It Is Never Too Late to Improve Your Vision

Many parents may discover that they have similar vision problems to their children’s and wonder if it is too late for them to get help. The respond to that is – It Is Never Too Late To Get Help!

Scientists used to believe that there was something called the “Critical Period” for treating patients with eye turns and lazy eye (strabismus and amblyopia). They believed that the brain is malleable only during a “critical Period” in early childhood. Based on new research we now know that this is not true. Advances in Optometric Vision Therapy have shown that vision disorders of this nature can usually be treated at any age.

Dr. Susan Barry, a professor of neurobiology at Mount College in South Hadley, Massachusetts has spoken to scientist, eye doctors and educators on the topic of neuronal plasticity and how, as an adult, her eyes were improved later in life due to a program of Optometric Vision Therapy.

Dr. Susan Barry, interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air program and speaker at TEDx Talks, is known for gaining 3D vision as an adult and shares her experiences in her book, Fixing My Gaze. Cross–eyed since early infancy, Dr. Barry had three eye muscle surgeries to straighten her eyes as a young child. After the surgeries, she had no need for glasses and was seeing what we call “20/20” vision, meaning to most people a Perfect vision. Yet, when she attempted to read at near, the words appeared to move on the page. She also found out that she could not see 3-D, depth or space the way the rest of us do. It wasn’t until Dr. Barry went through a program of Optometric Vision Therapy as an adult that she understood why words appeared to move on the page when she was in grade school. She found out that her eyes weren’t working together the way they need to when we read close up. She understood that it was lack of binocular vision that she was struggling with all her life, despite all attempted remedies.

Unfortunately, most binocular vision dysfunctions go undetected causing people to struggle all their life. For an estimated 1 in 4 children and millions of adults, difficulties with 3-D viewing can unmask undiagnosed deficiencies and lead to treatment.

Seeing 3-D is important because it helps develop efficient reading skills, increases participation in the classroom, and is increasingly utilized in a growing list of professions. 3-D beyond the classroom is noted to be important in sports, driving, operation of complex machinery, and performing many fine motor tasks.