How Vision Problems Affect Learning

Image of kids at school.

Reading is an instrumental part of your child’s ability to learn. In order to write complete sentences or do mathematical problems, a child must first be able to understand what is on the page in front of them. If your child is suffering from vision problems, it may be drastically interfering with their ability to learn.

Types of Vision Problems

There are several types of vision problems, all of which can affect your child’s ability to read, write and succeed in the classroom in different ways. The following are some common vision problems that children may suffer form.

Refractive Errors. Children and adults with a refractive error have an irregularly shaped cornea that does not bend light properly. This leads to images appearing blurry. Refractive vision problems include farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. If your child holds a book very close to their eyes or squints when trying to read, they may be suffering from a refractive vision problem. If children with refractive errors cannot properly see the chalkboard or a book in front of them, learning becomes difficult — especially if the refractive error goes undiagnosed.

Functional Vision Problems. These refer to problems affecting the way that the eye and brain work together. When neurological control of certain eye functions fail, problems in eye teaming (binocularity), accommodation (i.e., the ability of the eye to change optical power to focus on an object at different distances), hand-eye coordination, peripheral vision or fine eye movements (which are necessary for reading) may occur. A child with a functional vision problem may spend the majority of their time simply trying to focus on a written word instead of comprehending what is being described in the text.

Perceptual Vision Problems. Perceptual vision problems are characterized by difficulty understanding and identifying what one sees and judging the importance of it. Another characteristic of a perceptual vision problem is difficulty relating an image to information that has been stored in the brain. For example, children with perceptual vision problems may not recognize a word that they have already seen, making learning difficult for the child.

If you think that your child may be suffering from a vision problem that is affecting their ability to learn, contact us for help.

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