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Why is Vision Therapy the better choice than Surgery for Strabismus/Eye Turns
Strabismus is an ocular muscle problem that is commonly corrected with surgery. However, treatment with Vision Therapy can also help to correct this problem without risks of surgery and anesthesia. Vision therapy improves the connection between your eyes and brain while surgery is commonly performed for cosmetic reasons.
1. A better outcome with Vision Therapy: Vision therapy solves the problem permanently while surgery may merely cover up the problem. Vision therapy trains the eyes to stay aligned by creating new neurons. Once those neurons are established between the eyes, eye muscles, and brain, the patient sees 3D. Seeing a 3D image is much more interesting and functional for everyday life than a flat image. The eye, brain, and eye muscle connection is constantly reinforced, preventing strabismus from returning. Stabismus surgery runs the risk of only achieving cosmetic alignment. Without improved functional vision, the world remains flat as it was before surgery. As a result, the eyes can drift out of alignment and require additional corrective surgeries. With every surgery, the chance of ever having 3D vision declines.
2. Vision therapy is safer: Every surgery poses risks. If your child has a back injury or spine misalignment, physical therapy would be tried before back surgery was considered. Vision therapy can be thought of in the same way. For children, anesthesia is a risk factor alone. It is important to do some research and learn other options before a child goes into any form of surgery. However if surgery is necessary for large, or certain types of eye turns, then Vision therapy before or after the surgery will help the surgical outcome and prevent the need for additional corrective surgeries. This is similar to Physical therapy being performed before and after a back surgery. When a child or adult learns to use the eyes as a team, as they learn in Vision Therapy, the neural pathways created keep the eyes straight post surgery. Here are some interesting articles on the effects of anesthesia on children
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“I have seen so much growth in Kayla. She appears much less frustrated and seems more able to cope with frustrating situations. Last year she could not connect the dots to make a triangle to now being able to draw and microscope and it's parts from the board. She enjoys reading now and is doing adult connect the dot books. We used to spend hours on homework which was often not done correctly--to going to school all day and then math tutoring for an hour with no problems. She still struggles with reading and spelling, but on her last report card got all A's and 1B. She feels that the vision therapy has helped her be more successful in life (softball, school, etc). My personnel feeling is that Kayla's vision problems created a feeling of chaos or loss of control---she struggled with trying to control her life in a chaotic situation. Now she can make sense of the world visually, she is less angry, less stressed and feels more successful in life. Thank you for everything!”