Vision Therapy
Bellevue & Kirkland

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Our Vision Therapy Programs

Specialty Eye’s vision therapy program is based on neuroscience principles that provide treatment for developmental problems, vision-related learning problems, visual-motor deficiencies, perceptual-cognitive deficiencies, visual rehabilitation after a brain injury, and visual enhancement training for sports.

Vision therapy helps improve learning, memory, thinking, executive functions, and attention.

The therapy programs include weekly office visits to work one-on-one with a highly-trained vision therapist combined with at-home reinforcement exercises. Regular evaluations will be completed to monitor each person’s progress, goals, symptoms, and to help determine the amount of time needed to complete the program.

We combine the use of tools like lenses, prisms, 3D tranaglyphs and vectograms, perceptual learning procedures, vision therapy computer software, and many neuromuscular feedback systems.

Partnering with The Mind’s Eye Center

We are happy to be partnered with The Mind’s Eye Center for our vision therapy and light therapy treatment plans. The Mind’s Eye Center operates independently of Specialty Eye, and is a vision therapy institute that focuses on healing vision and brain communication issues

The Mind’s Eye Center does not work directly with any insurance networks, allowing us the flexibility to prioritize individualized care and tailor treatment plans to meet the unique needs of each patient. 

While they are not in-network with any insurance providers, they are committed to working closely with patients to provide competitive pricing and financial accessibility. Our experience has shown that in many cases, these services can be more cost-effective than traditional insurance routes, allowing patients to receive high-quality care without financial burden.

We are dedicated to fostering a supportive and collaborative environment where patients can achieve optimal vision health, regardless of insurance affiliations.

Through our partnership with The Mind’s Eye Center, we can combine in-person and online sessions to help you achieve your vision goals. Each persons’ goals and struggles are different, so our program is fully customizable to help you achieve your best vision.

Our vision therapy program has helped adults overcome or effectively manage:

  • Deficient visual skills for work and daily activities
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Acquired brain injury, traumatic brain injury, and concussion symptoms
  • Neurodegenerative diseases

We also offer programs for sports visual enhancement training.

Your child’s vision is so important, and we’re here to help them get the most out of it. Working alongside The Mind’s Eye Center, Specialty Eye is able to help children of all ages with developmental vision problems including:

We also offer programs for sports visual enhancement training.

What Is Vision Therapy?

The foundation of vision therapy lies in neuroplasticity. The ability to rewire and retrain the brain and build new neural pathways is what makes optometric rehabilitation possible.

Through vision therapy exercises, we can build new neural pathways to improve visual skills and functions.

The Mind’s Eye Center offers a comprehensive range of vision therapy services, including:

  • Vision Therapy: Personalized programs based on your visual challenges and goals. 
  • Visual Perceptual Testing: This assessment helps identify weaknesses in visual processing skills that can impact reading, learning, and visual-motor coordination.
  • Virtual Reality Testing: Engaging and interactive therapy programs designed to help improve visual skills in a fun and motivating environment.
  • Primitive Reflex Testing & Integration: Primitive reflexes are involuntary movements present in infancy that help with development. Incomplete integration of these reflexes can sometimes impact vision and learning, affecting eye teaming, balance, and spatial awareness.
  • Optometric Light Therapy: A treatment utilizing specific light wavelengths to address visual processing issues and visual discomfort.

Common Problems That Vision Therapy Can Help Solve

Not everyone who needs vision correction requires glasses or contacts. Sometimes, the issue lies in how the eyes work together or how the brain interprets visual information. Vision therapy can address a variety of problems that might be impacting your daily life.

If you’re experiencing any of these problems or suspect you’re experiencing a vision issue that glasses or contacts haven’t fully addressed, our team at Specialty Eye can help. We’ll conduct a comprehensive eye exam to assess your needs and determine if vision therapy is the right course of action for you.

Conditions We Can Manage

Vision therapy can be beneficial for a wide range of people experiencing vision problems. Vision therapy programs can help people manage, and in some cases, overcome the effects of:

  • Convergence insufficiency
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Strabismus (poor eye alignment)
  • Acquired brain injury, traumatic brain injury, and concussion symptoms
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Visual field loss
  • Stroke symptoms

Some of the specific issues and symptoms that can be addressed with vision therapy include:

  • Difficulty copying from the board
  • Headaches and eye strain
  • Kids tilting their head while reading
  • Closing one eye while reading
  • Skipping words or lines while reading
  • Avoiding activities that require near vision
  • Motion discomfort while reading
  • Car sickness
  • Clumsiness, including frequently bumping into things or knocking things over
  • Visual perceptual problems
  • Kids holding reading materials too close to their face
  • Burning, irritated, or watery eyes
  • Kids being misunderstood as lazy or slow learners
  • Kids being misdiagnosed with ADHD or a behavioral problem

  • Blurry vision at near or far distances
  • Eye strain and headaches, especially after reading or screen time
  • Difficulty concentrating on reading tasks
  • Skipping lines or losing your place while reading

  • Double vision or ghosting of images
  • Difficulty judging depth perception, leading to problems with walking on stairs or catching objects
  • Poor hand-eye coordination, affecting sports performance or daily activities

  • Difficulty following moving objects, causing problems with reading or tracking a ball during sports
  • Loss of place while reading

  • Difficulty recognizing letters or words (not related to dyslexia)
  • Poor visual memory or spatial awareness
  • Problems with visual discrimination, making it hard to differentiate similar objects

Improving Connections

You may be interested in vision therapy for any number of reasons. Perhaps you are recovering from a head injury, you have struggled with eye movements and focusing for a long time, or you are noticing issues with your child’s visual performance when reading.

Whatever your reason, we are here to help. 

Vision therapy assists with improving:

  • Eye alignment
  • Eye movements & tracking
  • Eye teaming
  • Eye focusing
  • Visual perceptual & cognitive abilities
  • Visual attention & memory

How Vision Therapy is Prescribed

Vision therapy programs start with an evaluation that includes an eye exam. Once that advanced vision therapy consultation is complete, the program can proceed based on a personalized treatment plan with ongoing monitoring and adjustments. 

Your individual goals, visual needs, and progress remain our focus as we proceed with the program.

The Vision Therapy Process

  1. Comprehensive Evaluation: Schedule a 2-part evaluation with our doctors at Specialty Eye. This evaluation will assess your vision and includes a complete eye exam and other tests that help identify and pinpoint underlying visual processing issues.
  2. Personalized Treatment Plan: Based on the evaluation results, we will design a customized vision therapy program tailored to your specific needs. Treatment plans typically last 3, 6, 9, or 12 months, depending on the complexity of the visual problem.
  3. Weekly Therapy Sessions: You’ll have weekly vision therapy appointments lasting 45 minutes each. We offer evening appointments for added convenience and virtual appointments to help make therapy accessible regardless of location.
  4. Engaging Activities: Your therapy program will incorporate fun games and home activities to reinforce the skills learned in sessions. These activities will be tailored to your specific needs and preferences, making vision therapy a more interactive and enjoyable experience.
  5. Progress Monitoring: Regular progress evaluations with the overseeing doctor will be scheduled every 10–12 weeks to track improvement and ensure the therapy program remains effective.
  6. Post-Program Care: Following program completion, you’ll return for a follow-up appointment 3 months later to monitor your visual functioning and help you reach and maintain long-term success. This helps to solidify the improvements gained through vision therapy and prevent regression.

Specialty Eye receives referrals and co-manages treatment with many optometric physicians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech language practitioners, neurologists, physicians, ophthalmologists, naturopathic doctors, and other professionals. If you were recommended for a consultation, please have a referral faxed to Specialty Eye.

Vision Therapy Resources

Are you interested in our vision therapy program? Check your symptoms to see if vision therapy may benefit you, or take our brain injury symptom survey.

The COVD Website is an excellent place to learn more about vision problems, optometric vision therapy, and read research. More of our favorite resources include:

The Mind’s Eye Center

Specialty Eye works closely with The Minds Eye Center, which provides individualized vision therapy programs to best address the specific visual dysfunction and goals of adults and children.

Technology

The Mind’s Eye Center utilizes time-tested tools and the newest technology. Virtual reality has successfully treated adults and children with deficient visual skills, amblyopia, strabismus, brain injury, and neurodegenerative diseases, and also provides sports visual enhancement training.

  • We use vision therapy activities in Virtual Reality platform (Vivid Vision) during office sessions and prescribe for increased therapeutic impact at home.
  • Research and clinical experience continues to show this to be a powerful tool toward visual learning and gains for patients.
  • Therapeutic Lenses
  • Prisms
  • Perceptual learning procedures
  • Many different types of 3D and 3D technology
  • Different types of occlusion and filters
  • Balance boards
  • Electronic targets and touchscreens with timing mechanisms
  • Vision therapy software
  • Vision therapy activities in Virtual Reality platform (Vivid Vision)
  • Many other special tools designed for specific eye-brain learning

Advanced vision therapy is more than what many ophthalmologists would define as orthoptics. The treatments used during optometric vision therapy go beyond the limited definition and scope of orthoptics to treat disorders of the visual system, indicative of vision as a collaboration between the eyes and the brain.

This is why it is so important to understand that optometric vision therapy is different from self-help “eye exercises”. Optometric vision therapy is like physical therapy for the eyes, but with a cognitive or thinking component. Because of the complexity of the visual system, we design individually prescribed therapy plans to address each person’s visual needs.

Success Stories

Olivia

“We initially interpreted these symptoms of learning difficulties as dyslexia.”

Olivia, age 14, excels in sports, partakes actively in club activities, and is a social butterfly among her peers. In contrast to her accomplished co-curricular resume, her academic results were somewhat lackluster.

John

“He no longer struggles to read or learn.”

When John put on his first pair of glasses at age 6, his mother remembers him saying, “Wow! Things aren’t smeary.” But, at age 8, he was still having reading issues. His mother recalls that following his annual eye appointment, the doctor referred John for vision therapy consultation for amblyopia.

David

When I looked in the mirror, that night in the hospital, I was two heads looking back at me.”

David, age 59, fell off a ladder and was knocked unconscious. He was diagnosed with a Grade 3 (severe) concussion. “Cranial nerve palsy led to 11 months of blurry and double vision,” David said.

FAQs

Do you have questions about vision therapy? Have a look at our FAQs below to help find some answers to common questions. If you don’t see the answer you are looking for, get in touch with our helpful vision therapy team.

What Is Optometric Vision Therapy (VT)?

  • Optometric Vision Therapy is the science of developing visual abilities to achieve optimal visual performance and comfort.
  • A doctor prescribed program of progressive vison procedures designed for high level learning in the visual system (brain and eyes).
  • Performed under the supervision of specially trained optometrist.
  • The goal is to help patients apply their newly developed visual skills and perception into real life.
  • Optometric vision therapy is not a specific set of eye exercises and is not simply orthoptics (see below)
  • We provide advanced evidence-based vision therapy based on the principles of neuroscience.
  • Individualized for each patient’s needs, diagnoses, and goals.
  • The doctor-therapist team plan visual activities that create brain changes.
  • One-on-one office sessions with highly trained optometric vision therapists.
  • Interactive in-office sessions once or twice weekly for 45 minutes.
  • Utilizes technology, 3D, virtual reality (Vivid Vision), and real space activities.
  • Therapeutic Lenses
  • Prisms
  • Perceptual learning procedures
  • Many different types of 3D and 3D technology
  • Different types of occlusion and filters
  • Balance boards
  • Electronic targets and touchscreens with timing mechanisms
  • Vision therapy software
  • Vision therapy activities in Virtual Reality platform (Vivid Vision)
  • Many other special tools designed for specific eye-brain learning
  • Yes! We use vision therapy activities in a Virtual Reality platform (Vivid Vision) during office sessions and prescribe for increased therapeutic impact at home.
  • Research and clinical experience continue to show this to be a powerful tool toward visual learning and gains for patients.
  • Help patients develop or improve foundational visual skills (eye movements, eye focusing, eye teaming) used in every area of life.
  • Improve visual comfort, effectiveness, and efficiency for everyday activities, academics, work, or sport.
  • Improve visually guided gross and fine motor abilities (eye-hand, eye-foot, eye-body).
  • Enhance the brain’s ability to control eye alignment, decrease suppression, and improve coordination of the two eyes as a team.
  • Enhance visual perceptual abilities, memory, and visual attention.
  • Our ultimate goal is to design the vision therapy activities to guide learning in the visual system toward treating the diagnoses and meeting patient goals.

A publication by the American Optometric Association on Vision as a Collaboration Between Eyes and Brain, co-authored by Dr. Press, concluded: “Information from neuroimaging and insights from cognitive neuroscience demand a significant reformulation of the understanding of vision. Vision occurs neither in the eyes nor in the brain but emerges from the collaboration of the eyes and the rest of the brain. Vision is a pervasive aspect of our existence which permeates all of our activities. Vision develops and, due to neural plasticity, can be enhanced.”

This is why it is so important to understand that optometric vision therapy is different from self-help “eye exercises”. Optometric vision therapy is like physical therapy for the eyes, but with a cognitive or thinking component. Because of the complexity of the visual system, we design individually prescribed therapy plans to address each person’s visual needs.

Advanced vision therapy is more than what many ophthalmologists would define as orthoptics. The treatments used during optometric vision therapy go beyond the limited definition and scope of orthoptics to treat disorders of the visual system, indicative of vision as a collaboration between the eyes and the brain.

The Mind’s Eye Center provides advanced vision therapy based on the principles of neuroscience. We provide treatment for developmental visual problems, vision-related learning problems, visual-motor deficiencies, perceptual-cognitive deficiencies, and provide visual rehabilitation after acquired brain injury, and visual enhancement training for sport.

Optometric vision therapy is the link that connects the brain to clear eyesight. Eyesight that is 20/20 is not enough to function well in the activities of daily living, hobbies, school, work, or sport. Sight is not the same as vision. “Eyesight” is a physical process of focusing light within our eyes, whereas “vision” involves our eye-brain ability to derive meaning and make appropriate action based on what is seen. Vision is involved in learning, memory, thinking, executive functions, and attention.

Vision therapy sessions include procedures designed to enhance the brain’s ability to control:

  • Eye alignment
  • Eye movements and tracking
  • Eye teaming
  • Eye focusing
  • Visual perceptual and cognitive abilities
  • Visual attention and memory

It is important to understand why there can be disagreement when comparing the recommendations of optometrists specially trained in vision therapy and other eye doctors or pediatricians. Pediatricians screen for eye problems—and many ophthalmologists and optometrists only examine eye health and eyesight. If they determine that there are no abnormalities with the eye, that’s the end of the discussion. The eyes are fine, therefore there’s no need for vision therapy. This is a shortsighted approach when you consider that vision occurs beyond the eyes.

Simply put, the need for brain-based (neurolearning) vision therapy for patients with conditions such as autism spectrum, ADHD, reading problems, or brain injury has nothing to do with whether eyesight is 20/20 or the eyes are healthy.

This is why it is so important to understand that optometric vision therapy is different from self-help “eye exercises.” Optometric vision therapy is like physical therapy for the eyes, but with a cognitive or thinking component. Because of the complexity of the visual system, we design individually prescribed therapy plans to address each person’s visual needs.

At The Mind’s Eye Center, Vision Therapy is individually designed for each patient’s needs. The doctor-therapist team design the program based on each patient’s diagnoses, symptoms, visual deficiencies, and their effect on optimal work, school, sport, or hobby performance with each patient’s individual needs and goals in mind.

A therapy program includes weekly or twice weekly office visits working one-on-one with a highly trained Optometric Vision Therapist. The doctor prescribes the therapy and the Dr.-therapist team plans visual activities that create brain changes. The vision therapist is highly trained to coach each patient to achieve high-level learning. Research shows this type of program to be the most successful in addressing patient symptoms and goals and changing brain-eye connections. Visual activities may be prescribed to practice at home for additional reinforcement and learning.

Regular progress evaluations are scheduled with the doctor to monitor each patient’s progress, goals, symptoms, and to best individualize the activities. After a patient completes their vision therapy program, the patient is monitored with post-therapy evaluations with one of the specialty doctors.

High-level specialty training and continual learning

The Mind’s Eye Center provides advanced evidence-based vision therapy based on the principles of neuroscience. The doctors are residency trained in this specialty and continually pursue post-doctorate continuing education at the highest level in their specialty. The doctors and the optometric vision therapists are continually involved with training, education, teaching, and collaboration in areas of visual development, learning, vision and neuroscience, attention and memory, acquired and traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.

Scientifically proven methodology and genuine care for each patient

There is no procedure or instrument that makes a patient better – it is what the patient learns from the procedure. The doctor-therapist team creates opportunities for learning during the visual activities. The patient must transfer this learning to their daily lives. When they do, we see reduced symptoms and improved quality of life. We accomplish this by using 5 keys (Socratic Method, Learning Theory, Specific Praise, Motivation, and Loading), which have been scientifically proven to be very effective methods of neurolearning and treatment in vision therapy.

Collaboration with other professionals

Our doctors and optometric vision therapists collaborate with other professionals for the best care and co-management of our patients.

Sharing our passion and expertise

Our doctors have a high commitment to teaching and providing continuing education for eye care physicians, medical physicians, neurologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech-language therapists. Our doctors also regularly volunteer their time and expertise in the community as well as worldwide. Some of these avenues are Optometric Physicians of Washington, Children’s Task Force, InfantSEE Committee, volunteering and educating school nurses, teachers, and education professionals, teaching at Evergreen Health parent-baby classes, and providing eye health and vision care to the underserved in our community and world.

Yes!

How do we know?

  • Real lives are changed
  • Scientific research in many professional areas is utilized in the treatments and methodology of optometric vision therapy.
  • Some of these areas include vision, perception, developmental, neuroplasticity, physiology, cognitive science, learning, education, psychology, neuroscience, and biology.

Get the Vision You Deserve

Vision therapy helps build stronger connections between the eyes and brain that prescription lenses can’t do. The visual system includes eyesight (which is the physical process of light entering the eye) as well as how our brain interprets that information and takes action (like moving our eyes in the direction of an object).

The first step is to come in for a consultation. Your optometrist and vision therapist will then be able to build a program to help you achieve your vision therapy goals. Request your evaluation today.

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

See What People Say About Us

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A woman rubbing her eyes at the bridge of her nose.

Do you often find yourself rubbing your eyes frequently? Are you experiencing a burning sensation, eye fatigue, or redness? These are a few signs that you might be struggling with a common condition known as dry eye.  Dry eye symptoms are widespread and can be caused by several factors, including other eye conditions, like digital […]

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First, let’s clarify what nearsightedness is exactly. The technical term for the condition that causes nearsightedness is myopia, which affects approximately 30% of Americans. People with myopia can see objects up close clearly, but things farther away appear blurry. When your eye grows too long or your cornea is too curved, light that enters your […]

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