Binocular Vision Disorder

Convergence Insufficiency

Convergence insufficiency is the most common type of binocular disorder. For many years, optometrists have excelled at helping patients through office based vision therapy. Most Ophthalmologists claim that the condition can be treated appropriately with simple, unsupervised procedures done at home, despite this having been proven to be no better than placebo therapy according to scientific studies published in medical journals.

Binocular Disorder

It sounds like we’re referring to a pair of binoculars that aren’t working right, but the term actually refers to problems in using both eyes together as a team. When the two eyes are cosmetically misaligned to the point where you can see one eye aimed in a different direction from the other eye, the condition is termed strabismus.

You might look at someone who has strabismus and think that the more obvious the eye turn, the more difficulty that person has in functioning, but this is not always the case. In fact, the person with strabismus who is well adapted may have fewer problems than the person with unstable binocular vision who is always fighting to try to use both eyes together as a team.

Ophthalmologists (eye surgeons) tend to ignore binocular disorders unless the patient is either willing to be operated on or complains of double vision. Optometrists specializing in visual function respect the patient’s energy cost in maintaining binocular vision and treat the patient accordingly to minimize eye strain and fatigue while maximizing performance.

Looking Inward:The Vision Therapy treatment of Convergence Insufficiency

Learn more about convergence insufficiency on the Convergence Insufficiency (CI) Website!

Poor Tracking

Vision Problems – Eye Movement Disorders

There are three basic types of eye movements: fixations, saccades, and pursuits. Fixation is the act of maintaining visual attention on one point in space, Saccades are voluntary eye movements used to scan the environment, the type of eye movement used when reading, and Pursuits are eye movements used to track a moving target, the type of eye movement used when following traffic.

Eye movement disorders include basic deficiencies in fixations, saccades, or pursuits.

Fixation tremors can occur in a variety of conditions, including Parkinsonism. Fixation may be difficult for a child with ADHD. Nystagmus is a condition in which the eyes oscillate back and forth. In saccade accuracy, usually drifts, overshooting or undershooting can occur in isolation in the absence of other vision problems. This is one reason why it is crucial that every patient with reading difficulty have a thorough assessment of saccade function. Traditional eye examinations do little if anything to evaluate saccades, resulting in a false sense of security that everything is fine. Deficiencies in pursuits are more likely to occur in broad neurological or motor control problems such as cerebral palsy.


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