Understanding Visual Symptoms

Many people mistakenly think that vision is simply eyesight, and that if one has 20/20 vision, that they have no vision problems. However, this is far from the truth. There is much more to the visual system, and in order to properly recognize and understand the various vision issues that can arise, as well as their symptoms.

Understanding Visual Symptoms in Olympia

American Family Vision Clinic

Physical Symptoms

Some symptoms are easily observable in one’s actions, or how one feels on a regular basis. These include:

Frequent Headaches

If a child is having vision issues, especially issues like convergence insufficiency which make focusing difficult, the eye strain caused by attempts to force themselves to focus can lead to regular headaches.

Head Tilting

If a child tilts their head often while looking at either near or distant objects, it can signify a refractive error. The head tilting, which may be done unconsciously, helps them realign their eyes to better see.


Chronic fatigue can also be caused by increased eye strain due to one of several vision issues which makes daily activities more arduous and stressful.

Learning or Activity-Related Symptoms

Not all symptoms are obviously spotted through everyday activity. Some only present themselves during certain activities, such as reading or playing sports.

Reading Difficulties (slow speed, poor comprehension, skipping letters or lines)

Numerous vision issues can make reading a challenge, and that difficulty can manifest in multiple ways. In addition to the symptoms listed above, if a child uses their finger to mark the place as they read, it can also be an indicator of a vision issue.

Poor Hand-Eye Coordination

While some might not immediately recognize that difficulties with activities requiring hand-eye coordination as a vision issue, it very much is. Hand-eye coordination relies on the brain processing information received via the eyes. A child with poor handwriting, or who struggles in sports, may well have a vision issue that is holding them back.

Dr. Zurcher cartoon


There is more to the vision than can be measured via a simple test. Someone struggling with a vision issue can exhibit one of several symptoms. Some of these are obvious in everyday activities, while others are more subtle and are only noticeable during certain activities. It’s important to be able to recognize these in your child, and to understand that these can signify a vision issue, so that they can be properly diagnosed and receive the treatment necessary to correct it. If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

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Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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