Many children and adults who have visual complaints are told “Your eyes are healthy, you have 20/20 vision and there is nothing wrong”, yet they still struggle visually. Are you or your child experiencing any of the following?
- Headaches after reading
- Headaches or avoidance of 3D glasses during or after participating in a 3D movie
- Eyestrain or tired eyes while reading
- Words run together while reading
- Loss of concentration while reading
- Inability to comprehend what you read without rereading
- Avoidance of near work/ reading
- Omit small words when reading
- Skip/ repeat lines when reading
- Misalign digits/columns of numbers
- Holds books too close
- Head tilt/ close one eye when reading
- Difficulty completing assignments on time
- Poor use of time
- Write up/down hill
- Difficulty copying from the chalkboard
- Poor visual memory- uses auditory or vocalization to assist
- Poor performance on the job or in school
- Intermittent double vision
There are many different types of eye conditions that could be affecting your eyesight or could have long-term consequences if not treated properly or promptly. We list some of the more common conditions below.
If you think you or someone in your family has one of these conditions, please contact the Weatherford Eyecare Center for an exam and recommendations.
Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
Lazy eye, medically known as amblyopia, is a loss or lack of development of vision, usually in one eye. This degenerative process usually begins with an inherited condition and appears during infancy or early childhood. Lazy eye needs to be diagnosed between birth and early school age since it is during this period that the brain “chooses” its visual pathway and may ignore the weaker eye permanently.
Lazy eye is not always easy to recognize since a child with worse vision in one eye does not necessarily have lazy eye. Because of this, it is recommended that all children, including those with no symptoms, have a comprehensive eye examination by the age of three and sooner if there is a family history of any eye condition or disease. If you suspect a problem, or need to set up your child’s first eye examination, contact Weatherford Eyecare Center to set up an appointment.
Strabismus (Eye Turn)
Cross-eyed, medically known as strabismus, refers to a condition in which eyes are misaligned. It commonly occurs when the muscles that control eye movement are not properly working together. The result is one or both eyes turning inward, outward, upward or downward, or one or both eyes moving irregularly.
Strabismus is usually diagnosed during childhood and affects about 4 percent of children, afflicting boys and girls equally. Though it cannot be prevented, its complications can be avoided with early intervention. Even if you notice symptoms intermittently – when your child is ill, stressed or fatigued – alert your eye care provider.
Stereopsis (Depth Perception)
Two eyes = three dimensions (3D)! Each eye captures its own view and the two separate images are sent on to the brain for processing. When the two images arrive simultaneously in the back of the brain, they are united into one picture. The mind combines the two images by matching up the similarities and adding in the small differences. The small differences between the two images add up to a big difference in the final picture. The combined image is more than the sum of its parts. It is a three-dimensional stereo picture.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome is characterized by neck pain, blurry vision, stiff shoulders, headache and watery eyes when working in front of a computer screen. The symptoms are typically due to posture, dry eyes, eye muscle coordination and poorly corrected vision.
Since computer monitors are typically 20 to 26 inches from your eyes, your regular glasses may not be the best option for computer work. This distance range is considered intermediate – closer than what you use to drive a car but farther away than what you use to read. Special lens designs for computer work provide you with a larger intermediate area for viewing the computer and your immediate work area like the top of your desk. Weatherford Eyecare Center can help you determine if these special lenses are appropriate for you.
The symptoms of convergence insufficiency can make it difficult for a child to concentrate on extended reading and may overlap with those of ADHD. The recent CITT study showed that 45% of the children with convergence insufficiency reported attention problems. Others studies have demonstrated similar results. For example, Granet found report a three-fold greater incidence of ADHD among patients with convergence insufficiency when compared with the incidence of ADHD in the general US population (1.8–3.3%). They also reported a three-fold greater incidence of convergence insufficiency in the ADHD population. The authors concluded that until further studies are performed, patients diagnosed with ADHD should be evaluated to identify the whether they may have convergence insufficiency.
Relevant Publications are Listed below:
- Borsting E, Rouse M, Chu R. Measuring ADHD behaviors in children with symptomatic accommodative dysfunction or convergence insufficiency: a preliminary study. Optometry 2005;76:588-92.
- Granet DB, Gomi CF, Ventura R, Miller-Scholte A. The relationship between convergence insufficiency and ADHD. Strabismus 2005;13:163-68.
- Gronlund MA, Aring E, Landgren M, Hellstrom A. Visual function and ocular features in children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, with and without treatment with stimulants. Eye 2007;21:494-502.
Astigmatism is an uneven or irregular curvature of the cornea or lens, which results in blurred or distorted vision. Other symptoms of astigmatism include the need to squint, eye strain from squinting, headaches and eye fatigue.
In reality, most people have some degree of astigmatism, which is usually present at birth and is believed to be hereditary. In minor cases, treatment may not be required but is certainly beneficial. Moderate to severe astigmatism can be treated with corrective eyewear or LASIK surgery.
Farsightedness, medically known as hyperopia, refers to vision that is good at a distance but not at close range. Farsightedness occurs when the eyeball is shorter than normal, as measured from front to back, or when the cornea has too little curvature. This reduces the distance between the cornea and retina, causing light to converge behind the retina, rather than on it.
If you are mildly farsighted, your eye care provider may not recommend corrective treatment at all. However, if you are moderately or severely hyperopic, you may have several treatment options available, including eyeglasses, contacts, LASIK and photo-refractive keratectomy (PRK). Your eye care provider at Weatherford Eyecare Center will help you determine the best treatment option for you.
Nearsightedness, medically known as myopia, refers to vision that is good at close range but not at a distance. It generally occurs because the eyeball is too “long” as measured from front to back.
Nearsightedness is diagnosed during routine eye exams and possible treatments include eyeglasses, contacts, acrylic corneal implants, LASIK, radial keratotomy (RK) and photo-refractive keratotomy (PRK). Your eye care provider will suggest the best treatment option for you.
Presbyopia (Aging Eyes)
Aging eyes, medically known as presbyopia, is a condition in which the lens of the eye gradually loses its flexibility, making it harder to focus clearly on close objects such as printed words. Distance vision, on the other hand, is usually not affected.
Unfortunately, presbyopia is an inevitable part of aging and cannot be prevented by diet, lifestyle or visual habits. However, it is treatable with several types of corrective lenses, including progressives, bifocals and trifocals, single-vision reading glasses, multifocal contact lenses and mono-vision therapy.
Low vision is a general term that refers to a partial loss of vision that cannot be adequately corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, medications or surgery. Common causes of low vision include macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, inherited retinal degenerative diseases, glaucoma and optic nerve atrophy.
Low vision therapy typically includes an evaluation of the patient’s visual abilities, prescription of low vision devices and training in their use. The goal is to maximize the use of the patient’s available vision for reading, writing, hobbies and work-related tasks such as working at a computer.
The Weatherford Eyecare Center has the experience and equipment necessary to diagnose and often treat the eye conditions detailed above. For more information please schedule an appointment with your eye care provider, and we will be in touch with you promptly.