- Posted on: Dec 2 2016
A True Vision Therapy Success Story:
Our son, Chris, suffered from excruciating headaches and dizziness, starting in 3rd grade. Many days he could not even walk, definitely not participate in school due to “jack-hammer pain” in his head.
After many examinations he was neurologically diagnosed with severe migraines. Permanent medication was the path suggested. We opted for a strict elimination diet that seemed to help at first. In the following years I helped a lot with reading assignments. In 7th grade the pains came back severely along with dizziness and centered more around his eyeballs. Incidentally, that was the grade that most studies involved intense personally assigned reading. By fall in 8th grade the concentrated eye/headache pain and dizziness were taking its toll: 30 min of school work took 5-6 hours due to pain that turned unbearable. Regular and repeated eye exams proved 20/20 vision; more neurological and allergy testing followed, and ten different heavily medications prescribed as trial and error. None worked. Mid year a very motivated A/B student was failing 8th grade, not being able to keep up with his studies, but furthermore living with unexplainable amount of pain that even prevented a good night’s sleep. No doctor knew what to do next.
A routine visit with a new optometrist, who performed an extended examination revealed very severe perception and close focus problems and vision therapy was highly recommended. Until this point I did not even know about vision therapy.
After the thorough exam at Dr. Hillier’s office the fact that Chris’ close focus muscles go into severe spasm after about 15-20 min. was confirmed and explained what we had been experiencing in daily life/school. The possible cause for this extreme eye/head pain?
Intensive vision therapy proved relief even after a few weeks; various sensitivities to light and colors as well as the dizziness were specifically addressed. Chris was VERY diligent with his daily home exercises. Within a couple of months he could resume normal schoolwork again. In 9th grade
He took two Honor’s courses and continued vision therapy proved pivotal for Chris, being able to handle the reading work load involved.
At the end of therapy the change had been quite dramatic:
Personally – the pain was mostly gone and relief exercises learned; Self confidence regained
Academically – 9th grade saw him as an A student in all subjects
In Sports – Chris had been a determined competitive swimmer. The pain and dizziness had even caused moments of blackout during practice. After VT completion these effects were eliminated and he could fully focus on training and competing.
People have approached him with questions and doubts about the effectiveness of vision therapy. Chris has been always ready to share his dramatic and life-changing experience through vision therapy; pointing out, however, that the key to success is daily diligence with home therapy.
As a mother and teacher I hold the conviction that successful vision therapy not only brought physical relief for our son, but furthermore opened the path for academic performance to potential! How much personal grief could have been prevented, had we found out in 3rd grade about Chris’ “real” problem instead of in 8th.
We are so thankful for the work that Dr. Hillier and his team are doing in the field of behavioral optometry!