An Honest Review of Vivid Vision: a Strabismic’s Perspective

Looking for an amazing vision therapy program to help fix Strabismus, Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) or Amblyopia? Vivid Vision is an incredible option that is becoming more and more popular. I’ve been using it to help treat my strabismus and I’m here to give you all the information to help you decide if it’s worth getting.

So, is Vivid Vision worth the money? Yes! Vivid Vision is an extremely effective tool for strengthening a lazy eye and teaching both eyes to work well together. It’s unique design allows for the practitioner to make adjustments on their side that slowly reteach the brain to use both eyes equally.

If you want to know more about what Vivid Vision is, how it works, what games it comes with, it’s pros and cons, how much it costs and my personal experience with Vivid Vision, read on!

What is Vivid Vision?

Vivid Vision is an award winning and science backed virtual reality program that is designed to be used with in-office vision therapy to treat amblyopia, strabismus, and vergence disorders.

“It features games and activities designed to overcome suppression while improving visual acuity, fusion ranges, peripheral awareness, and depth perception.” (Vivid Vision)

Here I am playing “Bubbles” on Vivid Vision to help treat my strabismus.

Basically, if your eyes aren’t working well together, Vivid Vision is designed to help you. It is not a program that you can just go out and buy, you must go through a provider who can then manage your subscription.

In virtual reality, each eye basically has it’s own mini TV screen that it can see. In most virtual reality games, each eye just sees slightly different views of the exact same scene or game, mimicking real life so that the game feels real.

Here is the view inside of the Quest VR headset. There is a separate “screen” for each eye so the image that each eye sees can be adjusted.

A brilliant man had the idea to use this as a tool to treat binocular vision problems, like strabismus. The developer of Vivid Vision actually had strabismus and designed it to help people who struggled like him. So cool!

This quick video describes the design of Vivid Vision Perfectly and how it uses the VR technology to give different inputs to each each, teaching them to work together over time.

In Vivid Vision there are several features that can be changed to suit an individual patient’s needs. Each game has different features that can be changed within that game, but in general, here are a few of the adjustments your eye doctor can make.

  • Basic Features- Game Length, difficulty level, layout of games, etc. can all be adjusted
  • Anti-Suppression- There are several options and levels here, but in general, the weak eye can be given a sharper, more crisp image while the strong eye can be blurred or even blocked from seeing particular parts of games. For example, both eyes might see the background and surrounding area, the right eye can see the hand, and the left eye can see the fruit that the hand is picking. There are a TON of different options for anti-suppression that can be slowly adjusted over time that are game specific.
  • Prism can be added– This means that the image for one (or both) eyes can be moved up, down, left or right, or even turned at an angle (for cyclotorsion) helping the brain to fuse. After the brain learns to fuse, the prism can slowly be decreased.

It is insane to see the Doctor’s view of the program. Each game has so many different settings that can be adjusted. It is truly incredible!

I love the versatility of this program! Every strabismus patient is so unique and needs a unique treatment plan. This program allows for such individualized solutions for complex visual issues.

What Games are included with Vivid Vision?

There is a big variety of games on Vivid Vision along with several tests. This keeps it interesting and gives your brain the same information in a lot of different ways that can help improve success.

There are two main types of games, anti-suppression and vergence.

That anti-suppression games are designed more to help strengthen a weak eye and get both eyes to be turned on at the same time. They include main features that can only be seen by one eye or the other. The more anti-suppression focused games are Breaker, Pepper Picker, Ring Runner, Hoopie, and Barnyard Bounce (a little).

The vergence games are more about getting the eyes to work more effectively together especially with converging and diverging. The more vergence focused games are Bubbles, Bullseye, Step Vergence, Jump Duction, and Barnyard Bounce.

There is, of course, a ton of overlap in all of the games. Many vergence focused games have anti-suppression features, and vice versa.

For example, in Breaker you are holding two ping pong paddles (seen by strong eye only) trying to hit a ball (weak eye only) against tiles (seen by both). While it is focused on anti-suppression, the tiles are 3D and the background, including distant asteroids is 3D which is going to help improve vergence as well (if it’s done correctly).

Pepper Picker
Barnyard Bounce

The adjustments I talked about before like anti-suppression settings and prism adjustments apply to all of the games so I’m not listing them, but there are a few specific adjustments that individual games have that I will highlight below in my excessively detailed chart.

Vivid VisionHow the Game WorksPossible Game Specific AdjustmentsLimitations
Pepper PickerYou are in a greenhouse and fruit appears on the plants. Follow the “order” and drop the correct fruit in the basket.The size of the fruit can be adjusted. Doesn’t work well on the Oculus GO.
BubblesBubbles will appear. click, or touch, the bubble that is closest to you first. The more you get right, the more bubbles will appear.Bubble size, spacing, and distance to player can be adjusted along with disparity.Cheating possible by popping two bubbles simultaneously.
Step VergenceThere are 4 circles, click on the closest one. If you are right, the BI or BO demand increases, if you are wrong, it decreases. See how far you can go!The size of the circles, depth factor, and step size can be adjusted. Can be BI or BO.n/a
BreakerYou are in outer space and there are blocks out in front of you. A ball appear and you use paddles to hit the ball and “break the blocks. Ball speed, size and opacity, and the max ball count can change.n/a
Jump DuctionVery Similar to Step Vergence, except it alternates between Base In and Base Out.The size of the circles, depth factor, and step size can be adjusted.n/a
Barnyard Bounce The player steers a little chicken as it bounces off islands and goes up. Every now and then the islands go away and the chicken travels through leaves and you must line up the chicken with an egg to collect it.The vergence can be adjusted between BI and BO, icon frequency can be changed. You can level up to get new animals.n/a
Ring RunnerThe Player is a spaceship in outer space. You must avoid (or shoot) asteroids and rings with the red mark inside. Try to get through all the green and blue rings to speed up!Speed, frequency of asteroids, power-up size and raten/a
BullseyeUse a water gun to shoot at targets. Try to shoot the target that is closest to you. Try to get 5 right to level up, miss 3 and level down.Target size and spacing can be adjusted.You can technically do this with one eye by moving side to side
HoopieThe player is a basketball hoop and balls come flying towards you. Each ball has a marker, either an O or an X around the ball that helps you know which ones to catch. The Ball speed and size changes. The Marker Size, and length of time you can see it can be changed also.It’s hard to catch the ball…
probably a limitation of Melissa, not Vivid Vision though.
There are several tests that can test for fusion, suppression, depth perception and alignment.

Each game offers a unique setting to hone different skills. I love that there is a huge variety because it doesn’t get boring. The games are pretty fun, and I actually find myself looking forward to playing them. With all the different adjustments, it also means that this program can work long term and grow with the patient as they improve.

Some games focus on fusion and depth perception, while others work to stop suppression and get both eyes working. Tracking, peripheral, multi-tasking, and hand eye coordination are also worked in the various games.

Not every game is a good fit for every patient so your eye doctor can change the order of the games and which ones come up for you. I like to try all the games so we just put the most important ones first, that way when I run out of time it’s not a huge deal.

Is Vivid Vision Good for Kids?

I decided to let my 6 year old give it a try to see if she would be able to have success with the games. We don’t really have any video games so she doesn’t really have a lot of experience with that sort of thing, but she picked it right up.

She was laughing and having a fun time and did not want to stop. I had to make her though or else she would have beat all of my high scores.

So I can say that Vivid Vision is intuitive enough for a 6 year old to use and engaging enough to keep a 34 year old entertained.

What makes Vivid Vision Amazing?

  • Huge variety of games- When you are doing home VR for weeks and months on end, having a variety makes it SO much better! I also love that each game focuses on different important visual skills that you can learn in different ways. Changing things up helps my brain to learn so much faster!
  • Versatility in adjustments for settings- I already went through this…but it makes a big difference. Versatility means that the program can grow and change with the patient. It is helpful for such a huge range of people!
  • Engaging- The environment feels so real and the graphics are great. So much attention was put to details. When the graphics are good, it is easier for my brain to put the images from both eyes together.
  • Backed by research. So many different studies have been done to show that Vivid Vision can improve depth perception and overall vision! It is much easier to feel good about investing money into something that is backed by science.
  • There are so many vision therapy exercises and tools that are only available in-office, and they are usually the ones that work the best. I LOVE that I can take one of the most effect vision therapy tools that I have used home with me and use it every day. I can easily take it on vacation as well.
  • If you live somewhere that doesn’t offer vision therapy, you can do remote Vivid Vision and remote vision therapy sessions. I live in a remote part of Idaho and there isn’t an office that offers vision therapy near by. I was able to go through Maryland Vision Therapy (website) for management of my Vivid Vision prescription. They are working with my local vision therapy office and me. Technology is the coolest.

What are the Limitations of Vivid Vision?

  • Cost- The cost can vary depending on the clinic. Most clinics choose to include Vivid Vision as a part of an entire vision therapy program. In this case, you may not actually notice the cost because you will pay one lump sum for appointments and computer/VR programs. For me, since my office doesn’t offer Vivid Vision, I had to take the option of doing it remotely through another office. I shopped around and was given pricing ranging from $700-$1200 for 3 months. Clinics can charge as much or as little as they want so do your research. I 100% believe that it is worth it. I believe that it will make the time that you spend doing vision therapy more effective so that you can finish earlier. Nothing about fixing strabismus is cheap though, so it’s good to know going in.
  • There is no menu that allows you to pick the games you want to play, it is all pre-determined by your optometrist. This is probably a good thing, but I, personally, prefer to have a little more control.
  • Requires a doctor’s prescription, probably also a good thing…but it would be nice to be able to continue doing Vivid Vision after I graduate from vision therapy without paying a fee to my optometrist.
  • This is not a one stop shop. This is true for any computer vision therapy program. They all vary in what they can cover, and honestly, Vivid Vision is more comprehensive than anything else I’ve tried. BUT there is no computer program that can replace real life experience and therapy involving the real world. It is important to understand that Vivid Vision is something that should be combined with regular in-office vision therapy, it is not a stand alone product.

How do I Start Using Vivid Vision?

If you would like to try Vivid Vision, they have a super easy set up on their website to search for a provider near you, just click here and they will get you started! They will find the Optometrist nearest that can manage your vision therapy and Vivid Vision subscription.

What Device Can I use With Vivid Vision?

There are plenty of options for virtual reality systems that will work with Vivid Vision, here is a screenshot of the possibilities from their website:

But I will save you time and tell you to just go ahead and get the Oculus Quest 2 right here (amazon link). It is $299 for the lower storage option which is more than enough for Vivid Vision, plus other games.

If you want to see my detailed comparison between the Oculus GO and the Oculus Quest, check out the article I wrote about it here. You will be delighted with multiple charts, pictures and so many opinions, all of my favorite things.

My personal Experience with Vivid Vision.

I had been doing vision therapy for 18 months before I finally had the chance to try Vivid Vision. I had wanted to earlier, but it was expensive and my optometrist wasn’t a provider. In fact, the closest provider was over 3 hours away.

I still made great progress with vision therapy and other virtual reality programs, but eventually I decided to have surgery to help me out.

The surgery threw my brain for a loop. My eye started to turn in and my brain was not understanding how to use both eyes together. I was off balance and my peripheral vision was so messed up. Even though my eyes were looking so much better, I was frustrated because my vision was not good and I started reaching out for ideas and help.

I had multiple Optometrists and vision therapists reach out and say that Vivid Vision made a huge difference for their post-surgery strabismus patients. I was ready to try anything and finally took the plunge.

I ended up finding an office across the country to manage my Vivid Vision that was willing to coordinate with my optometrist.

It has only been one month since I started Vivid Vision and I am amazed at the progress that I have made already. Knowing that financial resources were limited, I decided to go all in to make the most of this time I have with an amazing product.

I have been dedicated and have done at least 30 minutes of Vivid Vision, but many times 45-60 minutes, every day. I miss maybe 1 day a week, tops. I also have been very dedicated to my other vision therapy exercises that are outside of virtual reality from my developmental optometrist. I even have been eating a Nutritarian diet for the last 4 weeks.

I believe that the combination of these three factors, Vivid Vision, consistency with home exercises, and healthy eating, have taken me to a whole new level with my vision, and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.

I have started being able to see with stereopsis in real life. If I slow down, relax, and open my peripheral vision, I can tell that things are gaining depth! It is happening more and more often and I love it.

I saw a stereogram at my ophthalmologist’s office for the first time in my ENTIRE LIFE- This is huge people!

I have gone from needing the prism to do any virtual reality, to being quite successful with no prism.

I’ve gone from barely getting to 6 or 7 Base In demand (hard for esotropes) to getting to 25 (that was my new high this morning!).

I’m also seeing more space and my peripheral vision has improved so much. I haven’t been feeling like I am “falling” or running into tables or doors near as often. My vision feels like it is back to where it was before surgery and maybe even better.

I am not all the way there yet, but if I’ve come this far in just 4 weeks, I can’t even imagine how far I might go in 3-6 months! I will post an update after I finish.

I can confidently recommend Vivid Vision to anyone with strabismus, amblyopia or any other binocular vision problems. It is an amazing, science backed, and fun virtual reality program that can take you far on your journey to improved vision!

Related Questions

Are there any virtual reality programs to help fix a lazy eye that don’t require a prescription from an eye doctor? Yes and no. There is nothing like Vivid Vision that doesn’t require a prescription from an eye doctor where there are all of the settings built for vision problems. BUT there are so many cool apps and games where you can practice increasing peripheral vision. Find games with big scenes that you can use to stretch your peripheral.

Is it possible to do Vivid Vision without going to vision therapy? No, Vivid Vision only offers their services to optometry or ophthalmology offices and then you get the service through the office. Go to their website to find a provider near you.

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