Some optometrists in the United States, Europe and Australia practice a form of "physical therapy" for the eyes and brain called "vision therapy" or "vision training." Vision therapy consists of a program of exercises which improve vision by systematically training the entire visual system (which includes eyes, brain, mind and body).
Vision therapy patients have been viewing stereo images for their visual benefits since the 1850s. Many types of 3D images have been developed and put into use -- stereo photographs, stereographs, lenticulars, polarized images, anaglyphic red/green pictures with glasses and, more recently, Magic Eye Stereograms or SIRDs.
3D stereo images are powerful tools for training the two eyes to work together as a effective binocular team. Stereo viewing is particularly useful in treating problems with binocular vision or stereo vision such as, amblyopia ("lazy eye") and strabismus ("crossed-eyes" or "wall-eyes").
Vision therapy is practiced by licensed optometrists who use medical devices in addition to stereo images in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Unlike the prescription of glasses or contact lenses, vision therapy is sometimes covered by major medical health insurance (like physical therapy). To locate an eye doctor who offers vision therapy, refer to the Directory of Vision Care Providers.
PLEASE NOTE: The techniques and technologies of Vision Therapy were reviewed and developed throughout the twentieth century by many doctors of optometry and ophthalmology and innovations in the field continue to this day.
While some people confuse Vision therapy with self-help programs of eye exercises, such as the widely advertised See Clearly Method or the long-standing Bates Method, such programs are NOT Vision Therapy. The procedures employed in Vision Therapy involve medically supervised therapeutic procedures and, in many cases, regulated medical devices (i.e., lenses and prisms) are used by the optometrists.
FYI: The Bates Method was invented by W.H. Bates, an ophthalmologist who wrote Perfect Sight Without Glasses (New York, 1920).
CALLING ALL PARENTS:Early detection of vision problems is very important. Parents are advised to take their children for a comprehensive eye examination before the age of four. A complete eye examination includes testing whether both eyes are working together as a coordinated team (stereoscopic vision or binocular vision). Ask your eye doctor whether he or she tests and rehabilitates stereoscopic vision. A Directory of Vision Care Providers who perform comprehensive exams is available at this site. Watch children and friends for signs of vision problems. See the Vision Checklists.
NO GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY IS STATED OR IMPLIED: While Vision Therapy has been extremely effective for many individuals, no guarantee as to the effectiveness in any specific case is made by www.vision3d.com. Patient outcomes can vary widely from individual to individual, and as such, no warranty is stated or implied.
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Stereo Vision Project
How to See 3D
Vision Glossary Parents' Checklist
Magic Eye How to See 3D copyright © 1995; Out-of-Print
by Magic Eye, Inc. and Rachel Cooper, Advocate of Vision Therapy Eye Exercises for Lazy Eye.
All other images and text: copyright © 1996- by Rachel Cooper. All rights reserved.