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180 Sheppard Avenue East.
Just 9 min walk east from Sheppard Subway Station
(416) 733-4444 · (416) 733-3353 · eosdesk@gmail.com

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Home » Eyes on Sheppard Vision and Learning Centre

The Eyes on Sheppard Vision and Learning Centre

The Eyes on Sheppard Vision and Learning Centre provides vision therapy and rehabilitative services to patients with a wide variety of functional vision disorders including, eye teaming, eye focusing and eye tracking problems, strabismus (eye turn), amblyopia (lazy eye), and visual processing deficiencies. Vision therapy and rehabilitation services can also benefit individuals with learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, children with special needs and sports vision enhancement.

What is Vision Therapy?

Having ‘20/20 vision’ is not always enough. 20/20 vision only refers to an individual’s “eyesight”. It does not preclude difficulties using our eyes efficiently as a team, impacting learning, sports, and comfort in day-to-day tasks.Vision Therapy is a treatment approach that involves individualized weekly in-office sessions planned to meet a patient’s specific visual needs, whether it is problems with eye teaming, eye focusing, eye tracking, and /or visual processing skills.Vision Therapy is performed by a trained Vision Therapist under the supervision of a Developmental Optometrist. Weekly therapy is supported by home exercises that reinforce the visual skills addressed during the in office visit.

The success of Vision Therapy has been well documented in scientific literature. Click here to see more Research and Resources on the benefits and efficacy of Vision Therapy.

Who Can Benefit from Vision Therapy?

Most school vision screenings are only designed to detect vision problems that cause poor visual acuity. Very few school screenings test for eye focusing, eye teaming, eye movement disorders, and visual perceptual deficits. Further, many children do not voice their symptoms to parents or teachers because they don’t realize other people see differently. Individuals who experience the below symptoms should have an in-office comprehensive eye exam that investigates these systems further.

Common signs and symptoms of individuals with vision problems include:

Blurry vision at distance or near

Poor reading comprehension

Difficulty copying from the chalkboard/smartboard

Double vision

Avoidance of near work

Poor handwriting

Frequent loss of place while reading

Covering one eye when reading

Eyestrain or headaches after reading

Short attention span

Poor hand writing

Omits or rereads letters or words

Can only read for short periods of time

Books held too close to the eyes

Tired eyes after reading

Responds well orally but not in writing

Confuses similar looking words

Confuses similar looking words

Excessive head movement when reading

Letter or word reversals

Can only read for short periods of time

Common Disorders

Eye Focusing Problems (ACCOMMODATION)

Having 20/20 vision may not be enough to properly see the board properly. In order to see clearly, we change the focus of our eyes every time we look at different distances. For most people, the focusing system operates so efficiently that objects instantly appear clear and in focus. This adjustment in focusing is made through the Ciliary Muscle (the “focusing” muscle).

An eye focusing problem occurs when:

  1. One is unable to quickly and accurately constrict or relax the focusing muscle
  2. One is unable to sustain this contraction or relaxation of the focusing muscle for an adequate periods of time.

Approximately 5-10% of children and young adults have eye focusing problems which are significant enough to cause visual complaints. What are the symptoms associated with eye focusing problems?

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Eye Focusing Symptoms

People who have eye focusing problems may complain of the following:

Eyestrain after reading for a short period of time

Short attention span

Good decoding skills, but poor reading comprehension

Headaches after reading for a short period of time

Rubbing or closing an eye

Blurry vision after reading or near tasks

Blurry vision when looking from distance to near and near to distance

Blurry vision when looking from distance to near and near to distance

Inability to concentrate when reading

Words moving or swimming on a page

Eye Focusing Treatment

How are eye focusing problems treated?

Currently there are two preferred methods used to treat focusing problems:

  1. Eyeglasses can at times be prescribed to offer relief from the visual symptoms associated with focusing problems. Although glasses may provide some relief, the underlying problem remains and symptoms may persist. Therefore, eyeglasses alone are sometimes insufficient to completely resolve focusing problems.
  2. Vision Therapy is a treatment approach that involves weekly sessions of in-therapy, individualized to meet a patient’s visual needs. During these visits the patient is given carefully selected and sequenced techniques and activities to help the patient’s visual skills improve. This treatment restores flexibility and function to the eye teaming system with the goal of eliminating visual symptoms.

Eye Teaming Disorders (BINOCULAR VISION)

What is an eye teaming problem?

It is not enough to have ‘20/20 vision’ – our eyes must also work together as a TEAM. In order to see properly we have to use both eyes together in a precise and coordinated fashion. If our eyes are not in sync with each other, our brain will receive two different pictures, leading to eye strain, double vision, or “shutting off” one of our eyes. These symptoms make it very difficult to function either at school, play, or work and can result in a dislike or avoidance of near work such as reading.

Approximately 5%-10% of children and young adults have eye teaming problems which are significant enough to cause visual symptoms.

Eye Teaming Symptoms

People suffering from eye teaming problems may complain of the following:

  • Double Vision
  • Eyestrain and headaches after reading for a short period of time
  • Inability to concentrate when reading
  • Short attention span
  • Frequent loss of place when reading or the need to re-read lines
  • Rubbing or closing an eye
  • Words moving on the page
  • Good decoding skills, but poor reading comprehension Some children may appear to be asymptomatic since they simply avoid reading!

Eye Teaming Treatment

How are eye teaming problems treated?

  1. Eyeglasses can at times be prescribed to provide relief from the symptoms associated with eye teaming problems. The glasses may contain a prescription or prism. The goal is to alleviate the visual stress placed on the eyes while reading. Often eyeglasses alone cannot completely resolve eye teaming problems. They act as a “crutch” rather than “active” treatment to improve eye coordination skills.
  2. Vision Therapy is a treatment approach that involves weekly sessions of in-office therapy, individualized to meet a patient’s visual needs. During these visits the patient is given carefully selected and sequenced techniques and activities to help the patient’s visual skills improve. This treatment restores flexibility and function to the eye focusing system with the goal of eliminating visual symptoms.

Eye Movement Problems ( EYE TRACKING/OCULOMOTOR PROBLEMS)

In order to see properly, the eyes must have the ability to move accurately, smoothly and quickly from one object to another. These skills are essential during reading; to see the word clearly, move from word to word, and is integral for processing and understanding the information that is read.

Inaccurate and slow eye movements can interfere with reading, comprehension and overall school performance. A child may have good decoding skills and normal sight vocabulary but may still experience reading and comprehension problems. In such cases, eye tracking is one area that should be investigated.

Eye Tracking Symptoms

People who have eye tracking problems may complain of the following:

  • Frequent loss of place when reading
  • Skipping lines
  • Trouble copying from the board
  • Need to use finger or guide when reading
  • Normal decoding skills but poor reading comprehension
  • Short attention span

Eye Tracking Treatment

How are eye tracking problems treated?

Eye movement problems are unrelated to the optics of the eyes, so the use of eyeglasses is not usually recommended. In certain cases, eyeglasses may be able to magnify text for reading, which may help with tracking, but it does not fully remediate the underlying visual problem.

A treatment approach called Vision Therapy can be used to treat eye movement disorders. Vision Therapy is a treatment approach that involves weekly sessions of in-therapy, individualized to meet a patient’s visual needs. During these visits the patient is given carefully selected and sequenced techniques and activities to help the patient’s visual skills improve. This treatment restores flexibility and function to the eye tracking system with the goal of eliminating visual symptoms.

Visual Perceptual Disorders

Visual Processing Problems

The ability to analyze and interpret visual input is referred to as Visual Information Processing or Visual Perceptual skills. This is an essential aspect of vision, particularly for children in elementary school. Even if a child can see clearly and comfortably it does not guarantee that he or she will be able to make use of the visual information. Visual Processing can be broken down into several areas including:

  1. Visual motor integration
  2. Visual spatial/visualization
  3. Visual memory
  4. Laterality and directionality
  5. Visual Processing speed
  6. Auditory visual integration

These skills are important when a child is young and is learning letter and number recognition, reading, writing, and early math skills. Visual Processing skills develop in most children without the need for any special attention or intervention. However, in some children the development of Visual Processing skills does not keep pace with the child’s growth in other areas. This lag can lead to learning difficulties.

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Visual Processing Problems

When a child has developmental lags in the area of visual processing it can result in a variety of difficulties including:

Reading comprehension difficulties

Spelling problems

Mathematical concept confusions

Map/Graph interpretation

Poor handwriting

Right/left confusion

Visual memory difficulties

Poor discrimination of words/objects

Attention difficulties

Homework or tests taking a long time to complete

Visual skills also develop together with motor, speech and language skills. A child with a history of developmental lags experiencing difficulty learning in the classroom may benefit from a Visual Processing Evaluation.

What should I do if I suspect that my child has a Visual Processing problem?

If a child is experiencing any of the problems listed, a Visual Processing Evaluation is recommended. This is a specialized examination that usually lasts about one and a half to two hours. Testing probes the areas listed above and may lead to a better understanding of which areas may be contributing to learning difficulties. It is important to emphasize that it is not enough to have a Routine Eye Examination. The doctor must administer tests that specifically probe for Visual Processing problems. This should be discussed with your eye doctor before an appointment is made. It is also important to note that vision is a complex process. Oftentimes, children may experience eye teaming, eye focusing and eye tracking difficulties in conjunction with a visual processing problem. If these other visual skills have not been explored, your doctor may recommend a Binocular Vision Assessment before the Visual Processing Evaluation.

Visual Processing Treatment

How are Visual Processing problems treated?

Perceptual Vision Therapy is a treatment approach that involves weekly office visits individualized to meet a patient’s visual needs. During these visits the patient is given carefully selected and sequenced techniques and activities. The techniques are modified throughout the program and as the patient’s visual skills improve, the therapy becomes more challenging. This treatment is specifically designed to help a child reach his or her normal level of development in the visual processing skills that are found to be deficient. The success of Vision Therapy has been well documented in scientific literature.

Will Vision Therapy alone eliminate a child’s learning problems?

Visual Processing deficiencies can contribute to a learning difficulty. Improvement in these visual skills can result in improved learning efficiency and concentration and better enable a child to benefit from standard or remedial education. 80% of classroom learning involves vision, however, there are children who may have learning difficulties due to other non-visual problems. There are cases where a child may require additional educational support to overcome reading, math or academic problems; Vision Therapy alone may not fully address their needs. The combination of Vision Therapy and educational remediation will often lead to the best overall result.

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) and Strabismus (Eye Turn)

Strabismus, known more commonly as an eye turn or crossed eye, and amblyopia, known as a weak or ‘lazy’ eye can significantly affect children and adults’ visual function. This can negatively impact one’s learning, work, play, and athletics.

Amblyopia and Strabismus Symptoms

Individuals with a history of amblyopia or strabismus may complain of the following:

  • Poorer vision in one eye
  • Double Vision
  • Eyestrain and headaches after reading for a short period of time
  • Inability to concentrate when reading
  • Poor depth perception
  • Clumsiness
  • Frequent loss of place when reading or the need to re-read lines
  • Difficulty with night driving
  • Closing one eye when reading

Amblyopia and Strabismus Treatment

How can Amblyopia and Strabismus be treated?

Conventional methods of treating Strabismus and Amblyopia often included surgery, glasses, eye-drops, or patching an eye. These options often help to improve the clarity of vision in the weaker eye, or improve the aesthetics of the eye turn, but may not improve one’s visual function and visual skills required for day-to-day tasks. Vision Therapy is a treatment approach that can be used instead of, or in addition to these conventional means to help work on visual acuity, eye alignment, as well as functional visual skills. It involves weekly sessions of in-therapy, individualized to meet a patient’s visual needs. During these visits the patient is given carefully selected and sequenced techniques and activities to help the patient’s visual skills improve including eye teaming, eye focusing, eye movements and depth perception.

Vision and Learning

Symptoms of Vision Related Learning Disorders

  • Blurry vision at distance or near
  • Frequent loss of place while reading
  • Using a finger as a guide when reading
  • Omits or rereads letters or words
  • Confuses similar looking words or shapes
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Covering one eye or using one eye when reading
  • Poor handwriting
  • Poor eye-hand coordination
  • Letter or word reversals
  • Difficulty copying from the chalkboard/smartboard
  • Books held too close to the eyes
  • Excessive head movement when reading
  • Double vision
  • Eyestrain or headaches after reading
  • Tired eyes after reading
  • Excessive blinking or rubbing of eyes
  • Can only read for short periods of time
  • Short attention span
  • Avoidance or dislike of near work
  • Responds well orally but not in writing
  • Slow reading speed
  • Trouble with mathematical concepts
  • Evidence of developmental immaturity

If your child is suffering from one or more of these symptoms consider booking them for a Binocular Vision Assessment at the Eyes on Sheppard Vision and Learning Centre.

Treatment Options

The Eyes on Sheppard Vision and Learning Centre offers 4 Types of Assessments:

  1. Binocular Vision Assessment: A comprehensive evaluation into an individual’s ability to track, maintain and accurately change focus and maintain the efficient use of two eyes functioning together. Further testing into Strabismus and Amblyopia is also included in this evaluation.
  2. Visual Perceptual Assessment (Visual Information Processing Evaluation): A comprehensive examination of an individual’s ability to process visual information and integrate this visual information into motor and auditory modalities, visual recognition, copying skills, visual memory and directional organizational concepts related to academic performance.
  3. Pre and Post-Surgical Strabismus Consultation: An evaluation into the need for surgical intervention for Strabismus and the need for Vision Therapy before or after Strabismus surgery.
  4. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Evaluation A comprehensive evaluation of visual deficits related to a TBI including both a Binocular Vision Assessment and Visual Perceptual Assessment. The evaluation may need to be split into multiple visits depending on the severity of the TBI and visual symptoms. In addition, the evaluation may also include further assessment into tinted lenses and prism lenses as additional treatment options.

Vision Rehabilitation

Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion

The majority of sensory processing pathways in the brain involve vision, and because of this, neurological disorders and Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), including concussions, can directly affect our visual processing, eye tracking, eye focusing, and eye teaming. Vision rehabilitation, in combination with tinted lenses, prismatic lenses, and patching techniques can help rehabilitate those patients suffering from symptoms. The approach to rehabilitation involves therapy focusing on the eye tracking, eye teaming, and eye focusing system in the initial stages, followed by Visual Information Processing as well as integration with other brain functions such as the balance/vestibular system and auditory systems in latter stages. Results form visual rehabilitation are most successful when it involves ‘team-based’ treatment, and is co-managed with other practitioners performing therapies such as occupational and physical therapy.

Symptoms

What visual symptoms can individuals with ABI experience?

  • Double vision

  • Eyestrain

  • Headaches

  • Reading difficulties

  • Dizziness

  • Balance problems

  • Midline shifts

If you are interested in assessing and treating a vision related symptoms relating to an acquired brain injury or neurological disorder, contact our office to book your Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Assessment with Eyes on Sheppard Vision and Learning Centre.

What is Sports Vision Training?

Many sports require superior visual skills for maximal performance. Sports Vision Training involves weekly sessions of sport-specific in-office therapy, customized to meet the requirements of the athlete’s visual needs. During these visits the patient is given carefully selected and sequenced techniques and activities to help the patient’s visual skills improve.

Sports vision training helps athletes improve:

  • Eye-Hand and Eye-Body Coordination
  • Visual Reaction Time
  • Peripheral Awareness
  • Eye Teaming
  • Change of Focus
  • Eye Tracking
  • Visualization Skills
  • Depth Perception

Who can benefit from Sports Vision Training?

Athletes who are training and practicing hard without seeing results may have a visual problem limiting their success. There are many athletes functioning with poor visual skills who see their game improve once completing Sports Vision Training. Sports Vision Training can also help athletes who struggle to visualize theirs or there teammates plays and help with decision making skills by working on visualization (visual imagery).

If you are interested in maximizing your visual skills to improve your sports performance, contact our office to book your Visual Assessment with Eyes on Sheppard Vision and Learning Centre.

Vision Therapy Team

Optometrists

Dr. Michelle Baron

Dr. Hadassa Rutman

Vision Therapists

Mariette Soosaipillai

Josephine Lau

Contact US

If you have a student or patient who you think would benefit from a Binocular Vision Assessment, Visual Perceptual Assessment (Visual Information Processing Evaluation), Pre or Post Strabismus Surgery Consultation, or Traumatic Brain Injury Consultation please click here for our referral form.

Email: visiontherapy@eyesonsheppard.com

Phone: 647-427-6762