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20/20 Is Not Enough!

I was introduced to the idea of vision therapy by my chiropractor several years ago. As he had been so helpful with my Graves' Disease and related issues, I thought highly of his advice.

When I finally had time to investigate Grand Vision Institute, my first impression on the phone was a great one. Glenna, the office manager, talked me through the procedure of getting started, and was very thorough and helpful. All the information was sent out promptly and was clearly explained.

Upon arriving for my first evaluation with Dr Anderson, I found a welcoming, clean and professional office, managed by the wonderful Glenna, who, as I've come to learn over my months at the clinic, is unfailingly welcoming, efficient and helpful with any requests asked of her. Glenna sets the tone for the clinic, and it's a great one.

I have Graves' Disease, which is an autoimmune disease, as well as related Graves' Ophthalmopathy, which can cause proptosis (bulging) and strabismus (misalignment) of the eyes. Though I am somewhat used to the condition now, at first it felt very debilitating and disfiguring. I was considering surgery to correct the disfiguration. I had heard about "exercises" that could help with alignment of the eyes, but didn't know much about them. Dr Anderson welcomed me and did a very thorough exam of my eyes, and then very clearly explained how he thought vision therapy could help my condition. While perhaps not a cure for my misalignments, he suggested that vision therapy could help improve them, and could also help to minimize the need for surgeries; often patients with Graves' Ophthalmopathy need several surgeries to see satisfying results. He explained the therapy procedure clearly, and offered several suitable payment options for the treatment. Vision therapy is not always covered by insurance companies, so it was great to have options. Dr Anderson was encouraging and explained things very well.

On my first therapy visit, I met Wendy, my therapist, and we got to work right away. Wendy's calm manner and wealth of knowledge put me at ease immediately. She explained each exercise and its purpose very well, and answered any questions I had. Over the next 21 weeks (so far) Wendy has helped me discover so many things about my vision and its peculiarities that have been invaluable to me.

Wendy and Dr Anderson divisied a long-term plan to improve my alignment, comprised of many different progrssive exercises, each building on the progress provided by the last, to work towards better eye control, better visual/auditory/mental coordination and better alignment. Wendy was always happy to explain in detail the reasons behind the exercises, and to hear my feedback about them, offering suggestions when appropriate. Her interest and knowledge of the work is inspiring to me.

One of the greatest results so far, to me, is that I now have very valuable tools to monitor the feedback that my eyes are giving me about my vision and the world around me. Wendy has helped me to recognize this feedback, and therefore manipulate my muscles and brain to improve my eyesight. The tools (exercises, observations, techniques) have helped in enormous ways to get me closer and closer to where my eyesight used to be before the onset of my Graves'-related eye symptoms.

I like some of the exercises better than others, but all of them provide excellent feedback and therefore results. Some I do reluctantly, knowing that there is benefit in them, but most of them I do easily and can be integrated into my day.

For me, the best aspect of the therapy is the ongoing support from Wendy, Dr Anderson and Glenna in the office. They are all unfailingly professional, informative and kind. I look forward to my visit every week with Wendy - her encouragement and curiosity help me to progress, and her kindness and humour make the visits all the more pleasant.

The process of vision therapy is not a "quick fix", by any means. However, for me, it provides skills progress and feedback that will be invaluable to me for the rest of my journey to correct my vision, and the rest of my life.

I have seen a total of FIFTEEN doctors, specialists, technicians and therapists in the almost four years since the onset of my Graves' Ophthalmopathy, and the only ones who have made any difference to my vision and my quality of life, are Wendy and Dr Anderson. The therapy integrates many aspects of vision and quality of life that are affected by impaired vision, and doesn't simply focus on a "chop and change" solution. Being given tools to help myself affect a change is invaluable to me. Learning the connections between our auditory systems, our vision and our brains is fascinating, but moreover, incredibly beneficial to my progress towards better health.

I am very grateful to Dr Anderson's team and look forward to continuing my journey to better health with them.

- Quita Alfred