Learning-Related Vision Problems

Learning-related vision problems are more common than you might expect, and these problems can negatively impact a child’s ability to learn.

Learning-Related Vision Problems in Bellflower

Amplify Eyecare of Greater Long Beach

The Link Between Vision Problems and Learning Difficulty

While it is of course only part of a larger system, vision plays a key role in the learning process. 65% of people are visual learners and 90% of the information which reaches the brain is visual.

 Many of the symptoms and behaviors commonly associated with learning disabilities are very similar to those caused by vision problems.

 

For this reason, it is very important that if a child is having trouble in school, a developmental eye exam be a part of the evaluation process.

What are Some of the Signs of a Learning-Related Vision Problem?

There are many signs or symptoms that may indicate your child has a vision problem that is impacting their learning ability. Both parents and teachers should keep an eye out for potential issues, so that a proper assessment and treatment, if necessary, can follow quickly to ensure that a minor issue does not become a major one.

These can include, among others:

  • Eye irritation
  • Having to squint to see the blackboard in class
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty reading for long periods of time
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Frequent headaches
  • Head tilting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or balance issues

 

How Might Vision Issues Be Holding My Child Back?

Vision and learning are now known to be very closely related. According to experts, up to 80 percent of what children learn in school is information which is presented to them visually. Good vision is essential for one to reach their full potential in the academic world--especially at young ages.

With some issues, it is easy to notice a problem. For example, a child who is having difficulty reading what’s on the blackboard at the front of the classroom, or a child who gets headaches when they have to read for extended periods.

Other problems are less obvious, and not always associated with vision. Trouble focusing on tasks, for example, can be caused by one of a few vision issues. Difficulty learning visually can also indicate a visual problem that can be corrected.

Essentially, any vision problem which can negatively impact academic performance falls under the category of learning-related vision problems. 

It is important for both parents and teachers to understand the role vision plays in learning so that a struggling student can get the assistance they need. Vision-related learning problems are distinct from learning disabilities such as ADHD, and treating them like learning disabilities will not help. In fact, it can make the situation worse, if the actual cause of the difficulty--a vision issue--is not addressed.

How Might Vision Issues Be Holding My Child Back?
Types of Learning-Related Vision Problems

Types of Learning-Related Vision Problems

There are several types of learning-related vision problems you should be aware of so that you can be better equipped to catch them when they arise.

There are three main types of learning-related vision problems. Two of these mainly impact visual input, and the third mainly impacts visual processing and integration.

 

Eye Health and Refractive Problems

These are problems affecting the visual acuity in the eyes (which can be measured with an eye chart and a comprehensive eye exam). Examples of refractive errors include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, among others. Eye health problems are conditions which cause low visual acuity but can’t be corrected by standard eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.

Eye health and refractive problems can lead to difficulty seeing things in the classroom or difficulty reading.

 

Functional Vision Problems

These are problems with the eye function itself, and visual function. Problems with eye teaming, fine eye movements, and accommodation are examples of functional vision problems. These sorts of problems can lead to blurred vision, double vision, eye strains, and headaches.These problems can make it difficult to focus in academic settings.

 

Perceptual Vision Problems

These sorts of problems can be more difficult to detect, as they deal with understanding what a person sees, identifying it, judging it, and relating it to previously stored information. Examples of skills that rely on perceptual vision include recognizing previously seen words, and the ability to form mental pictures based on words being read.

Separate from all of these, color blindness can potentially cause an issue as well, especially for young children where color identifying or matching activities are done in the classroom.

Types of Learning-Related Vision Problems

How to Treat Learning-Related Vision Problems

As with vision problems in general, the best treatment begins with seeing an eye doctor and having your child’s eyes properly examined.

Based on the examination results, your doctor will make the appropriate suggestions, be they corrective lenses, vision therapy, or something else.

Learning-Related Vision Problems are Not Learning Disabilities

It must be underscored that the problems discussed here are in no way learning disabilities, and should not be treated as such by parents or teachers. Because many of the symptoms are similar (a child with vision issues might also act out in class, become exhausted after any school work, or fidget while reading) these vision issues can be easily mistaken for learning or behavioral issues.

Additionally, children diagnosed with learning or behavioral disabilities have a higher incidence of vision problems. So even if your child has been diagnosed with a learning or behavioral issue, it is still a good idea to have their vision checked.

Additionally, if your child has a learning-related vision problem, it is important to reassure them that this has nothing to do with their intelligence or overall intellectual abilities. Once they receive the proper vision treatment, they will be able to perform just as well as other students.

How Might Vision Issues Be Holding My Child Back?
Dr. Ikeda cartoon

Summary

Learning-related vision problems are more common than you might think, and often misdiagnosed by teachers. Learn how to properly address them to help your child.

Related Articles

1 2 3

Testimonials


  • 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.

Blog

Lighting-Assessment---Intensity-1

Lighting as Part of A Low Vision Evaluation

A low vision evaluation is in some ways similar to a regular eye exam, and in other ways entirely different. […]

Read More
josh-applegate-p_KJvKVsH14-unsplash

Can ADD/ADHD be a Vision Problem?

According to a study, approximately 20% of 4.5 million children currently identified as having ADHD may have been misdiagnosed. Furthermore […]

Read More
pexels-monstera-6186146

Are all magnifiers the same? The difference in optics between handheld magnifiers

Hand magnifiers are hand-held devices that can be placed over an object or text to enlarge or magnify what you […]

Read More
see all blogs

Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare

Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach Logo

Working Hours

Monday & Wednesday
9:00AM–6:00PM

Tuesday & Thursday
8:00AM–5:00PM

Saturday
By appointment only

Friday & Sunday
Closed

 

 

Location
16816 Clark Ave, Bellflower, CA 90706, United States
Fax
(562) 867-8719
Website Accessibility Policy
Safety protocols page
privacy policy
Cancellation Policy
For Patients
appointment
Call Us
Referrals
Assessments
For Patients
appointment
Call Us
Referrals
Assessments
eyefile-adduserphone-handsetcalendar-fullarrow-uparrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram