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Can Myopia Be Corrected with Vision Therapy?

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A child doing red green activities for vision therapy.

Myopia can severely affect quality of life by making everyday activities more challenging, especially without proper care to manage the condition. Vision therapy may be an option to alleviate symptoms related to myopia and make life a little easier

Vision therapy involves a personalized approach to improving vision through dedicated exercises. With these approaches, we can treat the symptoms of myopia and make vision more comfortable for all the things you want to do in life.

What is Myopia?

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a refractive error that causes blurry vision at long distances. Some common symptoms associated with myopia include: 

  • Squinting
  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Blinking
  • Eye-rubbing

For you to see clearly, light passes through the clear outer layer of the eye called the cornea and passes through the pupil to the lens in the middle of the eye. The light eventually reaches the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye called the retina.

Light needs to fall directly on the retina to see clearly. Myopia causes this light to fall in front of the retina, meaning the image translated to the brain can be perceived as blurry. 

If left untreated, visual problems associated with myopia can lead to poor school performance, diminished athletic ability, reduced quality of life, and increased risk of developing severe eye problems like glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment, and more.

Graphic of the four visual skills we rely on.

How Myopia Progresses

Myopia often develops due to a misshapen eye or cornea. When the eye is more oval-shaped than spherical from front to back, it can interfere with how light passes through the eye, causing myopia. 

The condition can worsen as we strain harder and harder to see blurry objects with myopia. This visual stress can be caused by close-up activities like reading or looking at screens for too long. Sometimes, the eyes can become too used to seeing objects at close range, worsening myopia symptoms and further elongating the eye.

In severe cases, a myopia diagnosis can progress to high myopia. High myopia can increase the risk of eye disease and may even lead to blindness if left untreated.

How Does Vision Therapy Work?

Vision therapy is a fully personalized treatment program designed to improve visual skills such as:

  • Simultaneous focus: developing the ability to form a clear image 
  • Perception: such as depth and colour help you perceive your environment
  • Visual-motor skills: how you use your vision to interact with the world around you
  • Alignment: making sure your eyes are working together to promote clear vision

Vision therapy may not be used to treat or reverse myopia fully; however, it can help slow myopia progression over time. When it comes to treating myopia with vision therapy, it’s essential to consider cause and effect. 

One question to ask is whether eye strain causes myopia or whether myopia causes eye strain. In either case, it’s helpful to reduce eye strain-related symptoms like headaches and squinting. We can improve eye teaming and simultaneous focus. These methods can improve myopia-related symptoms and make vision more comfortable.

A male eye doctor is  holding a paper with images, his making a total vision therapy assessment on his patient.

What Are The Steps to Vision Therapy?

The first step to creating a personalized vision therapy treatment plan is understanding what problem we’re trying to solve. This assessment is completed through a total vision therapy diagnostic appointment. 

During this appointment, we assess lifestyle needs and which training methods will best help each individual reach their vision goals. Afterward, we create a customized treatment plan to help them reach those goals efficiently. 

We constantly communicate with every individual vision therapy patient to continuously assess their needs. When it comes to myopia treatment, that can look like evaluating vision with phoropter testing and other visual skill assessments to determine the rate at which we can slow down myopia progression.

Get the Help You Need

Whether you require an eye exam or personalized vision therapy to relieve myopia symptoms or improve a condition like strabismus or amblyopia, our Avenue Optometry & Vision Therapy team is here to help.Get in touch with us to book a vision therapy consultation today and assess how we can help you achieve clear, comfortable vision.

Dr. Shaina Nensi, OD and owner of Avenue Optometry

Written by Dr. Shaina Nensi, OD, FCOVD

Dr. Shaina Nensi, owner of Avenue Optometry & Vision Therapy, received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Waterloo. Dr. Nensi went on to complete a residency in Pediatrics and Vision Therapy where she received additional training in the areas of pediatrics, neuro-rehabilitation, vision therapy and eyecare for special-needs populations. Upon completion, she received The Canadian Association of Optometrist’s Award of Merit and the COVD Award for Excellence in Vision Therapy. Dr. Nensi is also a board-certified Fellow in developmental vision and vision therapy by the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (FCOVD).

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