Tag Archives: binocular vision

An Eye Teaming Problem Could Be The Reason Your Child Struggles to Read

The Visual Learning Center offers 
developmental optometry & vision therapy
in Olney, Maryland,  convenient to Silver Spring.

Have you noticed that your child or a child you work with tries to avoid reading? Do they look away from the text often, rub their eyes repeatedly, or claim that they are tired every time they sit down to read?

This observed behavior could be caused by an eye teaming problem that might be interfering with their ability to learn and read effectively.

When a child is doing close work, such as writing, reading, or using a tablet, mobile device or computer, they must be able to keep both eyes turned in to point at the same position long enough to complete the task. This vision function–the ability to move, turn, and point the eyes together–is called eye teaming or binocular vision skills.

To learn more how vision can affect learning, download our free guide here and watch our pre-recorded webinar here.

Signs that your child may have an eye teaming problem include:

  • covering or closing one eye while reading
  • rubbing eyes excessively
  • complaining that words are blurry even with “20/20 eyesight”
  • having double vision
  • attempting to avoid reading or homework
  • declining performance over prolonged spans of close work
  • seeming to have a short attention span
  • tiring quickly while reading or doing close work
  • losing place while reading
  • frequent headaches

When a visual deficiency prevents both eyes from moving precisely in the same direction at the same time, reading can be challenging and the extra effort required to perform basic tasks can cause fatigue quickly.

Reading requires our eyes to aim in together at the same point on the page. Our vision is only clear, single and comfortable as long as both of our eyes are aiming at the same point.

Children with poor convergence or divergence skills have difficulty with eye teaming. Their eyes move somewhat independently of one another, which causes double or blurry vision, distorted depth perception, and sometimes dizziness.

They find it difficult to maintain the inward eye aim that required for reading. As their eyes get tired, they move inward or outward, pointing at different places on the page. Even a slight variation that isn’t noticeable when casually observing can cause a significant problem. The result is blurred vision that looks like double print.


A typical eye exam by your family eye doctor or during a school vision screening does not test for eye teaming skills. If a child has an eye teaming disorder, he may be able to fixate on the vision chart in a typical eye exam and see it clearly long enough to see clearly for a moment. But maintaining proper eye turn for a sustained period of time can be a problem.

If you suspect that a child might have an eye teaming problem, it’s important that they undergo a comprehensive vision exam by a developmental optometrist who specializes in functional vision care and vision therapy. Studies have shown that as many as 78% of kids with reading and learning problems cannot track or team their eyes properly.

The good news is intensive vision therapy can improve binocular vision skills significantly and even eliminate eye teaming problems. See our vision therapy success stories.

For vision therapy in Olney or Silver Spring, Maryland contact Dr. Philip Nicholson’s Visual Learning Center today.

Going to See a 3D Movie Could Reveal a Vision Problem

The Peanuts Movie is set to hit theaters next week, and some of your favorite childhood characters will be making their big screen debut. Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the gang will be coming to you in state-of-the art 3D animation in a brand new adventure that has parents and kids alike buzzing in anticipation.

But what’s sure to be an entertaining afternoon at the theater for some could be far less fun for your child if he or she has a vision problem. Unfortunately, 3D effects affect people with certain vision deficiencies, causing dizzy spells, queasiness, and nausea.

People with a healthy visual  system see 3D effects as they are meant to be seen — popping from the screen, almost as if you can reach out and touch the characters. These effects are created by projecting two moving images simultaneously, but with different colors or polarization of colors for each image. The 3D glasses we wear allow most people to see these two overlaid moving flat images as one three dimensional moving image.

When we look at a movie screen (or anything else) each of our eyes sees the object from a particular perspective. The image is processed through our visual system, and our brain does the work of taking the two separate images and combining them into one image that we see. This process is enabled by binocular vision skills.

Binocular vision skills – How well your child’s eyes can blend visual images from both eyes into a single, three-dimensional image.

To properly see 3D effects in movies, strong binocular vision is necessary. If your child has poor binocular vision with amblyopia or lazy eye, the brain and eye are not working together in a healthy correctly functioning manner. One eye may be favored by the brain while the other is suppressed. The problem encountered is that 3D glasses and the special effects may cause the brain to favor the suppressed eye, which causes a lot of strain. Your child might not see the 3D effects at all, or he may complain of headaches, dizziness, or nausea.

If your child has complained during Minions or another 3D movie in past or if the complaints arise while watching the upcoming release of The Peanuts Movie, this is a sign of a possible vision problem. In fact, in many cases, uneasiness during a 3D movie is the first obvious sign that something is wrong.

The same vision problem that causes headaches, dizziness, or nausea during a 3D movie will affect your child’s ability to learn as well.

If you suspect your child has a vision problem, based on his or her experience while watching a 3D movie, schedule a functional vision exam with a developmental optometrist right away. Vision therapy can improve the problem significantly.

If you are in Olney or Silver Spring, Maryland, contact The Visual Learning Center to make an appointment today.