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Virtual reality takes Vision Therapy into the future

Vivid Vision virtual reality for vision therapyHighline Center for Vision Performance is proud to now include Vivid Vision, a virtual reality (VR) based therapy, to our digital toolbox. We are currently one of only five vision clinics in the state of Colorado to offer this new technology to our vision therapy patients. Not only is this new tool fun, it’s yielding faster results in many patients.

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality is a system connecting computers, trackers, and goggles together to create an immersive visual (and sometimes auditory) experience. Small screens are positioned in front of each eye that project images that make it seem like you are moving through a different reality – one in which you can interact. Users hold controllers that allow them to steer through virtual environments and affect specific elements programmed for interaction. You can play games, visit far away places, and learn new skills.

Because binocular vision problems almost always include a reduced or inability to see in 3-D, VR and vision therapy are a perfect match to enhance visual skills.

Vivid Vision changes the game

VR carnival game squirt gun for vision therapyVivid Vision is a new software that utilizes VR technology to create customized vision therapy exercises for children and adults with binocular vision problems. Vivid Vision helps train the eyes, brain, and body to all work together. The screens within the goggles project separate images to each eye that the brain fuses into a single image, just like in the real world. That is what provides a sense of depth and motion.

In particular, Vivid Vision supports other vision therapy approaches to treat:

Why is virtual reality important for Vision Therapy?

Pepper Picker VR game for vision therapyVivid Vision is precise and allows our vision therapists to adjust the images projected to each eye independently in order to train specific visual skills. The images can be controlled in terms of brightness and clarity according to specific needs.

Take the Pepper Picker game, for example. When the VR goggles are on, patients see the hand-held controllers as a pair of hands they can move. Pulling the trigger on the controller allows the user to grab items they see in the VR environment. Once in the game, users are standing between several tall plants with big leaves and in front of them is a list of vegetables that they must find by searching through the leaves. The goal is to find the specific vegetables on the list in order and in proper quantities.

Sounds easy, right? Here’s where the game gets high-tech: one eye is being shown the vegetables and the other eye sees only the hands. This forces the eyes to work together to see the whole picture and pick the veggies. Therapists can make small adjustments to various details of the scene in order to challenge each patient uniquely.

Bubbles VR game for vision therapyOther exercises challenge depth perception. The Bubbles game challenges users to pop bubbles that appear in front of them by reaching out to touch them with an index finger. The goal is to pop the bubble that is closest to you first. As the game progresses, therapists will gradually move the bubbles closer and closer together so the eyes and brain learn to recognize smaller and smaller deviations in visual depth.

Another game challenges depth perception at distance by asking users to use a squirt gun to hit various carnival targets. The rules require the player to hit targets closest first. As with every exercise, therapists can change details on-the-fly to keep them challenging and advance visual skills development.

Vivid Vision at home

Another exciting opportunity Vivid Vision allows is for *home vision therapy. Most vision therapy appointments take place in our office with a patient working one-on-one with their vision therapist. However, sometimes it is necessary for a vision therapy session to happen remotely and Vivid Vision is a natural fit for distance sessions.

*Highline Center for Vision performance recommends only using the Vivid Vision software under the guidance of a certified vision therapist. Vivid Vision is only one component to our robust vision therapy program that is customized for every patient.

Education is an investment: Is your student ready?

College Student TestingCollege demands are high and failure is expensive

  • One in every four students will drop out of college before completing their second year.
  • Those who participate in student loan programs must repay loans in full regardless of whether or not they complete college.
  • Students who fail out of college or their vocational technical studies face a future with fewer choices and career opportunities.

The change in scholastic demands from high school to college is a dramatic one. Your student may have earned great grades in high school with only moderate effort. In college or tech school, he/she will need to plan on greater amounts of reading and spending longer hours studying than ever before.

Many students have mild visual performance problems that cause them significant effort meeting this increased demand. It can make the student appear to be academically underprepared when in reality it is a physical problem causing the difficulty.

College level reading demands are exponentially greater than the demands in high school.

College girl reading homework efficientlyNote that not one of the visual problems listed below as a factor in slow reading is blurry vision!

  1. Word-by-word reading - not seeing groups of words together.
  2. Poor eye movement control - inaccuracy in tracking across a page, losing place, etc.
  3. Repetition - unnecessary or unconscious re-reading of material.
  4. Comprehension or test anxiety - causing a student to intentionally read more slowly.
  5. Slow reading habits - in which a student can’t read faster because they always read slowly.
  6. Poor determination of what is important and what is not.
  7. Excessive memorization rather than remembering selectively.

Highline Center for Vision Performance Can Help!

Preparing for college by studying for and taking the four-hour college entrance examinations (ACT or SAT) is a visually demanding task. We can help your student be more successful in this endeavor and offer free Vision & Learning Screenings for college bound students.

Often, slow reading is related to performance based visual problems. These difficulties are not typically diagnosed in routine eye examinations where eye health problems and refractive errors (need for glasses) are checked. Note that not one of the things listed above as a factor in slow reading is blurry vision!

“I have been able to take tests faster and get better scores than I had before vision therapy. Before, I was reading at a first grade level with 60% comprehension, after VT I was reading at a college level with 80% comprehension. I trust that VT is one of the best things I have done because it moves me forward in school and gets me closer to my academic goals to go to college.”       — Jay, High School Sophomore

Save expense and heartache

Man graduating from collegeEven high achieving students can have visual skills deficiencies. These students have devoted extra time and effort on homework while in high school in order to succeed. Struggling students may be working even harder to maintain average grades however, college and vo-tech training will demand more work in less time. Our visual training programs can make learning more efficient and give more stamina to the task of learning to ensure academic success with less effort!

Highline Center for Vision Performance offers a complimentary performance based screening which includes a specific test for faulty eye movements.

When problems are discovered, we offer a customized training program that addresses specific visual skills deficiencies. We have time to make this happen before your student begins testing or heads off for college.

Call us now to schedule your complimentary Vision & Learning Screening: 303-325-2014


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