Understanding Vision

Published on
February 14, 2022

Vision is more than 20/20 eyesight. Great vision relies on more than just healthy eyes. The visual system is made up of both the eyes and the brain - and the way these two parts function together defines the quality of vision.

It is the brain-eye interaction that allows children and adults to function effectively, whether their task is to read words or work on a computer, read a book, catch a ball, walk down the street, play sports or just stay focused throughout the day.

Our eyes are essential tools needed to take in visual information, however our brain takes the images gathered from both of our eyes, combines them, and understands them. It is estimated that between 10-20% of children will have a vision issue that is unrelated to what we normally consider 20/20 vision. A common example is amblyopia which is estimated to impact between 3-6% of the population. Amblyopia is where the brain favors the stronger of the two eyes, and as it develops it shuts of input from one of the eyes. There are over 11 different visual processes, also known as visual skills, used in reading alone. Vision therapy assists those who have vision problems stemming from a delay in the development of a visual process, an injury that has impacted a visual process, or for people looking to optimize their vision for athletic performance. 

What is vision therapy?

Optometric vision therapy is an individualized program that uses an integrated model of visual processing approach that follows evidence-based best practices designed to improve and enhance visual perception and motor skills. It is based on volumes of clinical research from accredited colleges of optometry and published in peer reviewed journals. There are currently established clinical guidelines that encompass the various areas of medically diagnosed visual deficits including but not limited to myopia, strabismus, amblyopia, accommodation, ocular motor function and visual perception motor skills. All of these skills are essential for learning and activities of daily living.

What conditions can vision therapy treat?

Vision therapy is not a replacement for eyeglasses and contact lenses, but it can be used to treat a wide range of conditions that are not addressed with a standard eye exam and prescription. The following list of diagnoses that vision therapy can improve is not exhaustive; however, it offers an idea of how life-changing this corrective modality can be for patients who suffer from these conditions.

  • Brain Injury
  • Strokes
  • Binocular Coordination
  • Convergence Insufficiency
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Diplopia (double vision)
  • Strabismus
  • Accommodative Dysfunction
  • Binocular Vision Dysfunction/Strabismus
  • Cranial Nerve Palsy Involving the Eyes
  • Nystagmus
  • Ocular Motor Dysfunction
  • Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome
  • Spatial Disorientation
  • Vestibular (balance) problems
  • Developmental vision delays 

Who benefits from vision therapy?

A vision therapy program can benefit anyone whose vision is not performing at the level they need with standard forms of vision correction such as glasses and contact lenses, regardless of age. Although being treated earlier is always a better choice, vision therapy can also benefit adults. It helps those who have suffered concussions and brain trauma, as well as those with neuro-visual deficits that make it difficult for them to read, write, and learn. Developmental delays in vision highly impact the neuro-diverse populations. Many of our patients include people with autism, downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, and non-verbal learning disorders.  It may take longer for vision therapy to help some populations, but it can greatly improve not only their skills, but also their sense of self.

Why Visit Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach for Vision Therapy? 

There are few eye doctors with the vast clinical and professional experience of Dr. Eric Ikeda, F.C.O.V.D., DPNAP.

Dr. Ikeda has served in senior leadership roles in all three of the groups that provide much of the underlying scientific and clinical expertise in the field of neuro-optometry and vision therapy, including:

  • Past-President of Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF)
  • Past-President of the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association
  • Appointed to the American Optometric Association Vision Rehabilitation Committee and to the Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force

Dr. Ikeda’s clinical experience includes:

  • Neuro-Optometrist at Amplify EyeCare Of Greater Long Beach
  • Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD)
  • Clinical Associate Professor of the Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry
  • Charter Program Director for the Neuro Optometry Clinic at Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation (Pomona)
  • Provides clinical staff services at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (Downey); NeuroRestorative rehabilitation centers (Artesia, Garden Grove, La Habra, San Dimas)
  • Recognized as “Physician of the Year” by the Rehabilitation Nurses Society 
  • Recipient of “Founding Fathers Medal” for his continued service to NORA
  • Inducted as a Distinguished Practitioner into the National Academies of Practice (Optometry Academy) 
  • Recipient of the Founder’s Award by Western University of Health Sciences, College of Optometry

Testimonials


  • I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.


    Claire A.

  • Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.


    Jim K.

  • My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!


    Teresa S.

  • The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.


    Joe M.

  • I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.


    Kayla W.

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