Binocular Instability  

A child’s eyesight may be good, but his vision may be terrible

As a parent or a teacher, you must be able to make this distinction. Most children have healthy eyes. They can score an easy 6/6 on the eye charts. Even if one eye is a little near – or farsighted and the other is not – that is ‘sight’

‘Vision’ however, is a different thing. If for instance one eye is a little farsighted and the other one is a little nearsighted, they are not able to work together as a team.

The message they send to the brain is confusing. One eye delivers one message to the brain and the other eye delivers another. This is only one example of confusion of two eyes not working together.

To a child this is like being told by the father to do one thing and by the mother to do another. So the child is faced with a dilemma. Which parent (which eye message) does he listen to? This is called ‘lack of teaming’.

A teacher can expect to find symptoms of it in about 5% of the classroom.

Lack of teaming is only one of a number of vision problems that can affect learning and behaviour.

One of the most fearful oversights in medicine, education and psychology today is the neglect of children’s vision systems. We routinely test for ‘eyesight’ but rarely for ‘vision imbalances’.

Eye teaming skills (binocular fusion): This is the ability to coordinate and align the eyes precisely so that the brain can fuse the input it receives from each eye. Even a slight misalignment can cause double vision, which in turn, the brain may try to eliminate by suppressing the use of one eye.

In one way or another, the brain will react in a disturbed or in a defensive manner to confusing signals from the eyes.

By: Ina Du Plessis 011-8692488



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