Patricia Aicher had no illusions going into vision therapy. Her family’s optometrist had referred her daughter to us to lessen her struggles with reading, and Anna had succeeded beyond their expectations. That motivated Patty, at age 58, to see if she could no longer resign herself to being a reluctant reader with poor comprehension. She was a personal trainer and understood that as we age the challenges can become greater, but was so inspired by her daughter’s progress that she asked us to see if she was a good candidate for vision therapy.
After evaluating Patty, I reviewed that she had convergence insufficiency, with exo diplopia at near on Keystone Visual Skills testing and intermittent suppression on cheiroscopic tracings.
We Rxed +2.50 – 0.50 cx 90 OU with one diopter of base-in prism for each eye, and prescribed office-based optometric vision therapy with supportive home therapy reinforcement. On our “green sheet”, a guide to the staff in which we indicate areas of emphasis in therapy, I wrote the following:
Patty dedicated herself to success and achieved her goals. More on that in a moment, but the objective changes on Keystone Visual Skills and Cheirscopic Tracing were evident in stabilizing fusion.
The premise is that in acquiring stable visual skills, patients are more able to dedicate visual pathways in their brain for processing incoming information while reading rather than having that subconscious effort allocated toward keeping print clear, single, and stable.
When Patty wrote her “Success Story” upon completing weekly vision therapy in August, she felt that she was “90% of the way there”. Vision therapy had changed her life, but reading wasn’t quite as easy as it was now for Anna. She was excited about her improvements, and looking forward to even further gains as the visual reading pathways in her brain made up for lost time. Here is what she wrote in August:
Yesterday I saw Patty for her final scheduled progress evaluation. She was ecstatic with how well she was now able to comprehend when reading for pleasure. As she put it, she had fallen in love with the printed page. We both choked back tears, and Patty said she would like to compose a narrative about her experiences when home. I look forward to receiving that, and sharing it with you. Patty and I agreed that adults should not let their age be a limiting factor in pursuing their dreams.