Visual Improvement Therapy

Most people think about improving their eyesight when they are confronted with the term vision therapy or training.  There are many forms of vision therapy.  Vision improvement is one type of vision therapy.

 

The basis for natural vision improvement is that visual stress results in vision changes.  Some people that do a lot of close work gradually become more efficient in close seeing but sacrifice distance vision.  They are called nearsighted or myopic.  The opposite is true of farsighted or hyperopic patients - they have a difficult time in bringing in near focus.  Folks with astigmatism have difficulty at distance and near.  As we mature, presbyopia becomes a problem because reading becomes blurry. Clinically we find that lens prescriptions can often be reduced substantially.  Genetics can also play a role.  The total amount of reduction appears to be related to the amount of genetic influence.  

 

Therefore we are involved in teaching people how to control there vision more effectively.  We use a number of techniques from visual biofeedback to relaxation and imagery therapies.

The Accommotrac Vision Trainer is a high-technology electronic instrument, used by a doctor to teach the patient -- by sight and sound -- how to voluntarily control the eye's focusing muscle, the ciliary body.


 

The Accommotrac measures your focus 40 times per second and converts this information into a audible tone.  By relaxing the eye focusing muscle the tone will change.  In other words, you learn to control your focus with your ears!  This process is called visual biofeedback.

 

The Accommotrac system was invented by Dr. Joseph N. Trachtman, Doctor of Optometry, Ph.D. and Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. It is based on vision research performed by Ames Research Center and a special optometer developed for the Ames program by Stanford Research Institute.


Dr. Trachtman's Vision Trainer is intended to improve certain vision defects by teaching the patient to control the ciliary body, the focusing muscle of the eye. The key is biofeedback, defined as a technique wherein a patient learns to control a bodily process or function of which he is not normally aware. Blood pressure and heart rate, for example, can be controlled; so can the ciliary body.




It takes a lot of practice and a great deal of motivation to learn to control the focusing muscle of the eye, but many doctors are now using the Accommotrac® Vision Trainer with consistent success.  Not all patients can throw away their corrective lenses, says the system's inventor, Dr. Joseph N. Trachtman, but most achieve improvement of some sort, such as halting or reversing their needs for increased lens prescriptions.  Trachtman has demonstrated a 90 percent success for correcting, improving or stopping focusing problems (reference).  

The Accommotrac® Vision Trainer
has also proved effective in treating eye movement problems, such as nystagmus (eye oscillation), macular degeneration, strabismus (cross eyes or wall eyes) and amblyopia (lazy eye).

 

Accommotrac Study

Myopia Reduction with Biofeedback Training of Accommodation, Joseph N. Trachtman, O.D., Ph.D., Scott M. Pelcyger, O.D., Catherine M. Venezia, A.C.S.W.  Journal of Behavioral Optometry, Volume 10, Number 4, p. 87-93, 1999

Abstract

We present data on 1,334 patients who received vision training using a regimen based in the biofeedback control of accommodation for myopia reduction.  These patients were treated in 21 private optometric practices, one private ophthalmological practice, one hospital ophthalmology clinic, 15 vision training centers, and one ophthalmologic clinic center.  Patients ranged in age from 7 to 62 years with an average age of 24 years, and were from the United States, Singapore, Israel, and Italy.  Each patient received a clinical treatment program, whereby, reductions in myopia were occasioned with 0.5 Diopter reductions in the habitual spectacle correction.  The results showed a median 1.00 Diopter reduction in myopia after an average of 19 training sessions, with an average improvement in uncorrected visual acuity from 20/170 and 20/32. Accommodative relaxation appears to be related to the Alpha wave component of the electroencephalogram.  Future research into myopia treatment should investigate further the relationship between myopia and brain function in general, and accommodative function and the Alpha brain wave, more specifically.

  

 

A number of helpful texts and videos are available from Amazon.com.  "Improve Your Eyesight" by James Bellevue is one that is currently available.  It includes a 90 minute video of various activities and is accompanied by a book.  This is a helpful aid and provides good insight into this area.  Please click on the book image to find out more.

 

Another good book on natural vision improvement is by Dr. Robert Michael Kaplan, The Power Behind Your Eyes.  He provides a wonderful background on why our vision systems go awry.  This is a fun book to read.  Click on the image to purchase this book.