Make Sure Your Child’s Eyes & Their Brain Are Talking
Are your child’s eyes working together as a team? This is a question, that most parents likely don’t think about as they drop their child off for preschool or school, but it’s actually very important.
Two functional eyes working together in partnership is essential for a child to excel in school, extracurricular activities and sports. Our two eyes individually serve a purpose and communicate quickly with our brain. The average person has ability to use both eyes to focus and see clearly, which is called binocularity. Both eyes have slightly different views that send two different images to our brain and provides us the ability to have one three-dimensional picture of the world. This 3-D capability is called stereopsis or depth perception.
When our eyes begin functioning abnormally, such as both eyes are focusing in different directions or one eye is producing a blurry image, our brain responses by turning off communication with the weaker eye. This adaptive response is called amblyopia, when one eye is favored, and the other eye no longer produces images to the brain. Amblyopia has serious consequences. One is losing the advantage of depth perception, which severely impacts our hand eye coordination. Additionally, children using only one eye frequently have great trouble learning to read, poor retention when reading, and decreased ability to concentrate on written work. This deficit can be severe enough that a child is diagnosed with a learning disorder, ADD, ADHD or even intellectually deficient. Learning-related vision problems are not learning disabilities but are visual impairments that limit a child’s ability to learn.
The good news is most visual abnormalities caused by amblyopia can be effectively treated if diagnosed early on. At Vold Vision, our pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. Sharon Napier, M.D. specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of amblyopia. If you feel your child could benefit from a thorough vision evaluation, please call Vold Vision at (479) 442-8653 to schedule an appointment with Northwest Arkansas’ only pediatric eye care team.