The efficacy of optometric vision therapy. The 1986/87 Future of Visual Development/Performance Task Force

J Am Optom Assoc. 1988 Feb;59(2):95-105.


Vision is not simply the ability to read a certain size letter at a distance of 20 feet. Vision is a complex and adaptable information gathering and processing system which collects, groups, analyzes, accumulates, equates, and remembers information. In this review, some of the essential components of the visual system and their disorders which can be physiologically and clinically identified, i.e., the oculomotor, the accommodative, and the fusional vergence systems have been discussed. Any dysfunctions in these systems, can lessen the quality and quantity of the initial input of information into the visual system. Deficiencies in one or more of these visual subsystems have been shown to result in symptoms, such as blurred or uncomfortable vision or headaches, or behavioral signs such as rubbing of the eyes, eyes turning inward or outward, reduced job efficiency or reading performance, or simply the avoidance of near point tasks. In addition, these signs/symptoms may contribute to reducing a person's attention and interest in near tasks. The goal of vision therapy is to eliminate visual problems, thereby reducing the frequency and severity of the patient's signs and symptoms. Vision therapy should only be expected to be of clinical benefit to patients who have detectable visual deficiencies. In response to the question, "How effective is vision therapy in remediating visual deficiencies?," it is evident from the research presented that there is sufficient scientific support for the efficacy of vision therapy in modifying and improving oculomotor, accommodative, and binocular system disorders, as measured by standardized clinical and laboratory testing methods, in the majority of patients of all ages for whom it is properly undertaken and employed. The American Optometric Association reaffirms its long-standing position that vision therapy is an effective therapeutic modality in the treatment of many physiological and information processing dysfunctions of the vision system. It continues to support quality optometric care, education, and research and will cooperate with all professions dedicated to providing the highest quality of life in which vision plays such an important role.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accommodation, Ocular
  • Convergence, Ocular
  • Eye Movements
  • Humans
  • Optometry*
  • Orthoptics*
  • Vision Disorders / therapy*