Regular eye exams are crucial for maintaining good vision and detecting any potential issues early on. However, many people may not realize the importance of getting a thorough exam that includes testing for eye teaming and eye tracking. These tests can help identify problems that may be impacting visual function and overall quality of life, but are often overlooked during a standard eye exam.
A routine eye exam typically includes a visual acuity test to measure the sharpness of your vision, a refraction test to determine your prescription for glasses or contact lenses, and an eye health evaluation to check for any signs of disease or damage. The exam may also include a visual field test to check for peripheral vision and an eye muscle test to check for problems with eye movement or alignment.
A thorough eye exam, on the other hand, may include all of these tests and more. For example, it may include additional tests to evaluate the health of the retina, optic nerve, and other parts of the eye, such as a dilated eye exam. It may also include tests to evaluate the ability of the eyes to work together, such as tests for eye teaming and eye tracking, which are not included in routine eye exams.
Eye teaming, also known as binocularity, refers to the ability of both eyes to work together effectively. When our eyes are properly aligned and working together, we are able to see with depth perception and have a clear, stable image. However, if there is a problem with eye teaming, it can cause symptoms such as double vision, headaches, and difficulty with fine motor tasks.
Eye tracking, on the other hand, refers to the ability of the eyes to accurately follow a moving object. This is important for activities such as reading, sports, and driving. If there is a problem with eye tracking, it can cause symptoms such as difficulty reading, losing your place while reading, and difficulty following moving objects.
Both eye teaming and eye tracking can be affected by a number of conditions, including strabismus (eye turn), amblyopia (lazy eye), and convergence insufficiency. These conditions can be treated with glasses, prisms, vision therapy, or in some cases, surgery.
It is important to note that these problems may not be noticeable to the individual experiencing them, but can still be impacting their quality of life. That's why it's important to have a thorough eye exam that includes testing for eye teaming and eye tracking. This can help identify these issues early on and get the appropriate treatment.
We found a wonderful Doctor of Optometry at Nova Southeastern University. Her name is Dr. Rach A. “Stacey” Coulter, O.D. At the university they have a specialty that evaluates and manages patients with brain injuries, autism and other neurological deficits. Their optometric physicians provide visual rehabilitative therapy and a comprehensive evaluation of the visual changes associated with a history of traumatic brain injury. They are located in South Florida and can be reached at (954) 262-4200. https://nsuhealth.nova.edu/services/eye-care-institute/index.html
Now we know that a thorough and proper eye exam can take two hours or more. They do so much more than a routine eye exam. The ophthalmic medical technologist, Taylor, kept Bryce entertained the whole time. He was very interested in each step. We found out that he does indeed have an eye teaming problem. We're going back to finish up some tests and get our plan of action.
In conclusion, regular eye exams are important for maintaining good vision, but it is also important to ensure that a thorough exam is conducted that includes testing for eye teaming and eye tracking. If your kiddo is having trouble in any of the areas mentioned above, it is important to have this done asap. These tests can help identify problems that may be impacting visual function and overall quality of life, and early detection and treatment can lead to better outcomes.