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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Winters

Vision Therapy for an Optic Nerve Coloboma?

Now that's a challenge! Here is the story from one of our clients, Joanna Haws, OD. She wrote us an email thanking us for some help our therapist, James Smith, COVT was able to give:

First off, with deepest humility, I’d like to say thank you for your business model that has allowed James [Smith] to come visit us. He is SUCH a wealth of knowledge!...I asked about his insight on our patient with a left optic nerve and retinal coloboma. I mean, vision therapy is great, but restoring sight?? [JD] has 20/200 vision and you’ll see where the coloboma is from the picture attached [above]. He has a superior nasal field cut and fixates sometimes (after approx. 20 therapy sessions so far). When not accurately foveating (coloboma does not cover the fovea), he postures left esotropia and left hypertropia.

James thought he’d have some insights as to how to help [JD], and boy did he! He started with C/P activity with picking up peripheral targets. Then he had him try luster activities with the white board, and then again with a glowing white ball, illuminated with his transilluminator. [JD] was not only able to get some luster a few times, but he also was centrally fixating for a few seconds at a time! Then he did some looking to find his centration point at near. I have not been doing this yet, so I was learning so much! We were able to find the point where his left eye started becoming engaged in tracking along with his right eye and it was so exciting.

For those of you who don't know James Smith, COVT; he started as one of my vision therapists many years ago. He now works full time on staff at Emergent as our resident COVT. He directs and oversees all of our online vision therapist training and he does training when we do onsite visits for our practice management consulting. He also at times visits clinics on his own to offer his expertise like he did with Dr. Haws.

After reading this email from Dr Haws, a quote from Star Wars came to mind, "Now the student has become the master." At Emergent, our mission is to help vision therapy clinics reach their potential, and yes, that includes doing whatever we can to help clinics succeed. In this case, James was at Dr. Haws’ clinic to help review an equipment order with them and the opportunity presented itself to work with this patient. The results were amazing and I couldn’t be more pleased with how it all turned out.

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