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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

A Survey of Visual Function in an Austrian Population of School-age Children with Reading and Writing Difficulties

AUTHOR:

Wolfgang Dusek

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2010

PUBLICATION:

BioMed Central

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Children’s’ learning difficulties may be related to the prevalence of binocular vision problems.

  • The value of a multi-disciplinary team approach with eyecare practitioners, vision specialists, educationalists and psychologists cannot be underestimated.

  • Further studies in Europe and other regions are needed to determine the scope of the problem.

SUMMARY

There are insufficient studies on the incidence and prevalence of binocular vision problems in school children and how this may equate with educational and other achievements.

The importance of binocular vision status on scholastic effort cannot be underestimated. Anomalies of binocular vision, including heterophorias, disorders of vergence and accommodation, if left untreated, can lead to difficulties in reading and writing that will increase with each year in school as educational demands grow.


The value of healthy binocular vision extends beyond scholastic effort and achievement. Poor vergence and/or accommodative capacity will impact on sporting performance, balance and coordination and can lead to a depletion in self-confidence.


In addition, these anomalies of vision may be compounded by underlying visual perceptual difficulties such as visual stress (visual discomfort or Meares-Irlen syndrome).

In addition to ignoring binocular vision problems, the other potential obstacle to educational and associated development in these children, is that of being misdiagnosed as dyslexics. The subsequent treatments offered would be at best inappropriate and at worst, could lead to further detriment in development.