Vision Therapy

Vision therapy develops and enhances the eye-brain-body connection and improves binocular vision.

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Vision and Learning

A person with 20/20 vision can still have vision problems!

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Start Your Journey to Better Vision Today!


DilationAlthough most patients bemoan the dilated eye examination, we do recommend it for patients starting at 6 months old. The best way to evaluate the health of the retina (inside lining of the eye) is through an enlarged pupil. In addition, the dilation drops relax the focusing power of the eyes, which enables our doctor to double-check the prescription of the eyes.

We understand that children may have a fear-response to the dilation drops. For this reason, our doctor strives to obtain trust with the child from the beginning of the examination. The doctor will give the child options on how to get the eye drops in the eyes, which gives the child control over the situation. It is important that we maintain trust through the appointment, so we request that parents/guardians don't tell their child, "this won’t hurt." Instead, hold their hand if they desire, and we'll all count to ten together until the sensation subsides.

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Strabismus / Amblyopia Assessment

Strabismus (eye turn) and Amblyopia (lazy eye) are disorders of binocular vision, resulting in reduced depth perception. To see properly in 3-D, our eyes need to be aiming at the same place at the same time. In addition, the vision in both eyes needs to be approximately the same for proper depth perception.

During this exam, we measure the position of your two eyes as well as the size, frequency, and direction of your eye-turn, if present. A variety of tests using red-green and polarized 3D glasses are used to determine your brain’s ability to fuse (bring together) the images from your two eyes. Further, we measure the flexibility and range of inward (convergence) and outward (divergence) eye-teaming movements which is an important skill when playing sports or copying from the board. Your eyes may also be dilated to determine a more accurate prescription of your eyes and to evaluate your eye health. The results from these testing will let us know what the best treatment options are for you, whether it is prescription glasses or contact lenses, prism lenses, vision therapy and/or eye-muscle surgery.

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Visual Information Processing Evaluation

Visual Processing EvaluationVisual perception occurs throughout the brain. In order to better understand a patient’s visual system, a set of standardized tests is used to evaluate her ability to process visual information. Below are the various aspects of vision that may be evaluated. Since vision is a learned process, these areas can be improved through vision therapy.

The following areas may be assessed:

  • Visualization – the ability to form mental image and manipulate details in one’s mind. This is important in reading comprehension and math.
  • Visual–Motor Integration – evaluates the ability to match motor output with visual input. It is crucial for handwriting accuracy and efficiency as well as eye-hand coordination in sports.
  • Visual Sequential Memory – the ability to remember objects or words in the sequence they appear. A deficit in this area may result in misreading words such as ‘saw’ and ‘was.’
  • Visual Discrimination – the ability to differentiate between two similar looking objects, shapes, or words such as ‘horse’ and ‘house.’
  • Visual Closure – the ability to have part of the information and infer the rest. This is an important skill in reading speed and math.
  • Spatial relations – the ability to perceive the position of two or more objects in relation to each other and in relation to oneself. This is an important skill in problem-solving, high-level math, and proper spacing between words when writing a sentence.
  • Spatial Orientation – required in understanding and recognizing the direction of objects. A deficit in this area lead to letter (b, d, p, q) and number (6 vs. 9) reversals.
  • Laterality – the understanding of rights and lefts on the patient and in space.
  • Directionality - understanding the proper orientation of letters and numbers.

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Primitive Reflexes Assessment and Integration

At InSight Vision Therapy, we take a developmental approach to our vision therapy program. For that reason, we want to make sure the patient’s visual system has matured from all developmental levels. For this reason, we assess certain primitive reflexes (that developed in-utero and early post-natal) that may still be hindering the visual development process. If primitive reflexes are still retained (or present), the patient will be given a series of movement activities to integrate them. This gives the patient control over their movement and cognitive process!

We assess the following primitive reflexes:

  • Moro – aka: startle reflex
  • Tonic Labrinthine Reflex – leads to the head-righting reflex
  • Spinal Galant – may lead to fidgeting and bed wetting if retained
  • Asymmetric Tonic Neck Reflex – leads to crawling and cross-pattern movement
  • Symmetric Tonic Neck Reflex – helps the visual system aim near to far
  • Palmar Reflex – may lead to poor handwriting or speech delays if retained

For more information, see the Primitive Reflexes paper by Sally Goddard, et al.

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Vision Therapy

Southern Oregon Vision Therapy

What is Vision Therapy?
Vision Therapy (VT for short) helps to build the eye-brain-body connection in patients with binocular vision dysfunction or visual-perceptual challenges.

Who needs VT?

  • Patients of any age with eye-teaming problems, such as strabismus (eye turn) or amblyopia (“lazy” eye)
  • Children who struggle with learning, due to delays in visual development (including strabismus, amblyopia, eye movement or focusing disorders, or visual processing delays)
  • Patients of any age who suffered damage to visual processing ability (head trauma, including concussion or mild traumatic brain injury, stroke or progressive neurological conditions)
  • Adults with decompensation of visual skills (double vision, headaches, eye strain with computer use)
  • Athletes with a desire to enhance visual function.

How does it work?
We do this through the following methods:

  • Awareness & Monitoring – Learn what the eyes and body are doing.
  • Correction – Understand how can we use our eyes in a more efficient manner.
  • Loading – Utilize these new techniques under pressure: with additional visual, auditory, motor or cognitive processing. For example, reading letters on a chart while moving or to the beat of a metronome.
  • Application – Apply this new way of using the eyes, brain and body in real life: school, work, athletics, or simply watching a 3D movie.

What steps do I take?

  • Comprehensive eye examination. If this was recently done at another eye doctor's office, great! Please have them fax the exam information to us for Dr. Carter to review.
  • Referral evaluation. Dr. Carter will want to thoroughly review the patient's developmental history and any other pertinent information, such as a symptom review or the pertinent information related to a traumatic event, if indicated. She may repeat some testing that was done in a comprehensive exam, but she will also do further testing of focus, eye movement, and binocular vision function at this evaluation.
  • Visual Information Processing Evaluation. This one-to-two hour appointment takes an in-depth look at how the eyes, brain and body work together. We will look at many areas of visual perception, visual motor integration, body awareness and bilateral integration, laterality, directionality and primitive reflexes. Dr. Carter reviews the information from this evaluation and writes a detailed report. The parents (or patient, if older) return for a separate consultation where they discuss the results of these tests.
  • Vision therapy weekly visits. Our VT appointments are scheduled on a weekly basis. They are one-hour office visits, where the first 45 minutes is one-on-one with the therapist, and the last 15 minutes are typically with the parent as well, so we can discuss the results of the therapy visit and prescribe home therapy activities for the week.
  • Mid-therapy evaluations. Dr. Carter likes to provide evaluations after approximately every 12 weeks, to make sure we are making good progress in the therapy. Afterwards, she writes a detailed report and discusses the results with the patient/parents at the following vision therapy session.
  • Graduate!! Our goal is to provide new connections in the brain so that our patients have a better ability to use their eyes, brain and body together. When their vision is maximized, we are delighted to see them graduate!

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Southern Oregon Syntonics

Syntonics, or optometric phototherapy, is the branch of ocular science dealing with the application of selected light frequencies through the eyes. It is used to restore balance to the autonomic nervous system. For example, following a head trauma most patients have an increased sympathetic (fight-or-flight) response. Specific wavelengths (colors) of light can be utilized to calm their system. Syntonics is also used in the treatment of strabismus (turned eyes), amblyopia (lazy eye), focusing and convergence problems. Specifically, syntonics is used to enlarge the "functional" visual field of patients. Constrictions in this field can affect visual processing, coordination, and learning. At InSight Vision Therapy, we utilize this phototherapy in the office and/or as part of home therapy, depending on the needs of the patient.

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Vivid Vision

Our office utilizes state-of-the-art virtual reality technology for vision therapy, called Vivid Vision. This system is particularly useful for patients with strabismus and amblyopia, providing opportunities for them to see with both eyes together. So far, we have already had patients achieving depth perception for the first time EVER, by incorporating this system with our therapy. Newswatch 12 came to our office to cover the story. You can watch it here:

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From our Patients

  • Zachary

    Sensory Processing Disorder

    Dr. Carter was always so upbeat, caring and really worked hard to connect with Zachary and incorporate ideas that would work well with his sensory issues.  She had to be creative and figure out how to motivate him when this was not a pleasant task for him.