Most people who have binocular vision disorders can see the letters on the eye chart easily.  That’s because the eye chart test takes a few minutes.  Binocular vision problems may not cause any difficulties until one has read or done a visual activity for 5 or more minutes.

Binocular vision refers to the ability of our two eyes to work together to create a single, three-dimensional image of the world around us. When we look at an object, both eyes send slightly different images to the brain, which then combines them into a single, clear image with depth and dimension.

However, for some people, this process doesn't work as smoothly as it should, leading to what are known as binocular vision problems or binocular vision dysfunction. Signs there is a problem include:

  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye strain or fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty with depth perception
  • Poor eye-hand coordination
  • Difficulty with reading and writing
  • Anxiety connected with driving
  • Problems with balance and spatial awareness

Binocular vision problems can affect people of all ages, but they are especially common in children and individuals who have had concussions or other head injuries. Fortunately, most binocular vision problems can be successfully treated with special eyeglasses or contact lenses, or in some cases, vision therapy. However, early detection and intervention is key to preventing long-term vision.

Causes of Binocular Vision Disorders

There are a number of factors that can contribute to the development of binocular vision problems, including:

Genetic factors

Some binocular vision problems are hereditary, meaning they are passed down from one or both parents. For example, strabismus (often called “crossed eyes”) is typically inherited.

Developmental factors

Binocular vision problems can also result from developmental issues, including being born prematurely.  These visual problems may be caused by poor visual stimulation during the critical early years of life or may be related to other developmental disorders, such as autism or cerebral palsy.

Injury or trauma to the eyes and/or brain

Injury or trauma to the eyes or brain can also lead to binocular vision problems. This can include damage to the eye muscles or nerves, as well as eye injuries that cause a misalignment of the eyes. 

In addition, research has shown that 69% of adolescents who experienced a concussion had binocular vision disorders. *

*Clinical Pediatrics, July 2015 “Vision Diagnoses Are Common After Concussion in Adolescents.”

Neurological conditions

Finally, some binocular vision problems may be related to neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, or stroke.

 

Impact of Binocular Vision Disorders

Binocular vision problems can have a significant impact on our lives and the lives of children. Some of the ways binocular vision problems can impact our lives include:

 

Difficulty with reading and writing

Binocular vision problems can make it difficult to read and write. Individuals with binocular vision problems may have trouble tracking lines of text, lose their place while reading, or experience headaches or eye strain while reading or writing.

Poor performance in sports and other activities

Binocular vision problems can also make it difficult to participate in sports or other activities that require good hand-eye coordination and depth perception. Children with binocular vision problems may struggle with catching or hitting a ball, riding a bike, or navigating a playground.

Social and emotional issues

Children with binocular vision problems may also experience social and emotional issues as a result of their vision difficulties. They often think everyone sees the same way they do and may become frustrated or discouraged by their struggles with reading or participating in activities, leading to low self-esteem or anxiety.

Behavioral problems

In some cases, binocular vision problems can lead to behavioral problems in children. Children who are struggling with vision may avoid reading or schoolwork.  When forced to read or do schoolwork they can become irritable or easily distracted, leading to problems with attention or behavior in school or at home.

 

Overall, the impact of binocular vision problems can be significant, affecting not just vision but also many other areas of a child's life. That's why it's so important to detect and treat binocular vision problems early to ensure that children are able to thrive and succeed.

 

 

Binocular Vision Problems Can Be Mistaken for Learning Disabilities, ADD, Dyslexia, etc.

Binocular vision problems can sometimes be mistaken for learning disabilities or dyslexia, particularly in cases where one is struggling with reading or writing. It can be very difficult to decode words if one cannot see the letters correctly.

Similarly, it can be very difficult to pay attention for any length of time when one cannot make sense of what they are trying to read or look at.    It is vital that one is evaluated for binocular vision disorders before being evaluated for other issues. Be sure to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Peace.

 

Treatment of Binocular Vision Problems

Binocular vision problems can often be successfully treated with a variety of interventions, including:

Eyeglasses or contact lenses

In some cases, special eyeglasses or contact lenses may be prescribed to aid in the correction of binocular vision problems. These therapeutic lenses are designed to improve how the eyes function and can sometimes help improve focusing and eye coordination depending on the type of visual problem.

Vision Therapy

Vision therapy is a type of physical therapy for the eyes that is designed to improve how the eyes and brain work together.  Depending on the depth of the vision problem sometimes special lenses worn in regular glasses can solve the problem.  In other situations, an in-office program is needed. It involves a series of in-office exercises and activities that are tailored to the individual needs of the patient and are performed one-on-one with a vision therapist.

 

Importance of early detection and intervention

Early detection and intervention are key to treating binocular vision problems effectively. Children should have regular eye exams by a Developmental Optometrist starting at a young age to detect any vision problems early on. If binocular vision problems are detected, prompt treatment can help prevent long-term vision problems and ensure that children are able to succeed in school and other areas of life.

 

The next step

Overall, there are a variety of treatments and strategies that can help with binocular vision problems. By working with a Developmental Optometrist and following a comprehensive treatment plan, individuals with binocular vision problems can overcome their challenges and thrive in school, work and in life.

If you or your child are experiencing any of the symptoms of binocular vision problems, it's important to take action and seek treatment as soon as possible. By addressing these issues early on, you can help prevent long-term vision problems. 

Don't wait – contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Peace and take the first step to finding out if you or your child has a correctable binocular vision problem.

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