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Healthy Living: Vision therapy

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 2:10 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - If a person injures their arm or leg or really any other part of the body, there’s a healing process and rehabilitation is often involved. The same goes for a person’s eyes.

“Our brain is very complicated. We have a left side and right side, the left side takes care of the right eye, the right side takes care of the left eye in general and it’s really a brain process to coordinate those two eyes,” said Dr. Sherry Lentfer, a neuro-optometrist at Katmai Eye and Vision Center in Anchorage.

Lentfer said vision therapy is something many people don’t think about. It’s literally retraining the brain to use the two eyes together. She explained when people see single vision, it’s because their brain is making it do that, so when people have difficulties whether developmental, a stroke or due to a brain injury, the vision can can be trained back.

That can be done with several exercises to help coordinate the two eyes, but when it comes to vision, Lentfer said people might not always know that something’s wrong.

“The eyes, brain and spinal cord are one in embryonic development and we kind of don’t realize the importance of our eyes until we lose our vision,” she said. “I always challenge everyone, close your eyes and try walking around your house, driving, getting your work done. It’s really difficult and unfortunately eye disease is usually not painful.”

Lentfer recommends people get eye exams every year even if they do feel like their eyes are healthy

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