Kids reading book in park

Binocular Vision Dysfunction

Seeing 20/20 is only part of what makes clear and comfortable vision. We also must move our eyes in a  coordinated way to follow or fixate a target as well as keeping it single, while simultaneously adjusting our focus to keep things clear. In addition to all these , we must also integrate all of this with body posture and movements.  If all of these moving parts are not working together efficiently, discomfort can result, particularly with tasks done up close, such as reading or computer work. Symptoms of those with binocular vision dysfunction include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Eye strain or fatigue 
  • Headaches
  • Shaking of words or words running together on the page
  • Difficulty reading for long periods of time
  • Skipping and repeating lines and losing place on the page
  • Burning, itchy, watery eyes

It has been estimated that 80% of learning is related to vision. It is no surprise then that if someone is struggling with coordinated binocular vision, or decreased visual perception skills, learning to read would become difficult. In addition to all of the above symptoms, other signs that you or your child may have visual issues contributing to reading difficulties include:

  • Decreased attention
  • Difficulty with spelling
  • Difficulty with writing and penmanship
  • Difficulty copying notes off the board
  • Reading words or letters out of order
  • Taking a long time to complete assignments
  • Avoiding reading and near work

Current research in the area of neural-plasticity has shown that the brain can learn and form new neural connections for our entire lives. Vision therapy uses the concept of neural-plasticity to provide a non-invasive approach to help improve outcomes for those with strabismus (turned or crossed eyes) and amblyopia (lazy eye). 

Areas that are associated with the processing of visual information are found all throughout the brain. Therefore, this complicated visual system can be easily disrupted following brain injuries such as concussion, trauma and stroke. These disruptions make it difficult to process visual information in the same efficient and effortless way as before the injury.  Vision therapy aims to rebuild these damaged connections to improve visual performance and reduce persistent and uncomfortable visual symptoms. Examples of these symptoms include:

  • Vertigo / dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty following moving objects
  • Light sensitivity
  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision and difficulty focusing
  • Skipping and repeating lines and losing place when reading
  • Difficulties using computers and looking at screens
  • Eye strain or fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Increased clumsiness