Late post Tuesday!
For those of you who have been following my recent posts, I’ve been discussing Computer Vision Syndrome, with an initial post on Friday discussing some symptoms and potential causes of computer vision syndrome, and a follow-up post yesterday discussing some general strategies for symptomatic relief.
In today’s post, I want to switch gears and talk specifically about treatment options for binocular vision problem!
Ready? Let’s get started.
Computer Vision Syndrome: Binocular Vision Problems
So, as I mentioned in my first Computer Vision Syndrome post, binocular vision is, by definition, vision that uses both of your eyes at the same time. This requires coordination of the eye muscles to properly align the eyes (vergence), as well as coordination of the focusing system (accommodation) to make the target clear.
However, these systems don’t always coordinate properly – which can be manifested with excessive near work, such as the eyestrain, eye fatigue, headaches, and blurred/double vision that can be associated with Computer Vision Syndrome.
If you’ve noticed these symptoms, the first step would be to make an appointment with an optometrist who is comfortable with diagnosing and treating binocular vision disorders.
If you’re not sure if your regular optometrist does this, just ask them! If it’s not something that they’re comfortable with, ask them if they happen to know any other doctors in the area who are that they could refer you to. Keep in mind, you don’t have to transfer all of your optometric care to a different doc! This is essentially just like going to a specialist – someone who treats the problem, and then releases you to go back to your regular provider.
At the appointment, be prepared for your eyes to get a bit of a workout! This visit is specifically meant to assess all aspects of how your eyes work together, which can only be done by putting stress on the visual system and seeing how it holds up. Be sure to tell the doctor what (if anything) you’re experiencing during the tests – your symptoms often help guide the treatment plan!
After all the testing is done, the doctor (should) go over all the findings and the treatment plan with you. Some potential treatments are:
- Vision therapy
- Vision therapy can be (loosely) compared to physical therapy, as it’s exercises that strengthen your eye muscles and help them to work better together – to turn in/out (converge/diverge) or to focus (accommodate).
- Prisms work sort of as a crutch for your eyes, by reducing the amount of effort that your eyes have to put in to turn in/out.
- Reading glasses
- Reading glasses can help your eyes to relax, by decreasing how hard you have to focus at near for things to be clear.
- A combination of the above
Be sure to ask your doctor if you don’t understand either the treatment plan itself, or the goal of the treatment plan. The more you understand, the better you’ll be able to work with your optometrist to create the best treatment strategy for you!