March Newsletter: Vision Therapy for Eye Teaming

Woman with strabismus up close.

Resolving Eye Teaming Problems through Vision Therapy

Poor eye teaming skills could be the reason why your head hurts when you read or your vision looks blurry. Eye teaming problems can affect your vision even if you wear prescription eyeglasses or have 20/20 vision. Luckily, vision therapy offers an effective way to improve your vision issues.

More Than Just Blurry Vision: Poor Eye Teaming Symptoms

Your brain creates an image by combining information each it receives from your eyes. Normally, your eyes work together as a team, with each eye sending similar information to the brain. If you have an eye teaming problem, your brain receives different information from each eye. As a result, your brain might have difficulty producing a single sharp image.

Poor eye teaming causes a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Eyesight Problems. As your brain struggles to combine the different signals from your eyes, you may notice blurry or double vision.
  • Headaches and Eyestrain. Headaches or eyestrain can occur when your eyes and brain have to work much harder to provide good vision.
  • Short Attention Span. People who have eye teaming problems may struggle to concentrate, pay attention, or remember the words they've just read.
  • Words That Won't Stay Still. Words that seem to jump or move on the page make reading difficult when you have an eye teaming problem.
  • Poor Depth Perception. Eye teaming issues can also affect your depth perception and increase your risk of falls and injuries.

Finding the Cause of Your Vision Problem

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, it may be helpful to pay a visit to a vision therapist. Vision therapists are optometrists who specialize in helping patients improve their visual skills. During your appointment, your vision therapist conducts a variety of tests that helps him or her determine why you're having trouble with your vision.

Poor eye teaming skills could be related to one of these vision conditions:

  • Convergence Insufficiency. Your eyes must turn inward slightly when you focus on the words on a page or an object close to your face. If you have convergence insufficiency, both your eyes struggle to turn inward or one eye may drift outward when you focus. Convergence insufficiency can occur for unknown reasons or may be related to another problem, like a head injury, stroke, or Parkinson's disease.
  • Convergence Excess. Convergence excess is the opposite of convergence insufficiency. It happens when the eyes turn inward too much when focusing.
  • Strabismus. Strabismus, commonly called "crossed" eyes, happens when the eyes are misaligned. The condition often occurs in children, although it can be caused by diabetes, a thyroid disorder, a stroke, a blood vessel problem, or a head injury.
  • Amblyopia. Amblyopia, or "lazy eye," occurs when the brain ignores the signals from one eye. The condition can happen if strabismus remains untreated.

Improving Eye Teaming with Vision Therapy

Vision therapy is designed to improve communication between the brain and the eyes and help your eyes coordinate their movements more effectively. As part of your vision therapy plan, your vision therapist may recommend prism lenses. These special eyeglass lenses bend light rays, ensuring that each eye sends the same messages to the brain.

During therapy sessions, you'll participate in hands-on activities, like using a small bat to hit specific numbers on a dangling ball or moving beads suspended on a string to improve your focusing skills.

Video games and virtual reality games are often used in vision therapy, too. While you're popping bubbles or shooting at moving targets on the screen, you'll be improving your focusing and eye teaming skills.

Vision therapy offers proven results for eye teaming disorders and other vision conditions. Vision therapy helped Korean children with convergence insufficiency improve their focusing ability in a study published in the Journal of Ophthalmic & Vision Research in 2017. Virtual reality games also offer important benefits and have helped the brain recognize input from the weaker eye in patients with amblyopia, according to the results of several research studies.

Need help improving your eye teaming skills? Contact our office to schedule a comprehensive vision examination.


NCBI: Journal of Ophthalmic & Vision Research: Effectiveness of Vision Therapy in School Children with Symptomatic Convergence Insufficiency, April - June, 2017

Forbes: Through a New Lens: The Promise of Virtual Reality for Enhancing Vision Therapy, 9/17/2023

All About Vision: Binocular Vision, Eye Teaming and Binocular Vision Dysfunction, 8/8/2023

Journal of Vision: Action Video Games as a Treatment of Amblyopia in Children: A Pilot Study of a Novel, Child-Friendly Action game, 8/14

The Open Ophthalmology Journal: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Convergence Insufficiency Prevalence and Management Options, 3/8/2023


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