OEP, or Optometry Extension Program, is an internationally-recognized optometry group that works to enhance the visual process and clinical care. One of the biggest aspects of this group is vision therapy. As a part of ICO’s student branch of OEP, this year I was lucky to be able to attend their Great Lakes Conference right here in Illinois.
If you’re anything like I was, you may not know a lot about vision therapy. Vision therapy is a method that uses tools and exercises to essentially retrain the brain to enhance and correct the visual pathway. For some people, using both eyes together or seeing in 3D can be challenging. This can cause symptoms such as headaches, eye strain, and difficulty reading, just to name a few. Vision therapy has been proven to effectively treat these patients.
At the OEP meeting, students were able to attend lectures where they could learn more about vision therapy techniques. There were meetings for both doctors and vision therapists; students were welcome to attend any of them. Additionally, we were given the chance to meet the doctors in the field and eat lunch with practitioners that are currently part of the OEP board. This was my favorite part of the event. It allowed us to ask the doctors any questions we had about the field and the future of optometry.
Overall, I found that the conference was very useful for me as a student. It was a fun event and extremely informative! It was also really great that the ICO OEP club completely funded the trip for us! I felt like the doctors really took time to connect with the students and I learned a lot about how I’d like to practice in the future.