How Do I Know If I Have a Functional Vision Issue?

How can you tell if someone, especially a child, has a vision problem? Most guardians or parents assume that their children have excellent eyesight if they are not complaining or have no visible symptoms. 


Do you know that you can have 20/20 vision but still experience problems with your functional vision? Statistics show that one in four children experience functional vision issues severe enough to affect their school performance.


What Is a Functional Vision Issue? 


Just because your eyesight is good does not mean you have good functional vision. Some people pass eye exams but still have serious problems with their functional vision. 


What does this mean? Functional vision involves four visual skills; visual processing, eye teaming, focusing, and tracking. All these visual skills are vital for learning and work performance. 


  • Visual processing - These are set of skills vital to help gather and organize visual information around you. For example, visual processing skills help you to differentiate between letters or words such as ‘b’ and ‘d’, or ‘saw’ and ‘was.’ These skills also help you assess the space around you to help you do certain things that require coordination, like riding a bike or catching a ball

  • Eye teaming - Both eyes need to work as one unit for you to have perfect vision. Research shows that the brain, which is vital in processing visual information from the eyes, may ignore any data coming through one eye. If your eyes do not team up to work as one unit, it will affect your depth perception. You may experience double vision, or words may appear to move

  • Focusing - This skill helps you view objects that are far or near clearly by focusing your vision on specific items. If you have a functional vision issue, you may struggle focusing and items may appear blurry

  • Tracking - To maintain proper flow when reading or writing, your eyes need to keep track of visual information. If they cannot keep track, your eyes may skip lines or words or jump around, making it hard to follow moving items


You may have a gifted child, but they can struggle if they have compromised functional visual skills. Adults can also underperform in their daily work duties if they have the same problem. 


Symptoms of Functional Vision Issues


Easy to spot symptoms that may indicate you or your child have a functional vision problem include:


  • Posture problems

  • Frequent headaches in temples and forehead

  • Red and itching eyes

  • Favoring one eye to use

  • Difficulty in catching objects

  • Bumping into things often or tend to be clumsy

  • Poor hand-eye coordination

  • Excessive blinking or squinting

  • Crossed or lazy eye


If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to schedule a functional vision examination as soon as possible with an experienced family doctor.


How to Prepare for a Functional Vision Exam


Before you schedule an appointment, collect and send relevant information about yourself or your child to your family doctor. Send occupational therapy assessments, reading tutor evaluations, teacher observations, neuro-psych evaluations, and medical testing results.  


These will help your doctor come up with optimum solutions to the patient’s condition. Your family doctor may also recommend vision therapy to help with the functional vision issue.


To learn if you or your child have a functional vision issue, contact Bagnell Brain Center at our office in Pinecrest, Florida. You can call (305) 889-7488 today to schedule an appointment.



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