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, Dr. Zurcher has 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.
What Is Vision Therapy?
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.
How Does Vision Therapy Improve Reading Ability?
Reading involves a series of visual skills, including:
- Turning both eyes inward when reading
- Focusing and zooming in on the page
- Accurately tracking eyes across the page and scanning into peripheral vision where the next word is located
- Processing visual information, which involves understanding and taking meaning from what you're looking at
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 /about-us-practice-page/our-specialty/vision-therapy-specialty/vision-and-learning-quiz/
Schedule a Neurodevelopmental Vision Evaluation to Improve Your Child's Reading Skills with Dr. Zurcher, Developmental Optometrist
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 like Dr. Zurcher. 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. Contact us today at (360) 491-2121 to learn more about how we can help your child achieve their full potential in reading and learning.
Parents who want a more thorough evaluation of their child's vision or are concerned about a potential underlying vision problem, visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of pediatric vision services for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.