Normally, we have 2 eyes which are able to work together as a team.

This means when we look at an object, both our eyes are pointing at that object in a precise and coordinated way, giving us single comfortable vision which we can sustain for long periods. This is good eye teaming.

Good eye teaming is an important skill for visual acuity during reading. If your child has poor eye teaming, they may see overlapping images which may cause problems when reading for any length of time. Because vision is not comfortable when your child sees double or when they can’t sustain a single vision for long, they may tend to avoid reading tasks.

Here is what a child with eye teaming problem may see:

Eye teaming problems are usually diagnosed as either Convergence Insufficiency or Convergence Excess.

Convergence Insufficiency is when the brain perceives an object at near to be farther away than it is, which results in the need for extra effort to be used as the eyes and brain must work harder in order to point accurately at the object. Therefore, the eyes have a tendency to turn slightly outward when viewing close objects due to this problem with localisation.

Convergence Excess is when the brain perceives an object at near to be closer than it is, which results in the need for extra effort to be used as the eyes and brain must work harder in order to point accurately at the object. Therefore, the eyes have a tendency to turn slightly inward when viewing close objects due to this problem with localisation.

Signs and Symptoms Your Child May Have Poor Eye Teaming Include...

  • Losing place when reading
  • Falling behind with schoolwork
  • Getting headaches when doing homework
  • Not being able to sustain long reading sessions because child may “feel sick”
  • Loss of attention and concentration
  • Slow reader or dislikes reading
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Covering one eye or laying their head on the table in an effort to stop seeing double
  • May have headaches or eye strain when watching 3D movies

Why Should Parents Be Concerned?

About 10% of school-age kids have eye teaming problems. Why don’t they complain? The reason is they have no yardstick of comparison that tells them their vision is different from that of others. Kids don’t realise that they’re working their eyes much harder that their friends just to see a single, clear image.

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When both eyes are not working as a team, it’s like they’re fighting each other as each eye sends a different image to the brain. This confuses the brain and may cause it to favour one eye while ignoring the other eye, a condition known as amblyopia.

Good eye teaming is one of three critical visual skills needed for your child to have clear, comfortable vision while reading. The other two are good eye focusing (ability of the eyes to maintain a clear image or focus at varying distances) and good eye tracking (ability of the eyes to follow in a smooth pursuit or move from spot to spot).

During reading, the eyes are required to turn inwards (converge) to aim at the word being read. If your child’s eye or eyes have a tendency to deviate outwards, this requires extra efforts to pull the eye back in and maintain fixation. You may begin to notice your child avoiding any task that requires reading.

How Can We Help?

Trained
Experts

Our optometrists are well trained and equipped to diagnose and treat eye teaming problems and find the best solution for kids and adults whose eyes are not working in tandem. We don’t only check for clarity of vision but also check whether the brain correctly interprets what the eyes see.

Check If Vision Is the Real Cause

Left untreated, eye teaming problems may show up as a learning difficulty. Our optometrists know that eye teaming problems are visual efficiency problems, not language based reading dysfunctions. We will help determine if vision is the basis of your child’s struggle to read through targeted tests.

Fun Activities That Work

We use a variety of different activities that will encourage your kids’ eyes to work together and improve their perception of visual space. These activities are fun and effective, and we have found that many kids we’ve treated actually look forward to their next vision therapy session!

Kids Learn to Use Their Eyes Better

We will help your child read for longer periods without experiencing eye strain, begin to experience the benefits of binocular vision, and develop a new level of confidence at school as their eyes begin to work better together and reading becomes more comfortable for them.

Don’t let eye teaming problems stop your child’s love for reading. Book a Behavioural Optometry test today.

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