Optometric Light Therapy

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Optometric Light Therapy is a joint diagnostic and treatment program between Specialty Eyecare Group and The Mind’s Eye Center. For diagnostic and progress evaluations, you will see one of our Specialty Eyecare Group doctors. They will prescribe treatment and oversee The Mind’s Eye Center therapist who will perform functional visual field testing and assist you with your Optometric Light Therapy.

Optometric Light Therapy is usually prescribed for 3-5 months depending on your progress and how you respond to the treatment. Your doctor will oversee and modify your treatment based on your progress.

This is the sequence for Optometric Light Therapy:

  1. Diagnostic testing and prescribing by a Specialty Eyecare Group doctor
  2. Baseline Functional Vision Testing and training with Mind’s Eye Therapist
  3. At home treatment of 20-30 light sessions (4-6 weeks)
  4. Functional Vision Testing and Check-in with Mind’s Eye Therapist
  5. Testing/Modification with Specialty Eyecare Group doctor
  6. At home treatment of 20-30 light sessions (4-6 weeks)
  7. Functional Vision Testing and Check-in with Mind’s Eye Therapist
  8. Testing/Modification with Specialty Eyecare Group doctor
  9. At home treatment of 20-30 light sessions (4-6 weeks)
  10. Functional Vision Testing and Check-in with Mind’s Eye Therapist
  11. Testing with Specialty Eyecare Group doctor.

Should scheduling allow visits with your Specialty Eyecare Group doctor and your Mind’s Eye Therapist can be completed on the same day. Otherwise, the progress visit with the Specialty Eyecare Group doctor needs to be completed within one week of the Functional Vision Field testing.

Cost

Specialty Eyecare Group: Whenever you see the doctor at Specialty Eyecare Group for an office visit, the appointments and a Functional Visual Field will be billed to your medical insurance. These appointments are subject to your deductible.

Mind Eye Center: Cost of a three-month treatment is $500 and is paid in full when you begin therapy. This price includes rental of the light therapy unit and specifically prescribed color filters as well as all the functional vision testing. Should your treatment be prescribed for longer than 3 months, there will be no additional charge.

If you break or do not return the light therapy unit, you will be charged $100.

OPTOMETRIC LIGHT THERAPY FAQ

Optometric Light Therapy, also known as syntonics, is a treatment that utilizes specific wavelengths of light, using a light source and colored filters, to balance the body’s autonomic nervous system, aiding the treatment of visual dysfunctions at their source. Not all of the nerves in the back of the eye function for vision. Some nerves affect the electrical, chemical and hormonal balances which impact body functions. By administering this therapy, the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and relax) systems can be brought back into balance and improve the patient’s functional visual field.

Patients who have a limited visual functional field may experience slow reading, difficulty with reading, struggles with comprehension, eye strain, and decreased peripheral awareness. A functional visual field relates to the amount of visual information the brain is processing at one time. It can be used to assess the autonomic nervous system which keeps the balance between sympathetic (flight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and relax) systems in the body. The autonomic system is integral to vision (eye teaming, eye focusing, eye tracking). We perform specialized testing to measure and graph the functional visual field. Then, the color filters used in Optometric Light Therapy are prescribed in a way to increase your functional visual field. This allows the brain to intake and process more visual information in order to bring about balance and reduce symptoms.

Light therapy (Phototherapy) was first documented by the Greeks. In the medical field, it has been used to treat many conditions including jaundiced newborns and, as we know in the Pacific Northwest, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Dr. Spitler, who had an optometric and medical degree began researching and using Light Therapy in 1909. Dr. Spitler called his therapy Syntonics based on the word syntony, which means to bring balance. Since 1909, researchers and clinicians have been discovering and adapting new and better ways to treat patients using light therapy.

Our program can treat a variety of symptoms. Some of these include light sensitivity, eyestrain, fatigue, headaches, decreased visual function, symptoms related to traumatic brain injury, mental or emotional stress.

Based on your diagnostic exam, specialized testing, and evidence of symptoms, our doctors can help decide if light therapy may be right for you. Many patients benefit from Optometric Light Therapy before or in conjunction with Vision Therapy. There is no age limitation to doing light therapy. As long as the patient can sit and look at the light for an extended period of time (5-20 minutes) they are good candidates.

The testing to determine treatment with Optometric Light Therapy is done in the office but the treatment of Optometric Light Therapy can be done from the comfort of your own home! After our doctors recommend you for this therapy, you meet with one of our therapists to complete baseline testing. Our testing measures your functional visual fields along with other measurements needed to prescribe you the proper filters. Our therapist will instruct you how to do the treatment and give you tips and tricks to help you be successful.

Optometric Light Therapy is done in a dark room with you looking into a color filtered light. It is peaceful, comfortable, and calming when you are doing the therapy. There is no pain or irritation experienced. Some patients chose to listen to music or a podcast during therapy (ask your therapist if this is ok for you). Over time, many patients start to observe some resolution of their symptoms. This is different for everyone and can be varied based upon severity. In many cases, the functional visual field test and assessment by your doctor will yield improvements before you start to experience symptomatic relief.

Most patients do Optometric Light Therapy for 5-20 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week for several months. Following this, most patients are able to graduate from therapy completely and may never have to do therapy again. Others choose to return to light therapy at a later date, as a boost, to help realign and bring their visual system back into balance.

Our Locations

Bellevue

Steps away from beautiful Bellevue Square Mall, our office is conveniently located just off the I-405 on 106 Avenue NE.

  • 225 106 Ave. NE
  • Bellevue, WA 98004

Kirkland

Next to the Evergreen Hospital, our convenient location is on NE 128 Street, just off the I-405.

  • 11830 NE 128 St., Suite 1
  • Kirkland, WA 98034

Seattle

Only blocks from Pike Place Market, our office is on the corner of 4th Avenue and Stewart Street.

  • 1911 4th Ave.
  • Seattle, WA 98101

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Our Locations

Bellevue

Steps away from beautiful Bellevue Square Mall, our office is conveniently located just off the I-405 on 106 Avenue NE.

  • 225 106 Ave. NE
  • Bellevue, WA 98004

Kirkland

Next to the Evergreen Hospital, our convenient location is on NE 128 Street, just off the I-405.

  • 11830 NE 128 St., Suite 1
  • Kirkland, WA 98034

Seattle

Only blocks from Pike Place Market, our office is on the corner of 4th Avenue and Stewart Street.

  • 1911 4th Ave.
  • Seattle, WA 98101
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