Common Vision Disorders

Vision Disorders

  • Myopia (Nearsightedness)
    • condition where the eyeball is too long, so that light focuses in front of the retina
    • results in blurry distance vision
    • unless severe, rarely interferes with learning
    • corrected with a minus lens
  • Hyperopia (Farsightedness)
    • condition where the eyeball is too short, so that light focuses behind the retina
    • results in blurry near vision
    • if severe, can also cause blurred distance vision
    • corrected with a plus lens
  • Astigmatism
    • condition where an image focuses on 2 different places on the retina
    • results in blurry distance and near vision
    • no matter how the eye is focused, some part of the image stays blurry
    • commonly caused by an irregular curved cornea
  • Amblyopia (Lazy eye)
    • condition where there is decreased vision in one or both eyes that is NOT corrected with glasses or contacts
    • caused by either a high glasses prescription, a large difference between the eyes, or strabismus (eye turn)
    • most commonly associated with hyperopia or astigmatism
    • if caught early, before age 6, proper treatment can be initiated to prevent permanent loss of vision
    • Amblyopia Treatment
      • Full time use of glasses
      • Patching or covering the good eye to force the use of the weak eye
      • Eye exercises

Binocular & Accommodative Conditions

  • Strabismus (eye turn)
    • This can affect one or both eyes. The eyes may turn in, up, out, or down. If there is a constant or full time eye turn, the eye may not develop properly and amblyopia can develop. This means that the eye won’t have 20/20 vision, even with the proper glasses or contact lenses. It is important for all school-age children to have routine eye exams because early intervention can prevent permanent vision loss.
  • Phoria (eye drift)
    • Convergence Insufficiency – means that the eyes aren’t working together while reading. It is a tendency for the eyes to aim farther away than they should. Deficient skills like this very often result in discomfort or redness of the eyes. Headaches, blurred or double vision, and fatigue are also common symptoms. Faulty coordination of the eyes may interfere with one’s ability to read comfortably.
    • Convergence Excess – is a condition where the two eyes aim closer than they should. This means the eyes are over-focusing while reading and using the computer. Headaches, eyestrain, and blurred distance vision at the end of the day may occur.  Reading glasses and taking breaks during near tasks can help.
  • Accommodative Problems
    • a set of conditions where the eyes have trouble relaxing or shifting their focus.
    • Accommodative skills refer to one’s ability to focus clearly on objects as well as to sustain focus for an extended period of time. Deficient accommodation may result in discomfort of the eyes and headaches. Rapid fatigue, difficulty shifting between distance and near objects, and occasional blurring of vision may also occur. This type of focusing ability is required in prolonged reading. Improper accommodation may impact performance on near tasks, like reading and exams.

Vision Therapy

Vision is more than just 20/20. Some vision conditions require more treatment than just glasses and contacts. Common complaints from children and adults include loss of place while reading, blurry or double vision, headaches, and poor concentration. These symptoms can all be improved with vision therapy. We offer in-office and home based vision therapy to our patients in need. Vision therapy is a proven treatment to improve eye coordination, convergence, and accommodation. Crucial to comfortable vision is the ability of both eyes to work together as a team. Specifically, convergence is the ability to cross and uncross ones eyes. Accommodation is the ability to focus on near objects. Vision therapy treatment consists of repetitive exercises which train the brain and eyes to coordinate better together. Eye alignment, eye movements, and the eyes ability to focus on objects can all be enhanced.

It is especially important to diagnose these conditions early since they can have a negative impact on learning and reading skills. To evaluate a patient, a few tests are performed in the office to determine how the two eyes are working together. Sometimes a separate follow up visit is needed to describe the various eye exercises or glasses as needed.


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