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Therapeutic Lenses & Prisms

6-7-13 117When patients have visual problems caused by double vision, low vision, strabismus or head injury, therapeutic lenses and prisms can be extremely beneficial in improving their visual perception.

Unlike traditional lenses which are used to correct blurry vision in patients who are far- or nearsighted, therapeutic lenses and prisms help to improve eye alignment, perception, spatial localization, posture, eye contact and both fine and gross motor skills.


6-7-13 115We are trained in the prescription of therapeutic yoked prisms, Fresnel prisms and prisms to compensate for a loss of peripheral vision, as it results from a traumatic neurological event or progressive condition such as multiple sclerosis or glaucoma. Fresnel prisms are made of ultra-thin vinyl and adhered to a patient’s existing eyeglasses to treat visual field loss associated with double vision, strabismus, low vision, head injury and stroke. Yoked prisms can literally transform a child’s or adult’s ability to function by guiding their visual pathways towards more efficient organization.


An example of a Fresnel prism. Do you recognize this famous woman?


Bifocals for Children

IMG_3394We prescribe bifocals to children for impending and progressing nearsightedness, binocular vision disorders and visual dysfunctions associated with desk and computer work. Sometimes, these therapeutic lenses are prescribed for long-term wear, though in many cases, they are used for a specified period of time as part of a vision therapy treatment plan.

If your visual assessment indicates the need for therapeutic lenses or prisms, the optical shop at Northampton Vision Specialists will help fit you with lenses that are appropriate for your visual condition.

I have been wearing trifocals with prisms for a few years now.  I recently noticed when I didn’t have my glasses on for brief periods of time I felt ok, with no difficulties with balance or disequilibrium.  So, I had a pair of glasses made with just my distance vision prescription and no prisms to see if I really needed them.  When I put the glasses on, I had a little difficulty adjusting to them, but I assumed within a short time, I’d become used to them.  Then, after about 45 minutes, as I was sitting in a chair, I began to have the sensation of a rocking motion, as if I was on a boat.  I tried walking around, but I began to feel off balance.  I realized these glasses were not going to work for me and put my trifocals with the prisms back on.  As I sat in the chair, I could feel a change within my body, a shift, as if everything was being reorganized.  I could feel it in my muscles, down into my bones.  At that point, I realized how much I needed the prisms to help me feel grounded and stable.

Cathy Boschen

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