Vision and Learning
Vision and Learning
Our vision is closely tied to our ability to learn and succeed in academic, professional, and personal settings. In fact, studies show that around 80% of what children learn in school is through visual input.
When our visual system is functioning properly, we are able to take in visual information accurately and efficiently, process it effectively, and use it to understand and retain new concepts. However, many people, especially children, may have undiagnosed vision problems that can hinder their ability to learn. For example, if someone has difficulty tracking moving objects with their eyes, they may struggle to follow a teacher’s pointer during a lesson.
At SIGHT Multispecialty Center in Farmington, our doctors and eye care professionals offer vision therapy to help patients of all ages overcome visual challenges that affect learning and hold them back from reaching their full potential. We understand that everyone is different and has unique eye care needs. That’s why we customize our vision therapy programs to meet the specific needs of each patient.
The connection between vision and learning
There is more to vision than just seeing clearly. Vision encompasses a wide range of skills, including eye-tracking, focusing, visual perception, eye-hand coordination, and visual memory. These skills are critical to success at work and school, as they are required for reading, writing, and overall comprehension. As such, visual deficiencies can significantly impact someone’s ability to learn and absorb new information.
Visual deficiencies can manifest in many ways, including difficulty reading or writing, poor handwriting, and even attention problems. Often, these challenges can be mistaken as learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders, leading to a misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment. Without proper treatment, vision deficiencies can cause delayed development in reading and language skills, social development, and even physical development because they affect hand-eye coordination.
At SIGHT, our team of specialists evaluates and diagnoses vision problems in both children and adults and provides specialized services to help improve functional vision.
What is functional vision?
Functional vision is about more than having 20/20 eyesight. It refers to how well a person’s visual system works to process and interpret information from the environment. For example, someone with functional vision issues may have 20/20 eyesight, but still struggle with reading or lose their place on the page frequently.
What are the signs of functional vision problems?
There are several signs that can indicate problems with functional vision, including:
- Difficulty reading, including skipping words or lines, losing place, or needing to reread.
- Poor handwriting or difficulty with fine motor skills, like buttoning clothes or tying shoes.
- Avoiding tasks that require visual concentration, such as reading, writing, or drawing.
- Frequent headaches, eye strain, or fatigue, especially after visual tasks.
- Squinting, rubbing eyes, or excessive blinking.
- Struggling with depth perception or spatial awareness.
- Poor performance in sports or activities that require hand-eye coordination.
- Difficulty maintaining attention or focus, especially during visual tasks.
Vision therapy assessments
During a vision therapy assessment, our doctors use advanced technology to evaluate several different aspects of visual function, including:
- Visual acuity: This refers to how well a person is able to see details at a distance. It’s often tested using an eye chart.
- Binocular vision: This is the ability of the two eyes to work together as a team, which is important for depth perception, eye-hand coordination, and reading.
- Eye movement skills: This includes the ability to track moving objects smoothly, shift focus between near and far objects, and scan across a line of text while reading.
- Visual processing skills: This refers to how the brain interprets and makes sense of visual information.
- Visual-motor integration: This involves the coordination between the eyes and the body.
Treatments for functional vision problems
At SIGHT, we understand the impact that functional vision problems can have on a person’s daily life, especially on learning and academic success. That’s why we offer a variety of treatments tailored to each person’s specific needs. Our team of specialists works with patients to diagnose and treat visual coordination and processing issues that may be causing functional vision problems.
One treatment option we offer is vision therapy, a personalized program of exercises and procedures performed under the supervision of a doctor in our office. Vision therapy is customized to each patient’s unique needs and may use specialized medical equipment such as therapeutic lenses, filters, occluders, balance boards, and computer programs.
We may also prescribe custom lenses for eyeglasses that contain a prism or bifocals to help address functional vision problems. These lenses can improve visual comfort and ease, increase visual efficiency and performance, and change how a patient processes or interprets visual information.
Additionally, we may recommend lifestyle changes such as taking breaks during visually demanding activities or practicing eye exercises at home.
Vision therapy in Farmington
Our goal at SIGHT is to provide personalized care to help our patients improve their visual function and quality of life. We believe that every individual deserves the opportunity to have the best vision possible to achieve their full potential in school, work, and daily life. If you suspect you or your child has a functional vision problem, schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam with the doctors at SIGHT today.