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Is your “20/20 vision” child still struggling in school?

While 20/20 vision is considered "normal" or "good" vision, it does not necessarily guarantee optimal visual abilities for learning in the classroom. Here are a few reasons why 20/20 vision may not be sufficient:

  • Visual Acuity vs. Visual Skills: 20/20 vision refers to visual acuity, which is the ability to see clearly at a standard distance. However, vision encompasses more than just clear eyesight. Visual skills such as eye teaming, focusing, tracking, and visual perception are essential for efficient reading, writing, and comprehending visual information in the classroom. Even with 20/20 vision, a child may still have difficulties with these visual skills, impacting their learning experience.

  • Eye Teaming and Binocular Vision: Eye teaming, also known as binocular vision, refers to the coordinated movement and alignment of both eyes. It allows for single, clear, and comfortable vision. Some children may have difficulties with eye teaming, leading to eye strain, double vision, or poor depth perception. These issues can affect their ability to read and write for extended periods, causing eye fatigue and reduced concentration.

  • Focusing Ability: Clear vision at various distances is important in the classroom, where students frequently shift their focus between the board, their books, and their desks. Accommodative (focusing) problems can affect a child's ability to maintain clear vision at different distances, leading to eyestrain, blurred vision, or difficulties sustaining focus for extended periods.

  • Visual Tracking: Visual tracking refers to the ability to smoothly and accurately move the eyes across a line of text or follow a moving object. Students need efficient visual tracking skills for reading, copying from the board, or tracking objects during sports activities. Challenges with tracking can lead to skipping words or lines, losing their place while reading, or difficulties with following instructions.

  • Visual Perception: Visual perception involves the brain's ability to interpret and make sense of visual information. This includes skills such as visual discrimination, visual memory, and spatial awareness. Even with 20/20 vision, a child may struggle with visual perception difficulties, affecting their ability to recognize shapes, letters, or patterns accurately.

  • Visual Processing Speed: Visual processing speed refers to how quickly the brain processes and interprets visual information. In the classroom, students often need to process visual information rapidly, such as recognizing letters, words, or visual cues. A slower visual processing speed can impact a child's ability to keep up with the pace of classroom activities and can hinder their overall learning experience.

It is important to recognize that vision is a complex system that involves various visual skills working together. While 20/20 vision is essential to visual health, it does not provide a complete picture of a child's visual abilities. If your child is struggling academically and was already told their vision is perfect, a second opinion by a Developmental Optometrist will dive deeper into the functionality of the visual system.

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