TOP QUESTIONS WE HEAR FROM PATIENTS
Who are we and what do we do?
What is a developmental optometrist?
A developmental optometrist is a specialized eye doctor that considers the health and function of your whole visual system. They evaluate the process of how you see and the interpretation of what you see, which is more than just eyesight (how clearly you can see). Hence, they are highly skilled in identifying and treating vision problems that interfere with reading, learning, and other activities of daily living.
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor with additional training focused on the health of the eye. This may include eye surgery, ocular diseases (ex. Glaucoma), and medications.
An optometrist is an eye doctor who can provide testing and correction, as well as diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision changes.
How do optometrists and ophthalmologists differ?
Vision therapy is a non-surgical therapy that treats many vision problems by developing and strengthening skills needed by your whole visual system. This could include how well you can focus on a target, how your eyes move, or how you navigate through your environment. It can also work on being able to visualize, being able to picture things in your mind’s eye. The therapy is delivered via one-on-one sessions in addition to at-home "exercises" that train your eyes to work together, track, perceive and focus properly.
What is vision therapy?
Activities common in our practice can be found in the books “Thinking Goes to School” and “Visual/Spatial Portals to Thinking, Feeling and Movement”. These exercises and others are customized to meet each patient’s specific needs. It is important to note that the improper execution could lead to harm. Some visual training exercises require the use of prisms, lenses, vectograms and other instruments that can only be administered under the guidance of an optometrist.
What are the exercises?
No. Vision therapy exercises may be strenuous, but you should not experience pain. Unlike surgery, vision therapy is a non-invasive type of treatment. Please immediately notify your vision therapist if you are experiencing any pain when performing the exercises.
Does vision therapy hurt?
Does it work?
Several factors affect outcomes, such as severity of problem and patient compliance. For more information please see the following links:
Can vision therapy help with learning problems?
Yes. It is not uncommon that learning challenges may stem from an underlying visual problem. Even intelligent, highly motivated people can be severely impaired by these problems in academic or work environments.
While vision therapy does not cure dyslexia or other learning disorders, vision therapy addresses learning-related difficulties and fills in developmental gaps.
How does vision affect learning?
Many deficiencies in vision can be mistaken for learning disabilities. Research has shown that over 60% of children who struggle with reading and learning have undiagnosed vision problems contributing to their difficulties. Furthermore 80% of information present in school is presented visually. Untreated vision problems can cause great frustration and undue stress in what should otherwise be an exciting period of learning.
Why vision therapy instead of surgery?
Some problems are best treated through surgery, others are best treated through therapy, and some patients do best with a combination approach.
Vision Therapy is a non-invasive treatment that effectively re-trains how your brain controls your eyes. Surgery is an invasive procedure that always carries some element of risk.
When considering all treatment options, it is important to be as informed as possible.
More information about vision therapy for strabismus can be found here.
Is vision therapy a new type of therapy?
Vision therapy has been around since the 1850s, but continues to evolve and adapt to the latest optometric findings and technologies.
Can you be too old/ too young to benefit from VT?
While vision therapy is not usually prescribed for patients under the age of 3 (since other therapies may be more appropriate), our therapists regularly work with with patients between the ages of 2 and 80.
What makes us different from other VT offices?
The VCDC approach is individualized, holistic, and comprehensive.
We are individualized because our office only sees patients for one-on-one sessions with their therapist, ensuring that you get their full attention.
We are holistic because we take into account a patient’s developmental abilities when customizing their treatment plan.
We are comprehensive in that we look at how vision affects multiple aspects of everyday living, not just what your eyes can do.
We do not work on a cookie cutter system where patients all cycle through in groups, doing the same activities regardless of skill.
How long will therapy take?
While the length of treatment varies depending on severity of problem, frequency of appointments, and patient compliance, treatment is prescribed by the doctors in three-month intervals.
How do I know if I need an exam?
Check our symptoms checklist to see what areas you’d like to improve.
When do you schedule exams?
Click here to speak to our Patient Care Coordinator to discuss scheduling options.
Is it covered by insurance?
We are an out of network provider for most insurances. However, we will provide patients with invoices that detail the diagnosis and treatment codes. The patient can then file for reimbursement directly with their insurance company.
We do accept Medicare Part B as a primary insurer.
Why is it so expensive?
There are less than a handful of clinics around the world that offer the quality of vision and visuo-cognitive therapy that we do. Our doctors are among the 2% of board certified optometrists doing vision therapy. All of our therapists are certified. Collectively, our office has over 100 years of experience combined.
If you need financial assistance, speak to our Operations Director to discuss financing programs.
Where can I buy glasses?
We don’t sell glasses, but click here to see our list of recommended opticians. Due to the potential complexity of our doctors’ prescriptions, it is important to make sure that your glasses are checked by our office after they have been made.
Are there payment alternatives?
Exams require a $100 deposit and must be paid in full on the date of service.
Vision therapy packages can either be paid in full or paid in monthly installments.
Financing options are also available through Care Credit. For further information, feel free to visit www.carecredit.com
For more information please email our patient care coordinator at Alyssa@visiontherapydc.com