Vision Training

Barry & Sargent Optometrists Wellington taken By Wellington event  Photographer Neil Mackenzie 1594 1550






Vision training (visual training, vision therapy) is probably best defined as the art and science of developing visual abilities to achieve optimal visual performance and comfort.  In practise it is an individualised, supervised treatment program designed to correct visual-motor and/or visual-perceptual difficulties.

What Visual Training is for

Vision training can improve the following important visual efficiency skills:

  • Eye movement skills such as fixation, pursuit and saccadic-jumps

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  • Focusing (carity) skills of accuracy, flexibility and stamina
  • Binocularity skills of using both eyes together and depth perception

Vision training includes sessions designed to enhance the brain’s ability to control the above skills.  Visual-motor skills and endurance are developed through the use of lenses, prisms and filters.  During the final stages of therapy, the patient’s newly acquired visual skills are reinforced and made automatic through repetition and by integration with movement and cognitive (thinking) tasks.

Train the brain rather than the eye

Vision training trains the entire visual system, which includes eyes, brain, and through utilising posture and movement, the body.  Vision training is a form of neurological training or rehabilitation.  The neurological aspect is very important because the eyes are direct physical extensions of the brain and we see and direct our eyes more with our brain.

These visual efficiency skills are normally beneath conscious control.  We aim to bring the skills at least partly to conscious awareness to make them more accurate or more flexible and then return the automaticity that allows comfortable and easy vision ― the way it should be.  Often better habits have to be encouraged that allow more appropriate visual ‘reflexes’ of focusing, eye-teaming and the other visual skills.

Vision training can also improve the following important visual-perceptual abilities:

  • Visual spatial skills including our knowledge and understanding of our two sides and how they relate to the world.
  • Visual analysis skills: including (but not limited to) our ability to recognise a form even though smaller, larger, part missing, rotated or reversed and recognise the differences between objects or abstract representations. Also our capacity to recall an image created through visualisation or previous visual experience.
  • Visual-motor skills including eye-hand co-ordination and ability to draw what we see.
  • Visual-auditory organisation skills including timing, sound-symbol combinations and manipulation.
  • Visual thinking style, including Visualisation, forming a mental image to see in the mind’s eye and Visual manipulation, the ability to visually transfer objects or abstract representations through rotation or displacement.

Visual perceptual training includes a planned, sequential presentation of experiences.

We work within an individual’s abilities and knowledge in the above areas so that the individual develops a better visual understanding of their world. Procedures are directed to challenge their understanding and ability so they can develop better strategies of visualisation, abstraction and representation. These skills are then reinforced with novel situations and more complex tasks.

More information

If you wish to learn more about vision training please consider visiting some of the following websites: