Syntonics or optometric phototherapy, is the branch of ocular science dealing with the application of selected light frequencies through the eyes. It has been used clinically for over 70 years in the field of optometry with continued success in the treatment of visual dysfunctions, including strabismus (eye turns), amblyopia (lazy eye), focusing and convergence problems, learning disorders, and the after effects of stress and trauma. In recent years, Syntonics has been shown to be effective in the treatment of brain injuries and emotional disorders.
Syntonic phototherapy may be today’s most advanced clinical science in light therapy. Since the 1920’s it has been used effectively by optometrists to treat patients who have inefficient visual function. Since eighty percent of learning occurs by way of the eyes, inefficient visual function can adversely affect all aspects of one’s life, including academic achievement, athletic performance, proficiency at work, and homemaking.
Light therapy is also commanding respect in the medical community as its benefits are investigated in the treatment of jet lag, PMS, sleep disorders and conditions related to the body’s daily rhythms. Exposure to certain colors has also been found to affect behavior, mood and physiological functions.
Patients are diagnosed by symptoms, vision evaluation, visual/motor performance and peripheral vision sensitivity. They may have blurred vision, a crossed or lazy eye, double vision or poor academic achievement. If appropriate, they are treated by way of their eyes with selected visible light seen as colors.
Not all retinal (light-sensitive) nerves in the eyes serve vision. Some connect the retina directly to non-visual brain centers such as the hypothalamus and pineal gland. These centers influence electrical, chemical and hormonal balances which affect all body functions including vision. Years of clinical application and research have demonstrated that certain selected light frequencies (colors), applied by way of the eyes to these centers, can produce beneficial results in the body.
Controlled clinical studies by Dr. Robert Michael Kaplan and Dr. Jacob Liberman proved that the usual result of this relatively short-term treatment is improvement in visual skills, peripheral vision, memory, behavior, mood, general performance and academic achievement. They confirmed that large numbers of children with learning problems have a reduction in the sensitivity of their peripheral vision. During and after phototherapy they demonstrated improvement of peripheral vision and visual skills. Control subjects who did not receive therapy showed no improvement in their peripheral vision, symptoms or performance.
In 1985 psychiatry discovered light therapy. In medical clinics throughout this country and around the world, many individuals are now receiving exposures to bright light as treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Syntonics can be used as the primary treatment or to support other therapies to aid in the remediation of strabismus, amblyopia, accommodative/convergence problems, asthenopia, ametropia, visual attention deficit, vision-related learning and behavior problems, and visual field constrictions associated with visual stress, brain injury, degenerative ocular disorders, and emotional trauma.