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Study Shows Brain Changes After Vision Therapy

Research confirms that the networks in our brain that control eye movements change after vision therapy.


Numerous large studies have shown that office-based vision therapy is the treatment of choice for convergence insufficiency, a common eye teaming problem that causes headaches, double vision, blurred vision, and eyestrain during reading and close work. And we also know that the impact of vision therapy is long lasting. But until recently, we didn’t know what was actually changing with vision therapy. We know that the eyes could do things they could not do before vision therapy, but the mechanism was unclear.

Researchers at The NJ Institute of Technology, Salus University and Rutgers have found the answer. The networks in our brain that control convergence eye movements actually change after vision therapy. In a National Eye Institute funded study, the researchers did vision therapy with young adults with convergence insufficiency and compared their brain function before and after treatment to young adults with normal convergence. The results were striking.

mri brain scans showing changes after vision therapy
The two top brain scans in Row A show the areas of the brain that light up with a convergence task in normal patients. The middle two in Row B show how much less the brains with convergence insufficiency light up, and the bottom two in Row C are brains after vision therapy. After therapy, brain activity improved significantly and was no different than the normal brains.

So now we know for sure what many vision therapy optometrists have been suspecting for years: vision therapy changes your brain!

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