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Symptoms of Vision Disorders

As I’ve pointed out in other posts, it is always important to reiterate that it is incredibly important to remember that when it comes to vision disorders and the laundry list of symptoms that they inflict is that most children are NOT able to describe the symptoms.

A child can NOT describe blur, double vision, or losing their place when reading as an adult might be able to. Considering other problems involving visual information processing including visual perceptual skills would be difficult if not impossible for an adult to be self-aware of and describe, there is certainly no way that a child could tell you something is wrong with those skills either.

I start by bringing up this point because as you read over all of the symptoms, you may find yourself saying that your child has never complained of such issues, but remember that your child thinks that everyone sees the world the way they see it and doesn’t have the sense of awareness to know what is normal and not normal, so be the advocate for them.

These are skills that can only be identified through specially calibrated testing performed by a developmental eye doctor (developmental optometrist) whose diagnosis and treats problems with the brain’s ability to properly process visual information.

As I go through the possible symptoms, I’ll only break them down into their two main groups in order to simplify things.

The first group is the binocular vision disorders. You may hear or read this term a lot and it is referring to disorders that involve problems with the two eyes working well together.

Problems here can arise when the two eyes are not aimed at the same thing, are not clearly focused at the same point, are not performing properly coordinated movements together, and are not maintaining their aim and focus together.

Symptoms that your child may experience can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Blurred vision (constant or occasionally coming and going)

  • Double vision (constant or occasionally coming and going)

  • Headaches

  • Losing their place when reading

  • Skips lines, accidentally rereads lines when

  • Difficulty focusing on the board after looking down at their paper

  • Difficulty looking down at their paper after looking at the board

  • Difficulty reading for an extended period of time

  • Difficulty comprehending what they are reading

The second group of vision disorders is visual information processing skill deficiencies or disorders including the many visual perceptual skills. These processing skills are not necessarily involving the eyes but are instead view as higher-order visual skills as these are performed by the brain as the brain makes use of the visual information that is taken in.

Symptoms that your child may experience can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Reverses letter like “b” into “d”

  • Double vision

  • Difficulty understanding what is read

  • Difficulty remembering what is read even if the material is understandable

  • Difficulty finding material on the board

  • Difficulty finding material on a page

  • Difficulty reading quickly and keeping up with those their age

Reinforcing what is stated above, while your child may be suffering from these symptoms, it could be near impossible for them to have the sense of awareness to understand what is going on and then explain it to you, therefore it is important to advocate for them that this could be a vision problem when they display symptoms, not limited to, but including the following:

  • Displays trouble concentrating while reading

  • Displays trouble with reading comprehension (understanding what is read)

  • Doesn’t remember what was read

  • Dislike of reading in general

  • Short Attention Span with reading and schoolwork

  • Fatigue while reading

  • Homework takes much longer than it should

  • Acting out at school or at home​

Learning new material involves a myriad of visual skills.  A child’s two individual eyes must work together as a perfect team to master the 17 visual skills and their brain must be properly processing the visual information so that children and adults can understand and remember what they have read.

Given the many unique abilities required to simply read an article, my fellow colleagues and I implore you to be an advocate for your child. Children DO NOT OUTGROW these conditions. A large percentage of the adult population suffer from these conditions as well and have been held back in life because of thiem including a 55-year-old patient I treated who suffered his entire life from convergence insufficiency.

Give your child the benefit of the doubt. There have been countless children that are absolutely brilliant and yet several reading levels behind their classmates simply due to a completely curable vision disorder.

After struggling with reading and having their other subject suffer due to lack of being able to read and study efficiently, these children quickly catch up and often surpass their peers after undergoing vision therapy that cures their disorder and relieves them of their once handicapping disorder.

Remembering that vision is MUCH more than just 20/20, as a developmental eye doctor, I can’t help but always want to educate people on the 17 Visual Skills and all the ones that are specifically needed just to read and that when it comes to learning, 80% of what children learn is take in visually.

So it is vital to their academic success and success in everyday activities, as these are not problems children outgrow, that they have well developed visual information processing skills including the visual perception skills here on this page.

Feel like you or your little one are struggling with reading or any of the visual skills needed to live your life comfortably, don’t worry! Vision Therapy has incredibly high success rates for various vision conditions and lazy-eyes (or eye-turns as we like to call them). Call our office today to schedule a complete and comprehensive vision exam.

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