Undetected Vision Problems. Are they affecting your child?
A large part of learning is done visually. Reading, spelling, writing, and in many schools, computer work, is among the tasks children tackle all day long. Each involves the visual abilities of seeing quickly and understanding visual information quickly from less than arm’s length from the eyes.
Many children’s visual abilities aren’t up to the level of the demands from these types of learning situations in the classroom. If visual skills have not been developed, or are poorly developed, learning is often difficult and stressful. Children generally react in one or a combination of ways:
- They avoid near visual work entirely, or as much as possible.
- They attempt to do the work anyway, but with lowered understanding.
- They often experience discomfort, fatigue and short attention span.
- They adapt by becoming nearsighted, or by suppressing the vision of one eye.
Attention Deficits, AD(H)D
AD(H)D is being diagnosed with increasing frequency in both children and adults. It is estimated that 10 to 15% of school age children have this disorder.
The symptoms of AD(H)D are also seen in both children and adults with learning-related visual problems, and sensory integration dysfunction.
Vision therapy improves many skills that allow a child to pay attention. The skills developed during therapy are: tracking, fixation, focus change, binocular fusion, and visualization. When all these visual skills are fully developed, children can better sustain attention, read and write without careless errors, giving meaning to what they hear and see, and rely less on movement to stay alert.
Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)
Amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye, causes blurry or reduced vision, including loss of depth perception and two-eyed 3D vision. The main cause of lazy eye is the suppression in one or both eyes. Lazy eye is a neurological deficit and surgery commonly performed on patients often does not improve the patient’s vision.
Lazy eye is treatable at any age. Recommended treatment involves glasses, eye patching, and/or vision therapy, which includes eye exercises, and visual-motor processing activities.
Convergence insufficiency disorder interferes with a person’s ability to see, read, learn, and work at near (close distances). A person can pass the 20/20 eye chart test and still have convergence insufficiency. Common symptoms are eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, diplopia (double vision), sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, movement of print while reading, and loss of comprehension after short periods of reading or performing close activities.
Treatments range from passive (prism lenses) to active (office-based vision therapy).
Strabismus, more commonly known as cross-eyed or wall-eyed, is a vision condition in which a person cannot align both eyes simultaneously under normal conditions. One or both eyes may turn in, out, up or down. An eye turn may be constant (when the eye turns all of the time) or intermittent (turning only some of the time). Strabismus treatment is necessary as it does not go away on its own.
Vision therapy sessions for strabismus treatment includes procedures designed to enhance the brain’s ability to control eye alignment, eye teaming, eye focusing, eye movements, and visual processing.