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Learning-Related Vision Problems

Learning Related Vision Problems

Vision therapy can help those with learning related vision problems. These individuals may lack the necessary visual skills for effective reading, writing, and learning. Learning related vision problems includes both difficulty with visual skills and visual information processing.

Most eye exams and screening tests are built around the measurement or obtainment of 20/20 visual acuity. While important, visual acuity is only a small part of what “good” vision entails and does not measure how effectively or efficiently a person is using their vision. Deficiencies in visual skills are more often associated with learning problems and/or other functional vision problems. Vision therapy is a progressive, individualized program designed to remediate and enhance visual skills and visual information processing.

Visual Skills Needed For Learning

Eye Focusing Skills- When we look far away, the focusing muscles in each eye relax, when we look up close they constrict. The accurate and efficient use of these muscles allows us to focus on near-print for a sustained period of time. Inefficient focusing skills may cause blurred vision at distance or near, visual fatigue, headaches, trouble copying from the board, reduced reading comprehension and avoidance of near-point activities.

Eye Tracking Skills- Saccadic eye movements are the ability to move our eyes between stationary objects, such as when reading. Pursuit eye movements refer to the ability to follow a moving object. Inaccurate eye movement skills can cause loss of place when reading, skipping over words/lines, poor reading fluency, “careless” errors and difficulty with eye-hand activities including sports.

Eye Teaming Skills- The ability of the eyes to work together as an efficient, coordinated team to create a clear and single picture when looking near or far. Types of eye teaming difficulties include: convergence dysfunctions, eye alignment dysfunctions and suppression.

How text can look to a person with convergence insufficiency.

How text can look to a person with convergence insufficiency.

Common Signs and Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of learning related vision problems are:

  • Losing place on the page
  • Words run together when reading
  • Confusion or reversals of letters, numbers or words
  • Easily distracted or fatigued
  • Homework takes much longer than it should
  • Low reading comprehension or fluency
  • Poor or unevenly spaced handwriting
  • Uses finger to keep place

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