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BINOCULAR DYSFUNCTION

The human visual system is designed so that the eyes and the reciprocating muscles work together with such a high degree of precision that the two eyes perform as if they were one. If this coordination is erratic or inefficient, eyesight can be clear at the times but blurred or even double at others. The effort to prevent such blurred or double vision can cause premature fatigue or loss of attention and comprehension during reading, desk, or computer work.

Certain types of eye teaming problems can substantially influence driving and sports and even affect balance and coordination. Some of the most common symptoms after a concussion include difficulties in this area including disorientation, poor spatial judgements, impaired balance, trouble interpreting space, internal navigation challenges, and reduced depth perception.  Stereopsis (3D Vision) is the sensation of depth attained from the successful merging of the two slightly different pictures seen in each eye into one 3-dimensional image. More simply put, in order to see in 3-D both eyes must be working together simultaneously as a coordinated team. For example, anyone who is having a less than ideal experience viewing 3-D movies, likely has some sort of vision problem. Common symptoms here include headaches, dizziness, motion sickness, eyestrain, visual fatigue, or overall avoidance of this heightened form of visual stimulation.

In extreme cases, poor eye muscle coordination can even cause crossed or lazy eyes and reduced vision in one eye. Strabismus or “crossed eye” is a condition where one or both eyes turns either up, down, inward, or outward and the person is unable to align both eyes simultaneously as they do not work together as a team. Amblyopia or “lazy eye” is a condition where someone is unable to see the smallest 20/20 letters on the eye chart even with glasses or contacts, as a result of an underlying vision problem. The most common causes are either from an imbalance in refractive power between the eyes or from a constant eye turn or strabismus where the deviated eye is misaligned. Traditionally patching has been used to treat amblyopia, but now studies have shown that combining vision therapy with active patching is more effective. 

It is never too late to treat a lazy eye! There is a common misconception that the critical period for vision development ends at age 8. This is FALSE! Evidence based medicine now confirms that there indeed is neuroplasticity well beyond the childhood years and, in fact, at any age we can treat strabismus and amblyopia and thus improve depth perception, of course with the right work.