How Prism Lenses Can Help in Vision Therapy
What Are Prism Lenses?
Most patients who need glasses to address nearsightedness or farsightedness are prescribed a combination of spherical and cylindrical lenses. These provide patients with perfect focus by correcting for refractive errors so light is correctly focused on the retina.
Some people, however, require prism lenses. That’s because their binocular vision — the eyes working together to focus on a single object or image — is not well developed. When the eyes don’t work in tandem, an object seen by one eye may appear higher, lower, or to the right or left of its actual location, leading to double vision.
Prism lenses address double vision by bending light rays onto the retina. This allows the two eyes to now perceive the object as a single image, removing the double vision, these lenses will also correct for refractive errors, so the patient sees clearly as well.
Vision Therapy Using Prism Lenses
Prisms are an integral part of vision therapy, which consists of customised exercises and lenses to improve visual skills and processing by retraining the brain and eyes to work together. Prisms will also improve patients’ 3D depth perception and spatial perception.
If you experience double vision, imbalance and depth-perception problems following an illness or head injury, schedule an appointment with our optometric team to discuss how vision therapy involving prisms might help. During the therapy sessions our optometric team will fit you with prism glasses, provide instruction and ask what you are seeing and experiencing. These responses will provide our optometric team with valuable information on the prisms’ effectiveness.
To test your balance and depth perception, you might be asked to walk to a wall or down the office’s corridor or to hold an object and look at the top of it from an arm’s length distance. While walking or holding the object, your peripheral vision might be tested by identifying objects on either side while keeping your head steady. Another balance/coordination exercise could involve looking straight ahead while slowly walking, step by step, toe to heel.
Vision therapy employs a combination of prisms of various strengths. The lenses and the exercises stimulate your brain, gradually developing a stronger eye-brain connection. Your eyes will learn to work together again to regain clear and comfortable vision. This, in turn, will lead to improved balance and coordination, even when prisms are no longer used.
At The Focal Point Optometrist we will gladly answer your questions about the role prism lenses play in vision therapy. The Focal Point Optometrist offers vision therapy to patients in Wembley, Perth, Midland, Rockingham and throughout Western Australia.