Healthy eyes work as a team to focus on near and far objects. People with healthy eyes and robust visual systems are able to use their eyes together as a team to bring objects into focus quickly and effortlessly. Others however, struggle to quickly change their focus between near and far, or to keep their object of regard clear, with or without the help of glasses or contact lenses. Fortunately, vision therapy can help treat this problem and bring the world into proper focus.
Eye care professionals often use the term “accommodative dysfunction” to describe a visual system that has trouble focusing easily and accurately either at near, in the distance, or going from near to far. This vision problem is not the same as simply being nearsighted or farsighted – this type of eye problem can even affect people who seem to have 20/20 vision and is not correctable by eyeglasses or contact lenses alone, although they are commonly used in therapy.
- Blurred vision, near or distance
- Eye strain
- Difficulty reading
- Trouble concentrating
- Avoidance of near work, such as reading
Accommodative dysfunction is especially difficult for children, and asmuch as 80 percent of what we learn is processed visually. Copying words from a whiteboard onto paper is particularly difficult for children with accommodative dysfunction. It takes a moment to bring the whiteboard into focus. Then, when they look down at their paper or book, they have to devote time and energy to refocusing their eyes. By that time, the teacher may have moved on.
Due to the tremendous effort involved with changing focus, many children with accommodative dysfunction avoid reading or taking notes from the board. Concerned parents often worry that a child seems bright but is struggling in school. Standard distance vision tests may not reveal accommodative dysfunction, leading parents and teachers to believe that a child may have a behavioral issue rather than a vision problem.
Our developmental optometrists provide vision therapy to train patients to overcome accommodative dysfunction. Research shows that vision therapy is an effective treatment option.
Vision therapy is an individualized treatment plan that may include procedures using lenses, prisms, instrumentation and visual exercises to improve visual function.
If you have trouble focusing and concentrating, you may benefit from vision therapy. To learn if vision therapy is right for you, call us today at 509-972-6688.