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Top 5 Steps for Successful Vision Therapy

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AmblyoPlay vision therapy

Vision therapy is nowadays regarded as one of the most successful methods of treatment for several vision system dysfunctions, such as lazy eye (amblyopia), accommodation issues, and others.

However, performing vision therapy can be tricky, and it can quickly derail the enthusiasm of the young patients for performing daily or weekly tasks. We must take notice of several details and address them in a comprehensive manner. Therefore, we have prepared five steps for successful vision therapy.

First Step for Successful Vision Therapy: Determining Patient’s Level

First step to successful vision therapy process is determining patient’s level. Before we can start with vision therapy, we must first understand the level at which the patient’s vision is currently performing.

A comprehensive eye exam is, therefore, a prerequisite; however, it is not enough. We must both understand where he or she is at as well as the range in which it can still perform well.

Patient’s Frustration Level

If you ever played video games, you know what we are talking about. You finally start getting a grasp on what you have to do when the difficulty level jumps and you start having difficulties progressing.

People like to have a feeling of progress and accomplishment, and this desire is especially present with today’s children who are used to instant gratification.

For successful vision therapy, we must constantly try to push the lazy eye a little bit further every time. However, never to the point where a person is just not able to perform anymore and starts feeling frustration. This is counter-productive in the end and may cause the patient to stop performing vision therapy altogether.

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Use of Positive Reinforcement

When the patient is performing their therapy, we must stimulate them further with positive reinforcement. Sometimes encouragement and a compliment can work magic, while other times we must bribe them with small tokens or rewards.

We will talk more about how you can stimulate children to perform their daily therapies in the weeks to come, since this is one of the main elements of gamified methods of vision therapy, such as AmblyoPlay.

Father and son playing after vision therapy session.

Effective Vision Therapy Training Level

After we have established positive reinforcement and the correct level at which therapies are performed, we must find the correct level at which we can continuously enhance the performance through the difficulty of the treatment.

It is a sweet spot between the patient’s level and their frustration level. Given that therapy is working, one should expect that both levels will increase.

Let Them Understand

This one might as well be put under number one since it is absolutely essential. Patients should be aware of what to expect. Patients and eye care specialists should establish clear goals and strategies for vision therapy.

More specifically, what the patient can expect if they perform as instructed and how these goals will be achieved. Only this way will the patients clearly understand why they have to put themselves through intense daily therapies.

Gamified Vision Therapy as An Effective Step in the Process

Based on these steps, it is clear that one of the possibilities for successful vision therapy could be methods using game mechanics.

Game mechanics (or gamification) use precisely these steps. They provide instant rewards for progress; the difficulty is constantly adapted to the current level and it increases constantly (but not linearly to sustain a feeling of improvement for a longer period while avoiding the frustration of hitting a difficulty ‘wall’). 

AmblyoPlay has sprung out as a potential solution precisely because doctors and eye care specialists mentioned lack of motivation for home-based exercises as one of the main issues with lazy eye/amblyopia treatment.

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Do you have any other steps you would include in this whole process? What are the issues you face? Let us know at [email protected]!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to ensure success in vision therapy?

Get to know the patient’s general and frustration levels, use positive reinforcement, ensure an effective training level, and let them understand the goals of vision therapy and strategies to achieve them.

What is AmblyoPlay?

AmblyoPlay is a vision therapy solution that is performed through playing therapeutic games and exercises on tablet or computer for 30 minutes per day. With exercises that adapt to each patient and their specific needs, it is an ideal solution for problems such as lazy eye, strabismus, convergence insufficiency, double vision, or other binocular problems.

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Why Do We Suggest a Minimum Time of 6 Months for Success?

Based on the data from over 15,000 patients using AmblyoPlay, improvements start within 4 months, while optimal results take anywhere between 6-18 months on average. The duration of required training depends on the patient’s age, the severity of the problem, accompanying diseases, and adherence to the training program.