As a parent, you’re dedicated to ensuring your children are healthy, thriving, and have access to the best available learning opportunities. So when your child undergoes an eye exam at school or with your family eye doctor and passes with “20/20 eyesight” or a prescription for corrective lenses, you’re probably confident that his or her vision is fine.
As far as common knowledge goes, you’ve done everything necessary to make sure your child is able to see clearly enough to perform well in school. If your child continues to struggle in school, it must be due to something else, right?
Unfortunately, most eye exams do not test for functional vision problems that often interfere with learning and performance. A typical eye exam with your family optometrist or ophthalmologist generally only tests to determine if your child can see clearly at a distance for a period long enough to complete the exam. It doesn’t test for eye movement and visual processing problems that may affect your child’s ability to see, learn, and complete tasks for a sustained period of time in a learning environment.
The general exam doesn’t check into how well the eyes work together as a team, how quickly the eyes focus when moving from one visual plane to another, how smoothly the eyes move across the page when reading, how efficiently the brain processes information taken in by the eyes, or a number of other areas of functional vision.
Only a functional vision exam by an optometrist trained in developmental vision care can diagnose learning-related vision problems such as convergence insufficiency, amblyopia, strabismus, blurred vision, double vision, and more.
Children who see like the illustrations below can still pass a typical vision test:
As you can now see, if your child sees like any of the above illustrations, learning can be challenging. Children with functional vision problems struggle more than their peers to learn, not because they are not bright and capable of learning, but because their visual system is not functioning in a healthy manner.
The good news is, once he or she receives an appropriate diagnosis, a personalized and intensive vision therapy program can lead to significant lasting improvements in a relatively short period of time.
Click here to read “9 Signs Your Child May Have an Undiagnosed Vision Problem,” to learn more about signs and symptoms of functional vision problems that interfere with learning.
If you are located in Olney or Silver Spring, MD, contact Dr. Philip Nicholson’s Visual Learning Center to schedule an appointment today.