COVD Research on Vision Therapy

The request for ‘proof’ that vision rehabilitation ‘works’ is a common one, albeit slightly annoying to those working in the field. It’s tantamount to asking ‘does medicine work’? The question is too broad to answer and depends on too many factors to provide a simple explanation.

In some cases, modern medicine does not ‘work’ in the sense that prescribed therapy either has no effect, or worsens things. Visual Neurosensory-rehabilitation, Vision Therapy, Optometric Vision Therapy, or whatever you choose to call it represents a collection of tools, techniques, and approaches to the remediation of vision-related health and behaviour concerns. Yes, it works, but this depends in part on the doctor’s ability to diagnose the underlying trouble and devise a program of treatment that will be meaningful.

The categories ‘Research’ and ‘Proof’ are there to collect all manner of clinical and laboratory studies that expand on the details of known effects of visual rehab. This post is for general reference, while other posts will address specific areas of interest. Users are encouraged to post to these categories when something of particular interest arises, and the field is very broad so don’t hesitate to share.

Suffice it to say that when someone asks for proof of whether VT works or not, it’s a teachable moment. What they are really saying is ‘I have no idea what VT is, please show me’. That’s how I choose to interpret the request, at any rate. Have fun looking through the links attached.

The following is copied and adapted from

COVD has compiled summaries of research and clinical studies on optometric vision therapy.  These summaries provide an overview of the literature on the use of vision therapy for several visual conditions. Other sites also have summaries and these will be posted under the same categories of ‘Research’ and ‘Proof’ on this site. (Note that some of the following links were non-functional at the time of posting, but may have been fixed since.)

Summary 1

Completed in July, 2009, this paper presents over 350 abstracts from 77 journals.

Summary 2

Completed in October, 2010, this paper presents 35 additional abstracts.

Summary 3

Completed in October, 2011, this paper presents 65 additional abstracts.

A Summary of Research and Clinical Studies on Vision and Learning

A listing of some of the research reports and clinical studies on the relationship of vision to reading and learning ability and the effectiveness of vision therapy in the treatment of learning-related vision problems.

Clinical Practice Guidelines (American Optometric Association)

Additional clinical and research support for the efficacy of vision therapy.

Research Update on Visually-Based Reading Disability

This research document provides a synopsis of the scientific results on the study of visually-based reading disabilities.

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