The Effects of Eye Teaming and Tracking Issues On Your Child's Vision
Did you know that your child may still have a vision problem even if they can see the letters on an eye chart clearly? If their eyes don't work together as a team, or they have trouble following the words on a page, it may be much more difficult to read, play sports, or even walk through the house without bumping into the walls.
Eye Teaming and Tracking Problems
Good vision is dependent on input from both of your eyes. The brain combines the information it receives from the eyes to produce one clear image. Normally, the information received from the eyes is almost identical. When there is an eye teaming issue, each eye sends slightly different information to the brain, which can cause blurred or double vision.
Tracking is essential for many visual tasks from writing legibly to playing sports. If your child's eyes don't move smoothly and quickly from one object or word to the next, they may find it difficult to copy words or numbers correctly or follow the path of a ball in the sky. Reading can be especially difficult. Words seem to jump on the page, which may make them lose their place often or decrease their reading speed. If they need to use a finger or pen to keep their place while reading, they may have a tracking problem.
In some cases, behavioral problems in children may actually be caused by tracking or eye teaming issues. When it's difficult to read or concentrate, kids may be more likely to daydream, misbehave, or fail to follow instructions correctly.
If you're an adult, and your eye teaming or tracking problems weren't addressed during childhood, you may have trouble reading long reports or manuals, might have trouble remembering what you read, or may find it difficult to read without developing eyestrain or becoming fatigued.
Eye teaming and tracking issues can be caused by a variety of conditions, including:
- Strabismus. Strabismus, or "crossed" eyes, occurs when the eyes aren't properly aligned.
- Amblyopia. The brain ignores the information received from one eye if your child has amblyopia (lazy eye). The condition can occur if strabismus isn't treated.
- Convergence Insufficiency (CI). CI affects your child's ability to focus on near objects and requires both eyes to turn slightly inward. If they don't, vision problems may occur.
- Convergence Excess (CE). The eyes turn too far outward when your child has CE, which can also cause eye teaming problems.
- Stroke and Neurological Conditions: Visions problems can be related to a stroke, Parkinson's disease, or another neurological condition.
- Eye Injuries. Injuries that affect the nerves or muscles that control eye alignment can cause eye teaming and tracking issues.
Common Eye Teaming and Tracking Symptoms
Eye teaming or tracking problems can cause these symptoms:
- Blurred or double vision
- Poor depth perception
- Clumsiness (as a result of poor depth perception)
- Concentration issues
- Difficulty catching or hitting a ball
- Tilting the head or covering one eye when reading
- Fatigue after reading or doing close work for a short period of time
- Trouble focusing on near objects
- Mistaking one word for another
- Motion sickness
How Vision Therapy Can Help You or Your Child
Vision therapy can help you improve your vision no matter what your age. The therapy is more than just eye exercises, although exercises can be helpful. Vision therapy enhances the connection between the eyes and the brain, allowing you or your child to use your vision more effectively.
Our treatment plans focus on correcting your child's particular issues and may include prisms, lenses, balance balls, activities, and even special video games. Video games designed to improve the symptoms of amblyopia, strabismus, and convergence insufficiency is not only fun but effective. In fact, children who had amblyopia improved their ability to see images clearly in their "bad" eyes by 28 percent in a video game study published in the Journal of Vision.
Do any of these eye teaming and tracking symptoms sound familiar? Contact our office to schedule a comprehensive vision examination.