Is Vision Therapy an alternative to eye muscle surgery?
Indeed! Not only is vision therapy much safer than eye muscle surgery (which requires general anesthesia.) Vision Therapy has a far better functional cure rate than surgery provides. Eye muscle surgery generally provides only a cosmetic appearance of straight eyes. The true alignment of the eyes, allowing for good binocular performance and good depth perception is seldom achieved with eye muscle surgery. In addition, due to the un-predictability of surgery and the very precisely innervated eye muscles, it is very frequent that multiple surgeries (and therefore multiple general anesthesia exposures) are required. Each surgery also results in additional scar tissue being produced, which in turn makes the outcome of the surgery even less predictable and leaves the eye with additional limitations of movement. Even though the eyes may appear to be straight after eye muscle surgery, the brain still doesn’t know how to properly team the eyes together, binocularly. As a result, the brain will often continue to suppress vision out of one eye, which leads to poor depth perception and stereo blindness.
A turned eye is not the result of a muscle problem, but is rather a problem at the level of the brain’s control of the muscles. Vision therapy works through the principles of neuro-muscular re-education to provide a safe, functional and long-lasting cure.