Syntonics or optometric phototherapy is the branch of ocular science dealing with the application of selected light frequencies through the eyes. Syntonics, from the word syntony (to bring into balance), refers physiologically to a balanced, integrated nervous system.
Light is essential to life. Our planet revolves around the sun and all life on earth is sustained by sunlight. The Greeks were the first to document the use of phototherapy. Currently light is used on a variety of disorders from the “bili” lights used on jaundiced newborns to the more recent psychiatric use of while light for treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
In optometry the use of phototherapy to treat visual dysfunctions is called syntonics. 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.
Certain biochemical conditions in the brain need to be present before effective cortical plasticity and new functions can occur. Neurotransmitters trigger this biochemistry and allow for additional synoptic connections to initiate movement and growth in new directions. Syntonics can act as a powerful tool to stimulate the biochemistry of the brain through the visual system by way of the retinal-hypothalamus brain connection.
Syntonics may be prescribed as a complete therapy, although is usually used prior to or simultaneously with vision therapy. Syntonics generally involves allocating 20 minutes every day to sit in a dark room with the syntoniser and prescribed frequency filter, for 20 sessions over 4 weeks.
Syntonics is a gentle, passive and natural way of rebalancing the autonomic nervous system that is crucial to clear, comfortable and efficient vision.
Optometrists are in a unique position to utilize this time-proven, ocularly transmitted light therapy that our profession has nurtured for nearly 70 years and literally has given us a monopoly on a specialized body of knowledge of light’s effects on health and visual functions.
Syntonic phototherapy can be used at home, and/or as part of a complete in-office vision therapy
program to improve prognosis and outcomes for visual conditions such as:
- Accommodation (Focusing)
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration
- Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
- Brain Injury
- Degenerative Ocular Diseases
- Light Sensitivity (Photophobia)
- Ocular Pain and Discomfort
- Strabismus (Eye Turns)
- Visual Field Constrictions
- Visual Perceptual Delays
- Visual Stress
- Attention, Learning, and Behaviour Problems
- TBI-Head Injuries
- Tracking and Eye Alignment Disorders
- Refractive Conditions, such as nearsightedness