Getting an Eye Exam for Vision Therapy

Published on
April 26, 2022

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 (423) 710 3965 to schedule a functional vision exam today. 


Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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