If your child is struggling to read or finding it difficult to remain on task, the cause may be an undetected vision problem, even if your child’s eyesight is 20/20 and he’s passed the school’s vision screening. The goal of this section of the website is to educate parents and teachers about frequently overlooked vision problems in the hopes of helping those children who struggle unnecessarily because of undiagnosed vision disorders. In fact, many of these children are often suspected of having learning disabilities, dyslexia, or attention deficits, when the real culprit is their vision. We invite you to explore the information presented in this site to learn more.
All parents recognize how vital good vision is to their children’s development. As children grow and mature, over 80% of what they learn is processed through our eyes. However, most people have a limited understanding of what good vision means. Good vision involves much more than just seeing clearly without glasses.
When most parents think about vision, they think about their child’s clearness of sight, or visual acuity—in other words, the sharpness of vision as measured by the eye chart. When a child has 20/20 vision, it means that each of his eyes can see what an average person sees at a distance of 20 feet. If a child fails the eye chart test, he can get glasses or contacts to correct his blurry vision. But the eye chart’s use is limited to only checking a child’s distance vision.
The eye chart cannot test many other important visual skills that children need to succeed in today’s modern world, especially at school. For example, the eye chart can’t check how well children team or coordinate their eyes at the close up distances required for reading, how well they can track a line of print without losing their place, how well they can adjust focus changes from near to far distances, or how well they can understand and make sense of what they see. Children can have good sharpness of vision (20/20) and still have serious problems in these other areas.
The only eye test most children have is a brief screening at school which only checks their distance vision using the eye chart. Each year thousands of children suffer from undetected vision problems that can make school and life difficult. In addition, children with crossed eyes and lazy eyes face especially demanding challenges. Children with poor visual skills may struggle to read, have short attentions, perform poorly in sports, develop low self-esteem, and have doors closed too many careers because of poor visual skills. This site is designed to educate parents and teachers on vision problems which can hinder children’s school performance, interrupt their lives, and limit their futures.
Good Vision Means More Than 20/20.
Neuro-optometric rehabilitation goes far beyond the standard 20/20 eye examination and use of traditional eyeglasses and/or contact lenses to sharpen central eyesight. The eye’s retina is a piece of brain tissue and can be affected by brain injuries, brain and nervous system disorders and neurochemical imbalances. Similarly, the retina can impact brain function and brain biochemistry by how it receives light stimuli and perceives its surrounding environment and how it integrates with auditory and other sensory systems.
Optometrists experienced in neuro-optometric rehabilitation utilize a variety of tests, protocols and visual learning games to evaluate and enhance a patient’s overall visual performance, visual function and visual processing capabilities, including eye alignment; eye movements and tracking; eye-hand coordination; binocular vision and depth; visual-motor and perceptual-cognitive skills; and various visual systems’ integration with other sensory systems, including hearing and balance.
Oftentimes, neuroplasticity can alter dysfunctional circuitry and symptoms of brain injuries, such as vertigo, concentration/attention problems and headaches, over time through redevelopment of visual processing skills and use of non-traditional “brain” eyeglasses, as well as other optometric interventions, including prisms and shading or colored tints.