use specific physician prescribed treatments and activities to stimulate and train the brain to use and develop true vision, efficient vision, and easy vision. Through the use of 3-D technology, red/green glasses, lenses, prisms, patches, balance boards, etc - we put the visual system into an environment that is not "normal", and thus unable to rely on its "usual way of seeing." The experience in this new environment is what we use to stimulate and thus develop new neuro-visual pathways to motivate the brain to develop higher levels of visual use and efficiency. Going back to our red/green glasses, for example, you put them on with a specific target and suddenly we can control what the brain is seeing out of the right eye vs the left eye! This is a simple example of placing the brain (which controls vision) in an above and beyond visual environment. With simple experiences like these we utilize coaching, education, awareness, efficiency and control to develop higher level skills and abilities. Fortunately, the skills don't go away and the risk for needing therapy in the future is minimal. Because of neuroplasticity and neurodevelopment these new found visual skills become integrated into and a vital part of the visual system.




Do I need a referral?


No referral necessary. If you feel like you would benefit from an evaluation - Give us a call or submit a Contact Form - and we will answer any questions and help to schedule an evaluation. *Please note that though you do not have to be referred to be evaluated at our clinic, we do request that within the last 2 years your family eye doctor has checked the health of your eyes. We look forward to helping you!




What are common symptoms associated with visual dysfunction?


It is true that you may not realize you have a "binocular visual dysfunction" like poor eye teaming, poor eye tracking, eye tracking problems, or poor focusing problems. However, if you do in fact struggle with common symptoms associated to these conditions you will know it! Sometimes it just takes someone to ask the right questions or a questionnaire to know what to look for. Common symptoms to be aware of are things like:

  • Decreased reading speed or comprehension
  • Struggling with school work or assigments at work
  • Easily frustrated with homework or near work
  • Headaches with near work
  • Eye fatigue, eye strain or tired eyes
  • Double vision, or words that float or move around on the page
  • Eye "wanders" or is "lazy"
  • Words or images that come in and out of focus
  • Skipping lines or words, or having to re-read things often
  • Having to use a finger or a pencil to keep your place while reading
  • Dizziness, vertigo or feeling unbalanced
  • Overwhelmed with too much information on the page
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Poor sports performance or a dislike of sports
  • Poor balance, clumsiness, tripping or falling, etc
  • and lots more...
We'd love to teach you all about how important your vision is in all activities of daily life - it definitely is more than just having 20/20 vision with or without glasses!




... But I see 20/20 and have healthy eyes?


Yes it is important to have clear vision and healthy eyes. Normal vision is 20/20. If you do not have 20/20 there is a reason why, and we can help answer that for you! On one hand sometimes it is due to cataracts, glaucoma, or diabetes (we recommend you see your family eye doctor for those conditions). On the other hand, many people struggle with their vision even though they see 20/20 and have good eye health. Often times these patients are told there is nothing wrong with their eyes or are given a pair of glasses when glasses are not the answer. There are 17 areas of good vision - 20/20 vision and healthy eyes are only two of 17! The other areas that need to be evaluated to confirm that you truely have good vision and visual function include things like good:

  • Eye movement control and eye tracking
  • Depth perception
  • Eye teaming and alignment at distance and near
  • Visual focusing abilities - ability to change focus from far to near, and maintain clarity of vision at near.
  • Peripheral vision and awareness
  • Central vision acuity, (here is your 20/20 vision)
  • Color vision
  • Gross and fine visual motor abilities (hand eye coordination - like throwing or catching a ball or drawing, writing, tying shoes, etc)
  • Visual perception
  • Visual integration with all other senses (visual-auditory, visual vestibular, visual-tactile, etc.)
Guess what? The evaluation with Dr Zollinger and his team will be able to test ALL of these areas! Now that is what I call a "comprehensive eye exam".




What are the outcomes of vision therapy?


This is where all the magic happens - through specifically prescribed treatments for you or your child, better vision can be developed and obtained! It takes time, but it is well worth it! Reading can become easier, better comprehension in school and work, you can get rid of those darn headaches and reduce eye fatigue. If you see double vision - we can help! If you see words coming in and out of focus, this can be treated. If you skip lines and words while reading, we can improve your eye tracking. If you struggle with depth perception, we can increase it! If you have suffered from a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI) - stidies show that there is an 85% chance that you are or have struggled with some sort of visual problems... this can be improved! Neuro-Science proves that the brain can change and improve over time. It is called "NEUROPLASTICITY" and through proper treatment we can stimulate the brain to grow and develop new neuro-visual (brain-eye) pathways so that your vision and visual skills improve - thus improving symptoms and efficiency!




What does the evaluation process look like?


The evaluation is a series of 1-2 appointments of testing, and then a one-on-one conference with the doctor. The Initial Evaluation The first appointment is a 60-90min evaluation and includes a high tech infrared eye tracking scan. Dr Zollinger will then gather an in depth history of your concerns and struggles and do a series of tests to evaluate the visual skills such as eye tracking, eye teaming, focusing, depth perception, and more. Visual Development and Processing Evaluation Whereas the initial evaluation gathers information on how your eyes function, the second appointment gathers information on visual development and how your brain processes visual information. This information combined with the results from the initial evaluation allows Dr Zollinger to have a comprehensive understanding of all areas of your visual system. One-on-one conference with Dr Zollinger In preparation for the conference, all the results, diagnoses, and recommendations will be gathered together and put into a comprehensive report which will be reviewed and given to you. Dr Zollinger looks forward to meeting with parents, guardians, teachers, care givers - whoever is involved with you or your child's care! He will explain all the results of the tests and help you understand any visual conditions that may be present, in an easy-to-understand way. If treatment is indicated he will review treatment goals and outcomes. By the end of this evaluation process, you will walk out of the conference knowing a whole lot more about your or your child's vision!





Don't see your question?
IVT Logo Gradient Blue Black.png

Referral Form

TRANSFORMING LIVES WITH TRUE VISION

1120 North Pines Rd. Suite C

Spokane Valley, WA 99206

Phone: 509-590-0607

Fax: 509-423-7911

Open:

Monday & Wednesday

8:00am - 5:00pm

(No Referral Needed)