Orthoptic therapy is a treatment program designed to eliminate or improve symptoms associated with poor eye coordination skills. At UCEC, we mainly use orthoptic therapy to treat patients with convergence insufficiency. This is a form of intermittent exotropia, in which the patient is unable to maintain convergence on near objects. While reading, these patients often experience double vision, eye strain, blurry vision, loss of place, words moving on the page, or headaches. These symptoms may be more intense at the end of the day, or when the patient is tired. The best treatment for convergence insufficiency is orthoptic exercises.
An orthoptic therapy program is monitored and tailored to the individual’s needs. Various equipment, from something as basic as a pencil, to an advanced computer system, are used. Many of the activities can be done at home, including the computer system. However, the patient must be motivated to perform these tasks as directed, in order for success to be achieved.
Prior to beginning an orthoptic therapy program, specific measurements must be taken. These measurements allow the doctor to determine convergence and divergence ability (how well the patient can cross and relax his or her eyes.) Depth perception (stereopsis), eye alignment in various positions, and the ability to track or follow an object in different directions are also measured, and monitored throughout the therapy process.
As mentioned, orthoptic therapy is most commonly successful for treating convergence insufficiency. Intermittent exotropia, occurring less than 25% of the time, can also be successfully treated using orthoptics. In addition, patients who will require, or who have had, some types of strabismus surgery can benefit from the increased fusional ranges achieved through orthoptic therapy. Orthoptic therapy can NOT help eliminate letter reversals, and other symptoms of a true learning disability.
Our fee is $58 per orthoptic therapy session. Unlike other therapy providers, we only charge for each session as it is rendered. The vast majority of insurance companies do not allow benefits for orthoptic therapy, therefore, it is a self-pay service. Payment is due at the time of service. You may contact your insurer and ask whether OT (CPT code 92065) is a covered benefit. If so, please provide documentation that includes proof of coverage, how many sessions would be covered, and whether there is a time limitation for any benefits.
If one of our doctors recommends orthoptic therapy for your child, please speak to one of our technicians about scheduling the appointments. Specific times are set aside each week for therapy sessions with each of our Optometrists. We typically schedule five 30-minute appointments at one time. A re-evaluation will be done at the last session, or sooner if needed. Additional sessions may be recommended at that time.