Vision Therapy for Eye Tracking Problems
Eye tracking is a term for the coordinated and precise eye movements crucial for reading efficiency and sports performance. It involves three important skills:
- Fixation – tracking skills of sustained and steady gaze required for visual attention and recall.
- Pursuit – coordinated eye movements essential for following moving targets and accurate eye-hand coordination.
- Saccade – precise eye movements from one target to another that are important for reading efficiency.
Eye tracking problems can result in loss of place or skipping lines while reading, re-reading lines, confusing or omitting small words, or poor eye-hand coordination. Without a sufficient ability to track movement, learning ability and sports performance both suffer.
Vision therapy can help eye tracking patients re-train the eyes to improve those skills needed to track words and objects accurately. Exercises reintroduce movement and strategically train the eyes to respond quickly to movement in a way that provides relevant information to the brain.
How to Identify & Diagnose Eye Tracking Problems
Monitoring reactions when performing close work or when playing sports is one of the best ways to identify whether eye tracking problems are affecting your or your child’s performance. Look for symptoms of eye tracking problems such as:
- Poor reading accuracy (guessing at words, mistaking word prefixes and suffixes -could say mistaking similar words)
- Frequent rereading or loss of place
- Head movement or tilting to compensate for tracking loss
- Difficulty writing or copying text
Most symptoms are the result of an inability to concentrate or focus and can affect reading comprehension as well. Such an inability can likely be traced back to the strain of having to reset eye tracking consistently.
Test your or your child’s ability to perform close work by undertaking such tasks as:
- Playing ball sports
- Reading in a well-lit area
- Working at a computer
- Maybe add copying from afar
You or your child is likely to use compensation strategies subconsciously to counteract deficits in fine motor control. An eye exam at the Optometry Center for Vision Therapy (OCVT) will help determine if you or your child is coping with eye tracking problems and how treatment with vision therapy exercises can begin to correct it.
Vision Therapy for Adults and Children with Eye Tracking Problems
As is true with most vision problems, the best time to seek therapy for eye tracking problems is during childhood. The brain has a better chance of making a consider saying (the brain has a efficient chance of making) permanent positive change as it develops throughout a child’s life.
However, eye tracking problems in adults will still see improvement with sustained exercise through vision therapy treatment. Strategies may differ for adults, but hard work and constant motivation can help repair eye tracking problems for fully developed brains.
What Can I Expect from Eye Tracking Therapy?
A developmental optometrist will custom-design an exercise plan to the severity of the eye tracking problems you or your child is experiencing. An OCVT therapist will then guide you through exercise sessions and your OCVT doctor will monitor your progress to determine the next steps.
Exercises may include:
- Throwing and catching activities
- Reading exercises
- Precision eye movement practice
- Technology for brain feedback on eye-hand coordination and tracking accuracy
Results rely heavily on your active participation and willingness to continue working on your vision (in the clinic and at home) at home as well as the clinic. Over time, your brain will adjust to the muscle movements involved in your exercises, and you’ll experience less strain and effort when performing everyday tasks.
How Do I Schedule an Appointment for Eye Tracking Therapy?
Come into the location nearest you or call during our office hours to speak with us directly. You can also schedule a complementary consultation directly by filling out our form. We encourage you to complete this thorough consultation at OCVT at the first sign of eye tracking problems in infants and toddlers, whether a visual condition is apparent or not. Also, please do not hesitate to contact us if you cope with adult eye tracking deficiencies.
We’re waiting at your nearest location to help you begin your treatment as soon as possible.