ACBO has produced a range of information resources designed in patient-friendly language to help you understand some common vision problems and how to deal with them. The following articles are general information only. For advice specifically tailored to your situation, you should consult a Behavioural Optometrist for a comprehensive assessment.
Vision problems and symptoms are among the most common difficulties associated with acquired brain injuries. The nerve systems that control the way the eyes work and focus together, and transmit the visual information to the back of the brain for understanding of our visual world, are the most complex systems of the brain. Vision enables us to be aware of our surroundings and to know where we are in our world, to steer our walking through our environment, to direct hand and other actions to write and hold things, and to help us stay balanced.
Eye teaming problems (technically known as Convergence Insufficiency) is when you have trouble keeping both eyes turned in to point in the same position when you are doing close work like reading, writing, computer work.
People who can't keep their eyes converged generally have very few visual symptoms. However they do tend to have poorer fine eye-hand and visual motor skills and may avoid near-centered tasks.
Behavioural Optometry involves an understanding of VISION and how it is different from EYESIGHT. EYESIGHT simply involves seeing an eyechart on the wall, while Behavioural Optometry is more interested in VISION.
Vision includes sharpness of sight at distance and near; ability to aim and focus the eyes properly especially for near vision tasks such as reading and computers; the ability to sustain focus for long periods of time for reading and computers; tracking the eye movements for reading fluency and accuracy; processing of the visual information each the eyes take in; and of course health of the eyes inside and out.
There has been an explosion of electronic media in recent times and rather than just reading and writing we are now spending significantly more time looking at electronically produced information. All this means that we are spending much more time concentrating at near distance in a sustained way over extended periods of time. This is especially true in the younger generation and raises serious concerns for developing eyes and visual systems.
Preparations for the first day of school are many; uniform, school bag, lunch box, favourite toy or book – all in preparation for the adventure and discovery of learning and life at school. But in this excitement and anticipation, many parents overlook the importance of their child’s eyes and vision.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology and other authorities recommend an eye examination before a child commences school to ensure that there are no undetected vision problems that may affect learning. A recent study of children in QLD showed that undetected vision problems could cause lower NAPLAN scores compared to kids without vision problems.
We’re often told to exercise our minds and our bodies, but did you know that it’s just as important to exercise our vision? Vision therapy is a growing field that is helping to treat adults, children and athletes with a range of conditions, from headaches and learning difficulties, to clumsiness and more. Here are some tips from Meredith Graham, Behavioural Optometrist at Harmony Vision Care in Queensland.
Focussing problems are also known as Accommodative Dysfunction, particularly at near. This is not so much an eyesight (or clarity) difficulty as a problem in maintaining accurate, comfortable focus particularly with near work.
"But why does my child have a focussing problem?"