Comprehensive eye exams vs functional vision exams

Published on
July 20, 2022

In most cases, people go to the eye doctor and everything looks fine. Normal comprehensive eye exams are designed to determine the health of your eyes, which is of great importance. To ensure all is well in the back of your eye, you should have your eyes dilated once a year. When an eye doctor examines your vision, the doctor checks for distance and near vision and prescribes glasses or contact lenses if you can't see clearly.

What does a functional vision exam entail?

Like a comprehensive eye exam, a functional eye exam includes checking your eye health, refraction, and whether you are nearsighted, farsighted, presbyopic, or astigmatic. During a functional vision exam, our eye doctor also carefully examines each eye to determine if the focusing system is balanced. Do you have adequate stability and flexibility? In addition, they assess how well you are able to control eye coordination and your movement patterns. 

In the event that our doctors find that there is another issue, such as binocular dysfunction, then they start investigating how this is affecting your ability to function and read. Your visualization is often effective when you struggle with certain things at home. In addition, they examine visual perceptual or motor difficulties.

What happens if the eye doctor detects a functional vision problem?

Normally, if those things are identified, you would undergo further testing. Depending on the doctors findings they will recommend a sensorimotor evaluation or perceptual evaluation to further diagnose what they are finding. At this point, you realize your vision has been affected. Even if you are able to see 20/20, your eyes are probably not well coordinated, and this is why you feel so clumsy.

In addition, you may discover that your short-term memory is impaired when you think about doing something and realize that you do not possess a good ability to visualize any kind of visual memory that will allow you to recall effectively.

Once the eye doctor has run further tests they will recommend a treatment plan. Many times that includes vision therapy. 

A considerable number of studies have shown that correcting vision problems with vision therapy can significantly reduce visual symptoms and improve reading performance.

Schedule an eye exam for vision therapy

In some cases, a standard comprehensive eye exam may not be sufficient, this is especially true when the patient is experiencing symptoms of poor vision after having an eye exam. Take our visual assessment to see if you have symptoms that indicate a functional vision problem.  It may be necessary to receive a functional eye exam to have your vision examined from all angles. Dr. Ikeda is a world renowned clinician in functional vision with decades of experience and would be happy to help you. You can schedule an eye exam for vision therapy by calling (562) 925-6591


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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