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Is Vision Therapy Covered by Insurance?

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A young woman trying vision therapy in an optometry office while a male optometrist helps.

You use your visual skills every day, even if you don’t know it. Depth perception, binocular vision, spatial awareness—you use all of these and more. But that doesn’t mean these skills are always at their peak; developmental issues and brain injuries can often affect how well your eyes and brain work together. Fortunately, there’s an answer in the form of vision therapy.

The underlying question often is: is this covered by insurance?

Vision therapy is not always covered by vision insurance. While it sometimes may be covered by medical insurance plans, this can vary—while some plans may offer full coverage for vision therapy, others may only cover a portion, or have certain restrictions about what services will and will not be covered.

With insurance, understanding your plan is essential. If you’re unsure, you can reach out to your optometrist to discuss your options.

What Is Vision Therapy?

If you break a leg, pull a muscle, or strain your back, you often need physical therapy. It’s a way to safely, efficiently, and effectively re-train your body to use the right muscles in the right way, letting you move in a symptom-free way while you recover.

Vision therapy is based on this same principle. It’s a specialized type of treatment designed to help you improve your visual skills and processing. Think of it like physical therapy but for your eyes and brain! It’s a non-invasive and effective approach to all kinds of vision problems.

Vision therapy is particularly helpful for children experiencing developmental issues with their eyes. Through a personalized treatment plan full of specific exercises and activities, you’re able to slowly develop and improve your fundamental visual skills such as:

  • Eye focusing
  • Tracking
  • Depth perception
  • Spatial processing
  • Binocular coordination
  • Visual processing speed

These abilities are crucial for your everyday life. From reading and writing to playing sports or working with your hands, your visual abilities need to be strong. Through vision therapy, you can boost all of these skills, re-training your brain to properly use the coordinating muscles in the eye. It’s an incredible approach to treating plenty of different problems.

What Conditions Can Vision Therapy Help Treat?

So what conditions exactly can vision therapy help treat? This approach is beneficial for almost any condition that affects the connection between the eyes and the brain. Vision therapy can help treat conditions like:

  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Concussion-related vision issues
  • Eye tracking problems
  • Visual processing disorders
  • Certain reading and learning disabilities

If you or your child is experiencing any of these issues,  it might be time to speak with a qualified optometrist in your area. They’ll be able to perform a comprehensive eye exam, identify the root cause of your problems, and recommend the right approach for your unique situation.

A smiling child in vision therapy is covering her left eye in an optometry office.

Is Vision Therapy Worth It?

Vision therapy can be an excellent decision—especially for children experiencing some kind of developmental problem with their visual system. This patient-centered approach is designed to help teach your child how to properly use the muscles controlling their eyes while improving their ability to process what they’re seeing.

For adults, vision therapy can help you find relief from eye strain, headaches, and more. It’s a great solution for people of any age!

However, like any treatment, vision therapy isn’t free. It’s crucial to understand the financial side of things so you can make an informed decision for your family.

What Does Vision Insurance Cover?

It’s important to note that insurance plans can often vary wildly. When it comes to eye care services, it can seem complicated at first.

Most vision insurance plans do not cover vision insurance in their standard plans. While some plans may offer a way to add vision therapy services to your coverage, this isn’t always the case. However, some medical insurance plans do cover vision therapy, but this, too, can vary significantly.

Whether you’re thinking about vision insurance or medical insurance—or insurance of any kind—you should always take the time to thoroughly read your plan. If you’re ever unsure of what services are and are not covered, reach out to your insurance provider to discuss what services are within reach.

And if you’re thinking about trying vision therapy for yourself or your child, try reaching out to your optometrist. They may be able to help you understand what services are typically covered under most insurance plans and can work with you to make a plan going forward.

Invest in Your Vision Today

Vision therapy can be an excellent way to improve your visual skills. At Fort Myers Eye Associates, we can work together with you to create a personalized approach to vision therapy.

Book an appointment with us today, and take the first step towards investing in your future vision!

Written by Dr. David Dalesio

Dr. David Dalesio is an optometrist who has been practicing for over 30 years. He has a doctorate from the New England College of Optometry (Beta Sigma Kappa Optometry Honor Fraternity) and a BA (psychology-biology double major) from the State University of New York at Oswego.

Dr. Dalesio holds a Fellowship in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (FCOVD) and is renowned in Southwest Florida for his extensive experience in developmental optometry, diagnosing and treating children and adolescents with vision issues. He has been practicing vision therapy for learning-related vision issues for over 20 years.

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