Our eyesight is so precious, but can so often be taken for granted. In reality, proper vision is a complex balancing act requiring skills that must be carefully developed. No one understands this better than the doctors of optometry at the office of Paul Thompson, OD, who are specially trained to detect signs of imbalance and ensure that our patients are seeing the world with precision and clarity.
It may be surprising to learn that each of our eyes actually see slightly different images, which are then fused by our brains into one three-dimensional picture. Finely tuned coordination is necessary to keep our eyes in their proper alignment, or else our vision can suffer from stunted development. Problems can arise due to poor muscle control, leading to eye strain and sometimes double vision. If our brains begin compensating for imbalances between the eyes, a condition known as “lazy eye” can develop that can cause long-term visual impairment that cannot be fully rectified — even with corrective lenses.
Poor eye coordination also can lead to headaches, difficulty concentrating and reading, dizziness, irritability, and eye fatigue. These symptoms can be especially acute in children, who can face obstacles focusing on schoolwork and while playing sports. They may tire easily and even resort to covering one eye to compensate for their vision imbalance. That’s why we recommend a comprehensive eye examination starting at 6 months of age and again at age 3, during which our specialists will test for indications of how the child’s eye coordination is developing.
At the office of Paul Thompson, OD, our doctors of optometry are specialists in diagnosing eye coordination and imbalance conditions and determining effective solutions including eyeglasses and vision therapy. Call us today to learn how our friendly, attentive staff can make a clear difference in your family’s outlook on life.
Each of your eyes sees a slightly different image. The brain, by a process called fusion, blends these two images into one three-dimensional picture. Good eye coordination keeps the eyes in proper alignment. Poor eye coordination results from a lack of adequate vision development or improperly developed eye muscle control.
Eye coordination is a skill that must be developed. Inadequate vision development or improperly developed eye muscle control can cause poor eye coordination. Although rare, an injury or disease can also cause poor eye coordination. People with poor eye muscle control often subconsciously exert extra effort to maintain proper alignment of the eyes. In more severe cases, the muscles cannot adjust the eyes so that the same image is seen by both eyes, resulting in double vision. However, the brain will try to avoid seeing double, so it eventually learns to ignore the image sent by one eye. This can result in amblyopia, a serious vision condition commonly known as lazy eye. Left untreated over a long time, amblyopia can impair the visual system. Vision will not fully improve, even with glasses or contact lens correction.
Symptoms of poor eye coordination include double vision, headaches, eye and body fatigue, irritability, dizziness, and difficulty reading and concentrating. Children with poor eye coordination might cover one eye, skip lines or lose their place while reading, perform poorly in sports, avoid tasks that require close work and tire easily.
Because poor eye coordination can be difficult to detect, the American Optometric Association recommends comprehensive eye examinations, beginning at age 6 months and again at age 3. In this comprehensive examination, a doctor of optometry will test for poor eye coordination.
Poor eye coordination is often successfully treated with eyeglasses and/or vision therapy. Sometimes, eye coordination will improve when other vision conditions like nearsightedness or farsightedness are corrected. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.
By Paul Thompson, OD
April 26, 2021
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