Good Vision Goes Beyond 20/20
When you think of good vision in children, you likely imagine your kid having clear vision and passing a standard eye chart during a pediatric eye exam. However, kids’ vision problems go beyond being unable to see clearly.
Your child can see clearly but still experience learning difficulties because of underdeveloped visual skills such as eye movement control, focusing, eye alignment, convergence, and visual perception. Without these skills, reading, writing, and learning can become challenging, affecting academic performance.
Important Visual Skills for Learning
- Eye movement control: An inability to move the eyes in unison results in errors like skipping letters, numbers, or words and letter reversals.
- Focusing: Allows quick refocusing from near to far objects, which is crucial for reading the board and taking notes.
- Eye alignment: Both eyes must point accurately at the object viewed; misalignment causes double vision and impacts reading and learning.
- Convergence: Eyes must converge toward each other when looking at a near object; failure to do so can cause double or blurry vision.
- Visual perception: Poor visual perception leads to confusion between letters and numbers, difficulty recognizing words, losing place while reading, and trouble distinguishing right from left.
Learning-Related Vision Problems: Signs and Symptoms
Undiagnosed vision problems often have the following symptoms:
- Trouble focusing
- Lack of reading comprehension
- Double vision
- Poor handwriting
- Word and letter reversals
- Hyperactivity and behavioral issues due to frustration and boredom, which can lead to an ADD/ADHD or learning disability misdiagnosis
If your child shows any of these signs or symptoms, consider scheduling a comprehensive child’s vision exam to address potential vision-related issues.
Comprehensive Pediatric Eye Exam
In addition to a standard eye chart test, a pediatric eye exam includes additional assessments to detect vision problems. These extra tests include accommodation, binocular vision, and ocular motility testing. Depending on the specific issues your child displays, further evaluation with one of our pediatric eye doctors or vision development specialists will be recommended.
To help your child develop essential visual skills, vision therapy (a program involving a set of eye exercises and activities designed to strengthen visual skills) can be prescribed. Special reading glasses may also be a solution.