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Amplify Eyecare Chattanooga

An Alternative to Patching

If one eye is weaker than the other, such as in the case of a lazy eye, one method that is used to train the brain to work with both eyes in an optimal manner is patching. This means the stronger eye is closed with a patch, forcing the brain to learn to work with the weaker eye. This method presents advantages and disadvantages. The main challenge with this approach is the fact that we shut down the functionality of the stronger eye for a period of time with the goal of strengthening the weaker eye. This could compromise the stronger eye since it doesn’t get used for some time. Once we stop using the patch, then the brain needs to relearn how to use both eyes together simultaneously which could present a challenge.


Monocular Fixation in a Binocular Field

There is a wonderful alternative to patching and that is monocular fixation in a binocular field, in short MFBF. This allows both eyes to be open while training and strengthening only one eye at a time, avoiding the need to shut one eye off. In order to achieve the MFBF effect, filters are used. For example, during a vision therapy session, a child is given the task of completing a maze on a paper by tracing the right path to the way out using a red marker. In that case, we would place a green filter in front of the lazy eye or weaker eye that we are working to strengthen. Since there’s a green filter in front of the eye, this specific eye is still able to view the target and perform the task of completing the maze. The other stronger eye which does not require training at the moment, is open however there is a red filter placed on top which prevents this eye from seeing the target. It means that both eyes are open but the weaker eye must meet the challenge to complete the task all on its own. By keeping both eyes open but using filters, we can control which eye is receiving the strength training and which visual signals the brain is able to perceive.

Monocular Fixation in a Binocular Field

Common Questions

Yes, there is an alternative to closing one eye with a patch for a period of time. The alternative method allows both eyes to stay open while using filters to control which eye is actively being trained. This avoids the challenges that come with keeping one eye shut for a period of time. Using filters to strengthen the weaker eye while the stronger eye is open but not participating in the activit, is called monocular fixation in a binocular field.
MFBF stands for monocular fixation in a binocular field. This means that one eye is being trained to properly fixate while the other eye is open but not participating in the activity. This provides many advantages as it enables one eye to be trained at a time, without the need to completely shut off the alternate eye. The other eye can remain opened but using filters it is separated so that it won’t interfere with the training of the eye that is currently being strengthened.
Dr. McBryar cartoon


There are various methods available nowadays which allow one eye to participate in a vision therapy activity at a time. Patching closes off the stronger eye, forcing the brain to learn how to work properly with the weaker eye. The alternative method of MFBF employs filters to keep both eyes open but to enable the focus to be on one eye at a time. To schedule a functional vision exam, please call (423) 710 3965. Patients with functional vision issues visit our clinic from all over Tennessee, and we are proud to be a leading provider of functional vision services for patients from Hixson, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley.

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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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