According to the American Optometric Association, approximately 80% of what a child learns in school is acquired through vision, and vision problems can significantly impact academic performance.
As a developmental optometrist, we have treated many students who struggle to learn how to read due to vision problems. In this blog, we will explore how vision therapy can help improve reading ability, what functional vision is essential for reading success, and how vision therapy can address learning-related vision problems.
Vision therapy is a specialized treatment that addresses problems related to eye focusing, tracking, making reading eye movements, depth perception, peripheral vision, visual perception and processing skills, as well as visual sensory motor integration. Unlike routine eye exams, a neurodevelopmental vision evaluation tests each skill to identify where a patient excels and where they struggle. A customized treatment plan is then created to develop those skills up to the expected level for that patient's age.
Reading involves a series of visual skills, including:
If a student's vision is poor, or their visual skills are not up to par, it can significantly impact their reading performance, comfort, and enjoyment. In some cases, it can lead to eyestrain, headaches, fatigue, frustration, skipping words and lines, losing place on the page, and poor comprehension.
Through a sequence of vision therapy activities, patients can learn how to control their eyes, acquire visual information, and process it accurately and efficiently. They learn how to do a skill, then learn how to do it easily without a lot of effort, and finally, try to ingrain these skills long term. As these learning-related vision problems are improved, reading performance often improves as well.
Take our online visual skills assessment to help identify if you or your child has a potential visual deficit that may be interfering with success in the classroom, work, or sports.
If your child is struggling to read, it may be due to a vision problem. Consider scheduling a neurodevelopmental vision evaluation with a developmental optometrist . A comprehensive vision evaluation can identify the root cause of your child's reading difficulties and help create a customized treatment plan to improve their visual skills. With vision therapy, we can learn to control their eyes, acquire visual information, and process it efficiently and accurately.