Functional Vision Rehab May Resolve Issues Never Revealed in an Eye Exam
Has this ever happened to you? You're pouring your morning coffee and for some reason, you just miss the cup.
Or maybe you think you're walking in a straight line, but you somehow swerve left or right, and then brush against a wall or piece of furniture.
It's possible, too, that you're prone to falling, but no one has been able to give you a good explanation for why that's happening.
You may have an undetected vision problem. They're rarely picked up in routine eye exams.
You can test 20/20 and still have a problem. We developed our functional vision rehabilitation program just for people like you.?
So What Is “Functional Vision Rehab” and How Is It Different from Routine Eye Care
Functional vision rehabilitation is different than routine eye care in that it has less to do with 20/20 vision and the eyeball, and more to do with how people function with their vision. Undetected vision issues can be quite serious, however. They create problems with driving safety, balance (and thus falls) an inability to read anymore because words “wobble” out of line, depression and others.
The complications involve an assortment of unfamiliar terms such as convergence insufficiency, binocularity problems, visual midline shifts and impaired peripheral vision. Those difficulties can even occur after strokes or concussions, to name but a few.
In the elderly, they are particularly serious because quite often they're the culprits behind falls. In fact, by the age of 60 some 43 percent of people have what's known as “weak eye teaming skills,” which means their eyes do not work well in harmony. That affects reading and depth perception, and an increased risk of falls due to resulting judgment problems.
Who We're Working With to Bring This Program to You
Regents Park Boca Raton is fortunate to be working with Dr. Larry Lampert, an internationally recognized neuro-optometrist. He is a frequently sought speaker at science symposiums and conferences.
He is also one of only 540 vision rehab experts worldwide who has completed a fellowship through the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. In addition to his work with the elderly, he also works with children. He has also brought his techniques to professional athletes, including Olympic contenders, PGA and LPGA golfers, USTA tennis players, the Minnesota Twins and St. Louis Cardinals, as well as players from the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians and Miami Dolphins.
But one of his most abiding passions is in working with older people who have been forced to abandon reading, fall frequently and are at risk for broken hips, and more. In fact, he specializes in stroke and head injury cases.
How the Functional Vision Rehab Program Works at Regents Park Boca Raton
At Regents Park, Dr. Lampert assesses patients with indicators for undetected vision problems. His procedures are non-invasive and painless. Once he establishes a diagnosis, he works with Regents' occupational therapists who he's trained to help patients practice strategies that can correct their problems. No medication is required.
Some rehab therapies are as simple as trying to insert a pen into a straw, forcing the eyes to work as a team. Other simple interventions may include yoked prism lenses, spot patching for double vision instead of a total patch and, of course, visual skills training that works on eye movements, eye teaming, depth perception, peripheral vision and perceptual skills.
Until recent years, not much attention was paid to functional vision rehabilitation. Now, though, the US. Army has a program in place at Walter Reed and four other major medical centers for returning soldiers with traumatic brain injury. Even NYU's Rusk Institute and similar centers across the world are establishing programs that go beyond routine eye exams into this sophisticated area of vision treatment.
“It's a neat area,” said Dr. Lampert, who believes he was drawn to the field because he always enjoyed learning how things work. “As a kid I took motorcycle engines apart, fixed cars, and rebuilt master cylinders, so I kind of have that ‘how do you fix it’ curiosity in me. That's part of why I like this field. It's always interesting and always growing, and I'm always learning.”