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Ask Dr. Julie: Does Vision Therapy Help With Astigmatism?


Let’s talk about a question that came in from Sarah. Sarah asks, “Can astigmatism be affected positively by vision therapy or photo-syntonic light therapy?” And the answer to that is yes, Sarah, it absolutely can. We see patients every day and we reduce their lens prescriptions, whether they have astigmatism, nearsightedness or myopia or if they’re farsighted and have hyperopia. Certainly astigmatism is definitely something that we’re really successful in treating. In fact, we usually see approximately 50% reduction.

The biggest amount that I’ve seen is about a 75% reduction in the clinic with patients who have astigmatism, and it depends on the various level of astigmatism that they have to begin with. So mild cases usually reduce at least by half, if not 75%. Moderate cases are going to reduce by about half. Severe cases of astigmatism are classified as something like over the amount of like 3.50 or 4 diopters of astigmatism. (So that first number in your prescription isn’t the astigmatism number, it’s the second one after that that’s the astigmatism and it will say minus something with the little X behind it and a number. Maybe it’s like 90 or 180 or something after that.) So that second half of that is what we’re talking about for astigmatism correction and usually we’ll tend to see that reduced by anywhere from about 25% to 50%. Now of course this is variable, but that’s just what we see kind of average across the board with our patients.

Photo-syntonics is what we utilize in order to reduce the amount of lens prescription and vision therapy combined together. So the two of those things is super powerful in reducing the amount of lens prescription that we have, particularly if it’s been induced by a binocular vision or visual stress induced type of situation. So keep the questions coming. Certainly if you have more questions, you can connect with this direct. Just call us at the office. Call us at (618) 288-1489. You can certainly go to our website and fill out the vision questionnaire that’s located there if you happen to not be local and you want a start on how we can help you with your visual problems.