Dynamic Adaptive Vision Therapy (DAVT)
Most SSS patients, as well as the simple motion sickness sufferers, can be cured by doing Dynamic Adaptive Vision Therapy (DVAT) procedures daily over a period of four to eight weeks. The procedures can be done doing a combination of in-office and home sessions or with home sessions only. The only equipment required is a lettered ball suspended from the ceiling by a string and two pencils. These eye exercises sound simple but aren’t, and should be done under the careful weekly guidance of a qualified optometric or physical therapist. Similarly, as an example, it may be possible to learn to play tennis or golf by reading an instructive book or watching videos but a trained coach can make a world of difference in your final result. Strong motivation is a must to get through this DAVT and that is another reason a therapist is helpful for most patients.
The details of how to do the DAVT are explained in the written 43-page SSS manual (PDF) and demonstrated in the 53 min SSS Youtube video. The manual is provided by the Pacific University College of Optometry.
How the Therapy Works
The SSS patient is essentially “allergic to visual motion”. The visual training desensitizes and “reprograms” them so they do not then react adversely to moving their eyes or to seeing or feeling motion as they previously did. The process, in one way, is similar to getting allergy shots for hay fever, except the beginning doses are very mild and are gradually increased over a period of time. Also, this, primarily eye exercise, therapy could be considered “physical therapy for the eyes”. The patient, with the doctor’s careful guidance, learns how to adjust the level of training to get the best effect and to minimize the discomfort. The training effect is similar to learning to ride a bike, in that it is mostly “the learning and knowing how”, not building muscle strength. Once “reprogrammed”, most patients remain symptom free for many years, if not forever. The first SSS patient, Janie M., did her therapy in 1965 and without doing any form of eye exercises since, was still symptom free thirty-five years later. A few have regressed to a degree after time but their do-it-on thier-own re-training normally takes them less than a week to complete.