Vision Therapy: Undiagnosed Vision Issues - Family Matters Magazine - Winter 2019

Author: Dr. Laura Cookson | | Categories: Emergency Eye Care , Eye Clinic , Eye Doctor , Eye Exam , LASIK Co-Management , Lazy Eye Treatment , Myopia Control , Neuro Vision Rehabilitation , Optometric Care , Optometry Clinic , Pediatric Eye Exam , Senior Eye Exam , Sports Vision Enhancement , Strabismus Treatment , Syntonic Therapy , Vision Rehabilitation of Traumatic Brain Injury , Vision Therapy for Amblyopia

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As I spoke about in my last two articles, vision is much more than 20/20. In fact, there are more than 12 visual skills that all come together to make up our vision1. It is the amalgamation of these skills and brain processes that give us the ability to make a meaningful interpretation of what is seen. Vision is learned, we are not born with these visual skills. We develop vision through interaction with our environment.

Vision related difficulties can manifest themselves in many ways from a child who struggles with school work, reading, or sports, to someone having headaches, light sensitivity, or trouble reading after a concussion. Unfortunately not all of the symptoms of vision issues are obvious, and often they go undiagnosed. In fact, 1 in 4 children have an undiagnosed vision issue2, and that number goes up to 60% of children with literacy challenges having undiagnosed vision problems2. What makes things difficult is that children rarely complain of vision problems, as they don’t know that what they are seeing isn’t how everyone else sees. Additionally 90% of traumatic brain injury patients suffer from visual dysfunctions3. This could be from a car accident, fall, stroke, or concussion. In many of these cases vision is overlooked, when it can be a key factor in rehabilitation.

So how can we tell when an individual has undiagnosed vision issues? The College of Optometrists in Vision Development created a survey to help us spot these cases. Take the survey below to see if you may have an undiagnosed vision issue:

Please assign a value between 0 and 4 for each symptom, based on the frequency with which it occurs. Then add up your total score at the bottom.

0= never or non-existent / 1=seldom / 2=occasionally / 3=frequently / 4=always

Blurred vision at near

                                                          

Double vision

 

Headaches associated with near work

 

Words run together when reading

 

Burning, itching, watery eyes

 

Falling asleep when reading

 

Vision worse at the end of the day

 

Skipping or repeating lines when reading

 

Dizziness or nausea associated with near work

 

Head tilt or closing one eye when reading

 

Difficulty copying from a chalkboard

 

Avoidance of reading or near work

 

Omitting small words when reading

 

Writing uphill or downhill

 

Misaligning digits or columns of numbers

 

Poor reading comprehension

 

Inconsistent and/or poor sports performance

 

Holding reading material too close

 

Trouble keeping attention on reading

 

Difficulty completing assignments on time

 

Saying "I can't" before trying

 

Avoiding sports and games

 

Poor hand-eye coordination

 

Poor handwriting

 

Difficulty judging distances accurately

 

Clumsy, often knocking things over

 

Poor time management

 

Does not like change

 

Tends to lose things or belongings

 

Car sickness/motion sickness

 

Forgetful, poor memory

 

Total

 

Survey courtesy of College of Optometrists in Vision Development (www.covd.org)

A score of 20 or greater on this survey indicates a high likelihood that you have a vision problem that is affecting your performance in work, school, athletics, and other areas of your life. It is recommended that you see a Developmental Optometrist for a Vision Therapy evaluation.

 

  1. Vision Therapy: Looking Beyond 20/20. Family Matters Magazine: Summer 2019 https://familymattersmagazine.ca/2019/06/vision-therapy-looking-beyond-20-20/
  2. Ontario Association of Optometrists https://www.optom.on.ca/
  3. Ciuffreda KJ, Kapoor N, Rutner D, Suchoff IB, Han ME, Craig S. Occurrence of oculomotor dysfunctions in acquired brain injury: a retrospective analysis. Optometry 2007;78(4):155-61.

 

Dr. Laura Cookson

Developmental, Behavioural & Rehabilitative Optometrist



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