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Binocular Vision – Does Your Child Have Problems With Reading?

Wow! It’s hard to believe that it’s already November. It seems like the start of the school year was just yesterday! Because we are now well into the school year, it’s a great time again to talk about your child’s vision! As mentioned in our earlier blog post, statistics say that 80% of learning is visual. Because of this, the relationship between a child’s vision and their developing brain is so important! Ensuring that a child has healthy eyes and can see well, greatly affects their ability to learn and read. Do you know if your child has problems reading? Our blog post this week discusses the relationship between binocular vision and problems with reading in children.

Does Your Child Have Problems With Reading?

Most of us are well aware that having poor or compromised vision can make navigating the world difficult. This is also true for children. If a child has a hard time focusing their eyes and getting them to work together, tasks like reading can be challenging. Often when a child has a vision problem, it can only be detected through a comprehensive eye exam. Sometimes, this is because a child may have one eye that they can see better with. But, because the two eyes are not functioning the same, even though they are seeing, tasks can be more difficult.

Common Vision Problems Which Can Cause Problems With Reading

Vision is interpreted by images received through both eyes. The images are then sent from both the eyes to the brain for interpretation. This is called binocular vision. When both eyes are not functioning properly independently, they may also have problems working together. This can cause the message which is sent to the brain to be jumbled.

Problems With Binocular Vision

Here are some common problems associated with binocular vision. If unaddressed problems with binocular vision can cause problems with reading. Problems may manifest as double vision, depth perception, or easily losing the spot on the page while reading.

Convergence Insufficiency

Convergence insufficiency is when looking at things close up, like reading, the eyes are unable to work together or have issues teaming up.

Accommodative Insufficiency

Accommodative insufficiency is when the eyes have problems with focusing properly up close. This causes a person to see double at near distances.

Oculomotor Dysfunction

Oculomotor dysfunction occurs when eye muscles are not coordinating properly. When a child has a problem with this, they have a hard time shifting their eyes from one word to another when tracking across a page while reading.

Problems with binocular vision can affect anyone. However, because children often don’t know they have a vision problem, they can greatly affect a child’s ability to learn.

The Value Of  A Routine Eye Exam

Having the vision and health of a child’s eyes checked routinely is so important. It can really make a huge difference in their quality and ability to learn. Visiting the optometrists regularly will ensure that a child vision is clear and that their eyes are problem free! Often there is so much emphasis on how well a person sees at a distance. But just because a person can see 20/20 does not mean that there aren’t other problems present that can cause problems with near vision. A comprehensive eye exam ensures that eyes function not only independently, but that they work together binocularly as well! Vision is also checked at all distances. Both near and far.

If the optometrist discovers that a child has problems with their binocular vision, a treatment plan which may include prescription eyeglasses or vision therapy may be prescribed.

Do you think your child has problems with reading? Is your child or any other member of your family in need of a comprehensive eye exam? Give us a call at (403)255-2826 or conveniently book your eye exam online, directly into our appointment book and in real time!

This article was written by Trina Vanaalst, licensed optician and registered contact lens practitioner.

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