Penny brought her three sons to me several years ago. It turned out that wo of the boys needed to do vision therapy in my office. Both had eye teaming difficulty – the older one had an eye that turned in, the other was unable to turn his eyes in as needed for reading, writing and other near activities. The other son’s issues were less severe, and he was able to have his difficulties addressed with stress-relieving lenses for all close work.
Most visual stress results from the amount of close work – reading, homework, computers, smart phones, etc. – that is unavoidable in modern society. Over 50 years ago, this was described by A.M. Skeffington – the father of modern optometry and pioneer of behavioral/developmental optometry – as “biologically unacceptable, socially compulsive near-centered tasks.”
The fact that it is essentially unavoidable that we engage in all of the close work of modern society does not negate the fact that the human visual system was in no way designed for such constant use in this way. The visual process is meant for action. It was meant for viewing at varying distances, and usually involving some amount of movement. The primary purpose of the visual process is to direct our movements, not to sit and stare at a flat surface. We have two eyes facing forward in order to help us best appreciate the three-dimensional nature of the world around us, and to enable us to move effectively and efficiently through that world.
“After going to vision therapy for a while, he began to love to read and write, and he no longer complained about doing his school work. And on top of that, he had a great improvement in his athletic ability.”
I recently had the opportunity to perform a progress evaluation on the oldest son. All of the improvements derived from vision therapy remained intact. This inspired Penny to create the video she had been meaning to do for a while. It is always gratifying to be able to help people overcome their visual challenges. This often translates into changes – sometimes profound changes – in their lives.
I am very grateful for having the chance to help Penny’s sons and for her taking the time to share her experience of my office.
If you think you or your child, or someone you know might benefit from behavioral optometry, call Dr. Steve Gallop today at 610-356-7425 to have your questions answered personally by Dr. Gallop.