Good Vision Requires More Than Just
Aspects of vision Good vision is the ability to gather information and make meaningful interpretation of what is seen.
A binocular vision examination tests for the following visual skills:
Fixation : Aiming/Aligning
Oculomotor Skills: Tracking
Vergence: Eye Teaming
Visual Motor Integration: Eye Hand Coordination
Eye Focusing and Accommodation +
This is an eye-focusing problem resulting in blurred vision—up close and/or far away— frequently found in children or adults who have extended near-work demand. They have difficulty shifting their focus from near to far, or far to near. This is a common condition and most often leads to headaches or inability to carry on with visually demanding tasks.
Vergence and Eye Teaming +
The ability to use both eyes as a “team,” or a single functioning pair, is what allows our brain to fuse the two separate pictures coming in from each eye into a single image with depth perception. This skill is called binocular vision.
Some people have difficulty fusing these images, and thus, perceive double vision (a separate image from each eye). Not all people experience double vision. At times, the brain with turn off one eye in order to avoid double vision.
There are two conditions in which the eyes fail to “team” together:
Tracking is the ability to control where we aim our eyes. This is called oculomotor skills.
Our ability to possess good tracking skills allow us to succeed in everyday life including sports and school or work activities.
There are three basic types of eye movements:
Fixations: ability to hold eyes steady without moving off target
Saccades: the ability of our eyes to make accurate jumps as we change targets
Pursuits: the ability of our eyes to follow a moving target
Fixation is the most basic eye movement skill from which other skills develop. Good fixational skills allow us to maintain a steady gaze without our eyes moving involuntarily off target. Poor fixation skills must be addressed early in a treatment program before other oculomotor techniques are attempted because it is the foundation skill upon which others build.
Saccades are eye jumps–the sudden, quick voluntary change in fixation from one object to another. Saccades involve any shift in gaze, such as from road sign to speedometer, board to paper, notes to computer screen. During reading, accurate saccadic movements are critical
Pursuits are types of eye moments that are used to follow a moving target. Accurate, smooth pursuit eye movements allow us to make spatial judgments as to the speed and position of the moving target. Pursuit eye movements are especially important in driving and sports.
Tracking and Reading +
Reading involves complex eye movements. in order to read fluently along a line of a text our needs to make short, rapid eye movements from one word to the next without overshooting or undershooting. These eye movements are called saccades and in between each saccade our eye movement must stop to fix on the word being read. At the end of each line our eyes need to make a sweeping movement backwards and downwards to accurately locate the start of the next line.
Symptoms of Tracking deficiencies or OMD +
A child lacking in these skills will most often struggle with reading. This child is unable to aim, and jump from word to word, or jump from line to line accurately. The reading material becomes jumbled together and illegible. It’s no wonder why these children struggle with reading comprehension.
When the eye movements are poorly controlled or defective, it affects our ability to read. This defect is called Oculomotor Dysfunction or Tracking Defect.
Some Tell-tale signs of tracking include:
- Writing is poorly spaced or crowded or messy
- Difficulty reading fluently
- Losing place or start of next line
- Missing out or repeating words or lines
- Adding words or transposing them
- Using a marker or finger to follow the lines
- Finding top lines of text easier to read than middle sections
- Moving head and/or body instead of eyes when reading
- Poor understanding of text being read
- Difficulty copying from white board
What Is Vision Therapy? (VT) +
Everyone’s vision is unique. Hence, a vision therapy treatment plan is tailored and individualized to address your vision issues and help strengthen any areas of weakness. Treatment begins with a series of therapeutic exercises using dedicated devices. The exercises are progressively adjusted to encourage further visual improvements over time.
What Is The Goal of Vision Therapy? +
The goal is to help children and adults relearn and improve visual skills to optimize visual performance and comfort. The basic principle in any therapy plan is Repetition. This allows for newly learned skills to form new neural networks in the brain.
VT to Improve Reading Movements +
The basic principle in any rehabilitation exercise is repetition. By repeating certain behaviors, in this case saccadic eye movements, we can form new neural networks in the brain. The aim of all these exercises is to practice using your eyes to make the short accurate movements required between the symbols or words whilst keeping your head and body still and without using aids to read. VT implemented to improve oculomotor skills leads to:
- Improved accuracy and speed of pursuit and saccades
- Reduced number of refixations and regressions while reading
- Increased span of recognition
Vision Therapy to Treat Strabismus and Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) +
For adults and children who were told, strabismus and amblyopia cannot be treated past a certain age were misinformed.
Traditional Strabismus /Amblyopia treatment typically involves prescribing glasses and then patching the stronger eye with an eye patch or using eye drops to blur the better-seeing eye while doing daily activities. This is the common traditional approach taken by many medical practitioners for amblyopia and the duration of the patching can vary from two to six hours per day depending on the severity of the amblyopia. Today, studies have shown that combining vision therapy with patching is a more effective treatment for lazy eye in children and adults than just patching alone.