What is the Relationship between Eye Muscle Problems and Learning?

Some of the mechanical visual skills which are related to reading include focusing or accommodation, and eye teaming, or convergence. Fatigue of one or both the systems may interfere with reading. There is also a relationship between eye movement skills such as saccadics (whereby we change fixation from one target to the next) and smooth following movements known as pursuits and reading. Children who cannot make accurate eye movements are often found to skip lines and words while reading.

The visual system was originally designed so that the peripheral vision was responsive to motion detection (danger from the jungles) with a central portion for fine discrimination (to identify the source of danger; e.g., a lion.) In the school environment the child is expected to ignore the peripheral portion of their visual system and pay attention with the central portion. If the child can not ignore the peripheral portion, he/she becomes distracted. Improvement in eye movement skills often results in less distraction and fewer errors of skipping words while reading.

The skills may be improvable with vision therapy, which is usually performed by an optometrist specializing in vision therapy and binocular vision problems. Once the information is brought into the eyes, it must be sent back to the brain for appropriate processing. The information must be utilized and integrated with the sensory and motor areas of the brain. Defects in the perceptual (interpretation of visual system) and motor (the integration with output, e.g., hand-eye coordination) may interfere with the reading process. Perceptual motor skills are key in the early acquisition of reading skills. A deficit is important to identify very early on—i.e., five to seven years of age. Remediation of the skills at a later date, such as age 12, will be less effective on reading. Thus, early identification and treatment is essential. It is evident that there is more to good vision than 20/20.

What Are the Other Visual Components Necessary for Academic Achievement?

As mentioned previously, we should correct all optical errors of the eyes (glasses); eliminate eye muscle problems; and create smooth accurate eye movements. In addition, we should make sure that we properly interpret what we see and use it appropriately. These are known collectively as perceptual skills and include form perception, size and shape recognition, visual memory, and visual motor integration (hand-eye coordination.)

Our Locations

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Marshfield Eye Clinic

1350 Spur Drive, Suite 150
Marshfield, MO 65706-2557

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Buffalo Eye Clinic

112 West Commercial Street
Buffalo, MO 65622-7614

Our Hours

  • Monday:8:00 am  to  5:00 pm
  • Tuesday:8:00 am  to  5:00 pm
  • Wednesday:8:00 am  to  5:00 pm
  • Thursday:8:00 am  to  5:00 pm
  • Friday:8:00 am  to  5:00 pm
  • Sat. & Sun.:CLOSED

We are closed for lunch each day from 12-1.

We Support

Lions Club

Do you have an old pair of eyeglasses you are no longer using? We are presently collecting eyeglasses for the local Lion's Club chapter. Contact Us for more information.