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Testimonials

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    Finibus Bonorum
    Acount executive I Communication
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    Acount executive I Communication
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Our Values

Ambition
We are creating something worth creating, that will endure the test of time. We do this by relentlessly focusing on the success of our employees and customers. We’re grounded by humility and driven by ambition and expect our employees to be too.
a
Make It Fun
We believe in celebrating our successes, milestones and hard work, through recognition, appreciation and rewards
m
Passion For Learning
We want to be at the forefront of change and growth; there is always something we can learn.
p
Live The Golden Rule
We are empathetic and respectful of each other, customers and the communities we serve. We value, encourage and celebrate the gifts in one another and respect the inherent dignity and worth of every individual.
l
Integrity
We believe in honesty, openness, trust, respect and reliability in all that we do.
i
Focused Teams
Working together on a project is more important than who gets credit. We put trust in our teams and watch the incredible accomplishments happen when ego takes a backseat.
f
You Are Unique
We know it takes people with different ideas, strengths, interests, and cultural backgrounds to help us succeed.
y
Investing In Our Employees
“We train our people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to” (Richard Branson)
i
Transparency
We are honest about the actions we are taking, being upfront and visible.
t

our values

  • a

    Ambition

    We are creating something worth creating, that will endure the test of time. We do this by relentlessly focusing on the success of our employees and customers. We’re grounded by humility and driven by ambition and expect our employees to be too.
  • m

    Make It Fun

    We believe in celebrating our successes, milestones and hard work, through recognition, appreciation and rewards
  • p

    Passion For Learning

    We want to be at the forefront of change and growth; there is always something we can learn.
  • l

    Live The Golden Rule

    We are empathetic and respectful of each other, customers and the communities we serve. We value, encourage and celebrate the gifts in one another and respect the inherent dignity and worth of every individual.
  • i

    Integrity

    We believe in honesty, openness, trust, respect and reliability in all that we do.
  • f

    Focused Teams

    Working together on a project is more important than who gets credit. We put trust in our teams and watch the incredible accomplishments happen when ego takes a backseat.
  • y

    You Are Unique

    We know it takes people with different ideas, strengths, interests, and cultural backgrounds to help us succeed.
  • i

    Investing In Our Employees

    “We train our people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to” (Richard Branson)
  • t

    Transparency

    We are honest about the actions we are taking, being upfront and visible.

Lorem Ipsum

Atkinson Hyperlegible Font
Named after Braille Institute founder, J. Robert Atkinson, Atkinson Hyperlegible font is great for low vision readers.  In contrast to traditional typography design, it emphasizes letterform distinction in order to increase character recognition, thus improving readability.  Anyone with low vision is welcome to use it for free!

What is low vision?

It is a loss of vision that cannot be treated with medical or surgical treatments or with conventional eyeglasses or contact lenses. Low vision is a condition that makes doing everyday tasks difficult. People with low vision must learn to adapt to their condition and can be helped with a variety of low vision devices and tools.

What makes Atkinson hyperlegible font so unique

There are times when it may be difficult for people with low vision to distinguish letters and numbers while reading. The Atkinson Hyperlegible font offers a variety of design techniques to differentiate commonly misinterpreted letters and numbers.
  • Recognizable footprints: Character boundaries are clearly defined, making understanding possible across the visual-ability spectrum
  • Differentiated letterforms: Letter pairs are differentiated from one another to dramatically increase legibility
  • Unambiguous characters: Designed to improve readability and distinguishability
  • Exaggerated forms: Letter shapes are exaggerated to improve clarity
  • Opened counterspace: Some of the open areas on certain letters are enlarged to provide more distinction
  • Angled spurs and differentiated tails: enhance recognition and define distinct style
  • Circular details: Links to the history of Braille Institute and braille dots

Characteristics of Atkinson hyperlegible font

  • Four fonts, including two weights (regular, bold, italics, italics bold)
  • 1,340 total glyphs across all fonts, 335 per font
  • Accent characters supporting 27 languages
  • For designers and anyone interested in making written materials easier to read across the entire visual-ability spectrum
  • Improve legibility and readability for low vision readers

Downloading and installing it

Click here to download the Atkinson hyperlegible font for free Instructions for installing the font Download the .zip file linked above. Extract the file to reveal additional folders inside. Find the Open Type Format (.otf) files for the four Atkinson Hyperlegible fonts (regular, italic, bold, bold italic) inside the “Print Fonts” folder. *Note that only the Open Type files are needed to install the font on a computer. There are five additional font formats in the “Web Fonts” folder for use on the web. On Windows 10: Double-click the font file, then click the “Install” button in the font preview window that opens. The font will be installed. Alternatively, right-click on the file and choose “Install” from the pop-up menu that appears. On Mac: Double-click the font file in the Finder, then click “Install Font” in the font preview window that opens. After your Mac validates the font and opens the Font Book app, the font is installed and available for use.

Schedule a low vision evaluation at [mbv name="practice-name"]

At [mbv name="practice-name"] we offer advanced low vision optometric eyecare. Our low vision optometrist spends time with each patient to understand their visual capabilities and what goals they have for improving their vision. After a full evaluation our low vision optometrist will help guide the patient through the various options available such as handheld and wearable devices that provide additional magnification, color contrast, and field of view. Furthermore our low vision optometrist will guide the patient on the resources available through different organizations and tools that can help them in their activities of daily living. Call our office at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule a low vision evaluation. 
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Learning-Related Vision Problems
[embed]https://youtu.be/cqGk79S4xu8[/embed] Up to 80% of the information that is presented to children in the classroom is actually visual. It's safe to say that vision can have an enormous impact on children's academic performance. If children show up at school every day without some of the tools they need to succeed, no matter how smart or capable we may think they are, they will have trouble performing at their grade or age level equivalents. Consequently, that child may work 10 times harder than another child because they lack the tools that they need to succeed.

Visual skills that may affect child's academic performance

Visual skills that may affect a child's academic performance include having difficulty with visual acquisition, i.e., having difficulty acquiring visual information, getting it into the eyes, and back into the brain. These could include eye tracking, using eyes together as a team which is called binocular vision, or problems with the accommodative and focusing muscles. Children may also have difficulty processing visual information once the information reaches the brain. For example there could be a problem with the child's ability to convert short-term memories to long-term ones. If your child struggles with any of these skills, it's important to rule in or out an underlying vision problem that could negatively affect academic performance. Take our vision skills assessment to see if your child has symptoms that may indicate an underlying vision problem. 

Signs of a learning-related vision problem

Your child may exhibit a number of signs and symptoms that indicate they have a vision problem that is affecting their learning ability. A proper assessment and treatment, if necessary, can be carried out quickly to ensure that a minor issue does not turn into a major one. There are a number of them, including:
  • Eye irritation
  • Having to squint to see the blackboard in class
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty reading for long periods of time
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Frequent headaches
  • Head tilting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or balance issues
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Visual Symptoms of Learning Related Vision Issues
[embed]https://youtu.be/V026q0p7zHw[/embed] These are vision problems that directly interfere with learning. Physical symptoms of learning-related vision problems include headaches, eye strain, and double vision, however, the visual symptoms are more subtle and less often noticed.

Visual symptoms

You may need an eye doctor that specializes in developmental or functional vision to properly diagnose a learning-related vision issue, but there are some signs that you can watch for, even if they have had an eye exam and have been told their eyesight is perfect
  • When a child is holding the book really close to their face
  • When reading, the child frequently moves their head instead of just moving their eyes
  • When a child has to keep a finger under the words or a ruler or a bookmark to help them keep place
  • A child whose reading pace is slower, whose fluency may be below what is expected for their grade or age
  • A child who has very poor reading comprehension
  • A child who has poor handwriting and has trouble copying from the board, for example they may be able to copy something from their desk to the paper in front of them but not to go back and forth from the board.
  • When a child has difficulty sustaining attention on tasks requiring visual attention, it is possible that a vision problem is the underlying cause. 
  • A child who is having difficulty focusing can become frustrated, which leads to fidgeting and irritability. These symptoms can both be caused by other disorders, such as ADHD, so if your child exhibits either, you should take them for a functional vision exam so the cause of the problem can be identified before any type of treatment is provided.
  • It is also possible that a child, who is having difficulty focusing on what they are reading, will reverse letters (this can be caused by an underlying vision issue or dyslexia)
  • A child may skip lines or skip words when reading
 

Learning related vision problems are extremely common 

Therefore, if your child is experiencing any of these symptoms or if you're a teacher and see these symptoms in your students, we highly recommend that they have a developmental eye examination to determine if they are actually suffering from a vision related learning problem, which can be treated effectively by vision therapy. Call our office at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule an eye exam with Dr. McBryar today. 
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Vision and Neuroplasticity
[embed]https://youtu.be/wQ4OYJxha-0[/embed] Neuroplasticity is essentially the brain's ability to develop and to adapt to learn new things. While we know the brain is capable of doing these things, we don't necessarily think of vision as something that develops. Although we think of vision as just another sense like hearing or smelling, vision, in fact, is an extremely complex process that goes through an extensive development process. It used to be believed that neuroplasticity ends at eight years old, which would mean that the brain is able to develop properly only up until that point and afterward the visual system is too late to develop. It has been proven incorrect because we know that the brain is capable of learning new skills and adapting to new challenges beyond eight years of age, and that also applies to visual pathways. Vision therapy is a process of learning that takes advantage of the neuroplasticity of the brain to improve learned functions that impact our vision. It enhances the various skills associated with vision, which means strengthening the entire spectrum of aspects related to visual demands we must meet in our everyday lives.

The breakdown of the visual system

Dr. McBryar often breaks down the visual system into the hardware of the visual system and the software of the visual system. The hardware is more like the eye itself. The longer your eyeball grows, the more likely you are to have to wear glasses for nearsightedness in order to see clearly. Another example is ocular disease, if someone has a disease such as macular degeneration or glaucoma, the hardware of our vision is broken. The software of the visual system is more of the neurological pathways that connect the eyes to the brain, directing the eyes and processing the visual information. Even if you are able to see clearly through your glasses, if your eyes and brain don't work well together, you can have significant difficulties in both an academic and a workplace setting. 

Vision therapy and neuroplasticity

The reason why vision therapy works is that we are able to reprogram the neurological software in order to either help the visual system develop properly in the first place, or get it back to functioning at its highest level. Much like bicycle riding, once the visual-cognitive process is learnt, the neurological pathways will work more efficiently without having to think about how the eyes and brain work together to perform tasks. Call our Chattanooga functional optometry office today at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule an appointment. 
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Vision Therapy Awareness
[embed]https://youtu.be/qH8Uy60gT00[/embed] In her years of practicing, Dr. McBryar has heard many times the questions “what is vision therapy?”, “how can vision therapy help people?”, and “who does vision therapy help”. It is challenging for functional optometrists and neuro optometrists to raise awareness of what they do, who vision therapy can help, and when people should reach out to schedule a functional eye exam.

Why are patient testimonials important?

When it comes to education and raising awareness, patient testimonials are the most useful. If the patient is a child, the parent may write a testimonial about how they improved academically, for example sharing how their child is now reading on grade level. It could also be helpful if the patient was an adult, and they could describe how they are able to manage their workday without headaches and double vision. In the same way, a patient who has suffered a traumatic brain injury can write a testimonial describing how they are now able to function better after neuro optometric rehabilitation. The testimonials of patients play a huge role in helping eye doctors educate the public about what they do. Dr. Heather McBryar from Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga has several books full of written testimonials from patients, which other parents and patients can read and then decide if vision therapy is right for them.

What kinds of symptoms indicate the need for vision therapy?

There are many symptoms that indicate the need for further evaluation with a functional vision exam. Take this symptom assessment for a more in depth assessment of you or your child's symptoms https://amplifyeyecarechatt.com/about-us-practice-page/our-specialty/vision-therapy-specialty/vision-and-learning-quiz/ Some common symptoms that may indicate the need for vision therapy include:
  • Children who suffer headaches after a school day, but not on the weekend
  • When reading, words seem to float off the page
  • Getting exhausted after reading or doing activities that require prolonged concentration (in school, at work)
  • Losing the place frequently when reading
  • Reading something and not being able to recall it
  • Having difficulty keeping up with schoolwork or work
  • Difficulty with balance especially after a stroke or traumatic brain injury 
  • Double vision or blurry vision
 

Schedule a functional vision exam with Dr. McBryar at Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga

We welcome you to schedule an appointment at our office for a thorough functional vision evaluation. Dr. McBryar is a fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and has extensive experience working with children, special needs, and post concussion/TBI/Stroke patients. Call our office at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule a functional eye exam. 
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Worth Four Dot
[embed]https://youtu.be/JbHt38OLtUY[/embed] The worth four dot test is a great tool to help the clinician understand what the patient sees with each eye. This test is useful for detecting double vision or suppression, in which the brain ignores visual signals from one eye.

For what purpose is it used?

This test provides our eye doctor with information about how your brain processes the visual information it receives. Is your brain able to pay attention to both eyes at the same time? Or is it suppressing or selectively filtering out the information that's coming from one of the eyes? In this case, it allows your doctor to determine if you are neglecting the left or right eye. Or are you alternating back and forth between the eyes that are being ignored? Or do you exhibit a double vision response at times? Another benefit of this test is that it gives our eye doctor information about how deeply embedded a suppression may be or what distances you may be experiencing double vision at. This is very helpful when they are working with you in the vision therapy room to customize procedures to help make you better.

What is suppression of one eye?

It occurs when one eye is given preference over the other by the brain by ignoring the visual signal from one eye and paying attention only to the other. The purpose of this is to prevent double or blurry vision. The brain does this when the eyes are not working together properly, but vision therapy can help train our brains to learn how to work correctly with both eyes.

What are the possible outcomes of a worth four dot test?

When Dr. McBryar uses the worth four dot test she will have the patient look at the worth for dot flashlight. The flashlight has four dots, one red, two green and one white. Then she will ask you to wear these red and green glasses, with the red lense covering your right eye. Dr. McBryar will be able to learn more about how your vision is working, how deep your suppression is embedded and at what distances you are experiencing double vision.  Two red dots: If you were to look with the right eye and the left eye was suppressed, what you would see would be the two red lights. Three green dots: If your right eye is suppressed or ignored, you will see three green dots and the fourth will not be visible. Five dots: If you have double vision, then you would see five dots, two red dots from your right eye and three green dots from your left eye. Four dots: If there is proper fusion between both eyes, then you should see four dots.
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What is Lazy Eye?
[embed]https://youtu.be/kp8ISwks1WU[/embed] Lazy eye or what's clinically referred to as amblyopia is a condition where the vision isn't correctable to 20/20 on the eye chart like it normally would be. It is often found in one or both eyes, but in rare cases it can be found in both eyes and neither eye can be corrected to 20/20.

What are the main causes of a lazy eye?

There are three main causes of a lazy eye.
  1. The most common cause is when an eye drifts inward or outward, this is called strabismic amblyopia. This results in the lazy eye, as the brain is unable to fully utilize both eyes at the same time.
  2. One of the most common causes of amblyopia is called refractive amblyopia which means that one eye has a substantially different visual ability than the other, for example when one eye has a very large amount of refractive error, but the other eye has little to none.
  3. Another cause of lazy eye is called deprivation amblyopia. This form of amblyopia can also result from congenital cataracts, bell's palsy, or other conditions that prevent light from reaching the retina.

What are the risk factors for a lazy eye in children?

Some children are more prone to develop a lazy eye. The risk factors include:
  • Family history
  • Premature birth or an infant who is born with a low weight
  • Developmental delay

How can a lazy eye be treated?

Patching used to be the standard treatment for lazy eyes. So if there was a situation in which the brain wasn't paying attention to the right eye, an eye doctor would patch the better seeing eye which would be the left eye and force the brain to use the weaker lazy eye.  Today the gold standard approach to treating amblyopia is called monocular fixation in binocular field (MFBF). This is where the stronger eye is occluded (blocked) in combination with vision therapy that is done to train the brain to use both eyes together. During vision therapy eye doctor and therapist is essentially creating stepping stones from where the patient currently is only using one eye at a time to bridge to where the patient is now able to achieve binocular vision or the ability to use both eyes together as a team. Patching along with vision therapy training of effectively using both eyes together proves to be the most effective method of treating a lazy eye. Call our office at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule a functional eye exam. 
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How to Teach Visual Learners
[embed]https://youtu.be/4xNaNJBD_bc[/embed] It is estimated that up to 65% of the population can be categorized as visual learners. Many visual learning methods exist that can be used in classrooms that can make learning both possible and enjoyable. The use of these methods increases students' chances of learning well and performing at their best.

How could teachers help their students visually learn and perform better in the classroom? 

  • Use of illustrated materials - One of the most obvious and helpful things for visual learners is highly illustrated materials. This could be things that are on computers or computer software. These could be heavily illustrated books and other two-dimensional materials. Also, engaging videos can help to present information to the child both visually and audibly.
  • Visualization - Visual learners should also be encouraged to actively visualize so they can imagine in their minds what it is that they're reading. The best way to encourage visualizing is through artistic expression, which means, if they are solving a math problem, they can use whatever information they want. Numbers versus objects.
  • Journals - in which students are allowed to record the pictures, thoughts, and feelings that come to mind as they learn can provide students with a reference book that helps them tap into what they’re learning and more, how they are processing what they take in.
  • Manipulatives - Manipulatives can also be used specifically for math. As an alternative to writing numbers and carrying the one, they are using manipulatives to make sense of the 1 or 10 units. Visual learners can also benefit from color-coded highlighters and markers, which make it easy for them to recognize different elements of a problem based on color. A child can also use an abacus for math; the colored, moving beads of the abacus are perfect for visual learners.  An abacus is extremely beneficial to these learners' developmental math education. Actually, manipulatives of any kind are extremely beneficial to visual learners.
  • Use of models - The ability to use models or other constructs in subjects such as science or social studies is extremely helpful for visual learners, as it reinforces their visual process with touch as well.
  • Engaging videos - Students can learn about a wide variety of topics, from colors to biology to astronomy, by watching engaging videos of the right age. The relaxed environment provided by videos allows students to absorb a good deal of information in what can feel like a day at the movies, though that is not always the case.
  • Internet - Almost every topic is now accessible to students around the globe thanks to the Internet. Students who learn visually are empowered to understand the most basic and most complex topics through Google and other search engines.
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Convergence Insufficiency Treatment
[embed]https://youtu.be/GcdvjvAMElw[/embed] Convergence Insufficiency is an eye condition in which your eyes are not able to work together as a team. As you bring an object closer to your eyes, your eyes have to converge or come together more but in this particular condition, the eyes are unable to do that in a coordinated effortConvergence insufficiency (CI) is an eye disorder that affects about 5-15% of the children in the United States and can have a significant impact on school and work performance. 

Symptoms

The symptoms of convergence insufficiency can include:  
  • Blurry or double vision when reading or performing other near tasks
  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Eye pain when reading or performing your work
  • Words that seem to move across the page
  • Anxiety and muscle tension
  • Inability to recall what you’ve read despite focusing intensely

Treatment of convergence insufficiency with vision therapy

Convergence insufficiency can be treated most effectively with vision therapy. The treatment helps patients with convergence insufficiency by training their eyes to concentrate and converge properly. Patients are assigned a variety of tasks and exercises both in the office and at home in order to enhance their neuroplastic development and to help their eyes to function properly. The National Eye Institute published the results of a gold standard double blind treatment trial which compared the results of individuals with convergence insufficiency who attended office therapy, home based activities and were placed in a placebo group. According to the findings of this study, vision therapy is the most effective treatment for convergence insufficiency. Vision therapy performed in-office generally takes about 6 months to be effective, however since therapy is highly individualized the length will depend on the visual needs and progress of each patient. Our brains can learn new things through a process called neuroplasticity (think about learning to ride a bicycle), the goal of vision therapy is to develop the visual skills needed to enable our eyes to converge as a team, thereby eliminating the difficulties of reading and other near tasks. 

Other ways to treat convergence insufficiency

Treatments other than vision therapy are generally less effective in treating this condition. There are times when prism lenses are used, but this is generally used in complicated scenarios. A surgery is rarely performed, and only in extreme cases because it yields less-than-ideal results.
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How do eyes work together as a team?
[embed]https://youtu.be/Th7Ox9c9Peo[/embed] Eye teaming, also known as binocular vision or binocularity, refers to how the eyes and the brain work together as a team. When you move something closer to your eyes, such as a book or a computer, your eyes have to converge more to get a clear picture of the object.

The metaphor of a camera to explain binocular vision

Dr. McBryar likes to think of your eyes as cameras, but they're like the old-fashioned cameras where you had to send the film off to be developed. So you have a left eye camera and a right eye camera, and each of them takes its own pictures or images. That information is now going to be transferred back to the brain and like the old fashioned camera the film or image will be developed there as well.  Using the camera metaphor, in a case where the eyes are not pointing at exactly the same place, what happens is your eyes don't work well as a team, and you will still have a right eye picture and a left eye picture, but as they return to the brain, instead of being able to perfectly overlap, there will be a separation between them. As a result, poor eye-teaming skills and the subsequent combined image formed in the brain may cause symptoms like headaches, eyestrain or eye pain when you're reading and doing up close work. Additionally, it can cause conditions like double vision, blurry vision, or even floating words on the page.  

Convergence insufficiency

Convergence insufficiency is an eye condition which occurs when both eyes are supposed to come together to focus on a near target but they fail to do so. This is one of the most common conditions that impact our binocular vision.  If you are trying to read or use your computer, and you are trying to look at a screen or a page, then both eyes must be able to coordinate together so that they are pointing in the same direction at the same time. If that happens, you will have excellent binocular vision. If you or your child are experiencing vision difficulties that may be related to poor binocular vision call our office at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule a functional eye exam. 
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Can Lazy Eye be Treated for Adults?
[embed]https://youtu.be/zKlpEPWU-UY[/embed] There is a long-standing and often perpetuated myth that laze eyes can only be treated when a child is under the age of 10. Therefore, for a long time, there was no recommendation for treatment of lazy eye in children older than nine years of age. The good news is there are very effective treatments of amblyopia for people of all ages, including adults.

What is a lazy eye?

A lazy eye, medically known as amblyopia, occurs when there is a lack of coordination between the eyes, resulting in one eye not seeing well, even after optical correction. As a result, each eye receives an image that does not align with the other, and the brain shuts it off, suppressing the image of the weaker eye. The brain is dependent on the second eye, which is the only eye capable of achieving 20/20 vision. 

What is the most effective method of treating a lazy eye in adults?

It is important to explore the possibility of vision therapy as a means to improve your vision if you have a longstanding lazy eye. According to recent studies, including one funded by the National Eye Institute, amblyopia or lazy eye can be effectively treated well into adulthood. Vision therapy for lazy eyes aims to retrain the neurological pathways between the eyes and the brain, so that they can achieve binocular vision, or the capability of the brain to use both eyes simultaneously. Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga, under the leadership of Dr. Heather McBryar, FCOVD, provides vision therapy treatment plans that are tailored to each patient's needs and visual skills. It's important to be patient, as the treatment can take longer than it would in a young person. Compliance is an important part of many treatment methods, including vision therapy, and an adult patient is normally more compliant than a child.

Is vision therapy the only treatment for a lazy eye?

When treating amblyopia in adults we often employ a combination of strategies to both restart the usage of the weaker eye while training the two eyes to work together. This is called monocular fixation in binocular field (MFBF). A patient may benefit from one or a combination of the following in addition to vision therapy for treating a lazy eye:
  • Ensuring that the patient has the most accurate prescription for each eye
  • Eye patching or eye drops which is called occlusion
Amblyopia can be treated for both children and adults. Contact our office at (423) 710-3965 to schedule an eye exam and consultation. Dr. Heather McBryar and her staff have extensive experience helping adult patients with lazy eyes improve their vision.
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Getting an Eye Exam for Vision Therapy
[embed]https://youtu.be/Df__FuFdSFg[/embed] Should you find that you or your child has difficulty seeing far away or up close, then logically you will think that you need to have an eye exam to determine whether glasses are necessary. However, when should you consider having an eye exam to determine if vision therapy would be beneficial? When you or your child have difficulty performing near tasks such as reading or difficulty with sports, these are the times when you should consider having a functional eye examination. 

What happens in a functional eye exam?

In a functional eye exam, a functional or behavioral optometrist will look at both aspects of the visual system, the eyes (the hardware) and the brain (the software). The hardware of your visual system is what is normally looked at during a comprehensive eye exam this includes, ensuring that you have the correct glasses prescription, and that your eyes are healthy. During a functional eye exam the optometrist will look at all the components of a person's vision to see what is causing the functional difficulties, they'll examine the software of the visual system which includes tracking of the eyes, focusing and accommodating ability, and eye teaming. 

Who needs a functional eye exam?

When a person has difficulty with eye teaming, tracking of the eyes, focusing and accommodating ability, they might experience symptoms such as eye strain or pain while reading or working on a computer, especially for extended periods of time. Words may appear as if they are swimming on the page, and you may experience double vision, headaches, and blurred vision. Often, poor tracking skills can result in difficulties such as losing placement, reading, skipping over words or lines, and word substitution. Some of the lesser known symptoms are difficulty in sports, which may indicate trouble with binocular vision, and subsequently eye-hand coordination and depth perception. A child with academic difficulty does not seem to be maximizing their potential in the classroom, especially in subjects related to reading. In the event that you or your child is having difficulty in any of these areas, or is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, a functional vision exam would be helpful to determine whether you or your child is a candidate for vision therapy.

What you can expect from vision therapy?

A vision therapist will be assigned to your child after a care plan has been established and visual dysfunctions identified. They will supervise the therapy of exercises intended to improve your child's visual function. The length of vision therapy is tailored to the specific visual needs and progress of the patient, but in most cases will be between 20 to 40 sessions, depending on what skills are in need of therapy. Each session usually lasts 45 minutes and is combined with at home exercises. At our office in Hixson (just outside of Chattanooga) we specialize in functional vision, and have extensive experience working with children, special needs, stroke patients, and post traumatic brain injury/concussion patients. We have seen incredible results with patients of all ages who have experienced functional vision problems, and after going through vision therapy have seen dramatic improvements to their vision and quality of life. Call our office at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule a functional vision exam today. 
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