Eye coordination

In normal vision your eyes will converge on the object you are looking at. Your eyes will turn slightly inward so the image is located at the centre of the retina and fall on the fovea. The angle depends on the distance to the object in view. For example, you are now looking at this page, so your eyes will be converging on the page and your eyes will be turned inward slightly. When you look out the window or across the room your eyes will adjust their angle to converge on the object you are looking at.

With convergence you have depth perception and experience the world in 3D. The brain automatically fuse the image from your left eye and right eye together into a three dimensional image.

Lack of convergence or stereo vision often affect reading and may affect ballgames and other sports where it is important to judge distance. People with monovision using only one eye generally develop alternate ways of judging distance......

It is believed that stereoscopic vision is developed by 4 months of age and will be fully established around 8 years of age. Generally it is assumed that the visual system is fully developed around the age of 8 years.

Severe convergence problems develop when one of the eyes turn in as in esotropia or when one of the eyes turn out as is the case in exotropia. This condition is known as strabismus. When the image from one eye cross the midline of the retina the brain suspend the image from that eye in order to avoid double vision. You may not even be aware of this before you are tested.

Slight convergence errors are often part of peoples vision problems. The blur may not be due to near-sight but rather to the fact that the eyes actually converge a little before the object you are looking at causing the image to be slightly blurred. If the eyes converge in front of the object viewed you will experience a slight doubling of vision. The same will be the case if your eyes are converging slightly behind the object you are viewing.

To illustrate this phenomena try this experiment. Hold up a pen or a finger in front of you. When you look at the pen/finger the background will be blurred and appear double. When you look at something at a distance you will see a blurred image of two fingers in the foreground. Looking at the near object your eyes converge on the pen/finger and the background will be beyond your point of convergence so it will appear double. Normally our attention is on the object of interest and we hardly notice the background.

How effective is Vision Training?

Vision Training is very effective in correcting co-ordiantion problems. The exercises give the brain a goal to work towards. The mind will automatically make the adjustments.

An 11 year old boy in one of my Magic eyes classes in Hong Kong said that he was a poor basket ball player because he could not get the ball into the basket. When testing the eye-coordination we discovered the reason why. His eye-coordination was a mess.

I asked him to get his dad help him cut five pieces of string, each one about four metres long. I told them to tie knots at every ten centimetres and mark them with bright colours, to make them easy to see. Then I told him to ask his dad to help him fasten one string in each of the two upper corners of the room and one string in each of the two lower corners of the room (as seen in front of him when he was sitting on the bed). The final string was to be tied to the doorknob.

I told the child to sit on the bed when everything was ready and to gather the other ends of the five strings onto his nose. The final task was for him to start putting an “X” on all the knots in the room.

The next time I saw him again he was beaming because in the last basket ball game he scored 3 times. Now his eyes knew where the basket is.

So it's easy to know how to throw the ball into the hoop.

Another example of how eye-coordination can affect reading. Lars's father said that he did not like to read he preferred sports. After fixing his eye-coordination problem Lars all of a sudden wanted to read his sister's Harry Potter book. Because now he could read for pleasure and without strain. It was that simple it took and hour and Lars was fine.

It is also important to check the ability to make rapid changes of focus from book to class room board and back. Demands in the classroom require a broad range of focusing distances ( its called “accommodative amplitude” ) from book to classroom board and back again. Both eyes must have power to focus as well as converge at both near and far quickly and accurately.

Some children have difficulty copying from the classroom board to their workbook because they do not know where they are. They have to read from the beginning every time they look up. Normally you can read half way down a page, look up and answer a question and your eyes will automatically point to the next word on the line where you left. To do this require a normal accommodative vergence function.

Yes, astigmatism can be trained away and its often very quick.

Why Are We So Quick to Blame Dyslexia for Our Child’s Reading Problems? 

We are just to quick to blame dyslexia for our child’s reading problems, but we are also quick to give them eyeglasses, not realizing that we are just making their vision worse. What’s worse is the social stigma attached to it.
Children diagnosed as dyslexics suffer from learning difficulties find themselves ridiculed, excluded, and frowned upon. In fact, I have come across several kids having dealt with similar problems growing up with an undiagnosed problem labeled as dyslexics, not convergence insufficiency.

The problems do not just end at school, but they have to endure their parent’s harsh and hurtful remarks as well as frequent comparisons with their “brighter” sibling. What’s hurts even worse is when I hear stories of children subjected to beatings and punished in a dark room for several hours. No one, not even their parents, understand that their child’s poor performance may be due to an underlying problem, not poor vision or dyslexia.

But I Understand! I Know How to Help Such Children, but before I Can Do That, I Need to Spread Awareness about This Misconception that Leads Children to Wear Eyeglasses.

Let me first share with you a story of a young boy, Byron Wong from Hong Kong.

Byron suffered from an undiagnosed eye coordination problem, which wasn’t corrected until much later in his life. His nightmare started in Year 2. His grades took a nosedive. His sister performed better than he did and whenever he received lower marks than her, the teachers would call his sister in to ask her if he studied or not.

Back home, he didn’t have much relief either with his parents taunting him with comments like “Better they gave birth to a pork chop than give birth to me” and “If you don’t want to study, you can become a farmer in China and then you will not need to study.”
When he reached Year 5, his school life worsened with his class teacher branding him with an insulting nickname. He began to hate and fear school and when he sought help from other teachers and student coordinator, he was told, “I can’t help you.”

Year 7 was his worst year yet. When he failed his geography test, his parents beat him with a cane and locked him up in the washroom without any light for several hours. In Year 8, his optometrist told him that he suffered from weak eyesight with his left eye weaker than his right eye. He prescribed Byron eyeglasses, but they did little help in correcting his vision, making it worse than before with him almost becoming blind in his left eye, he took the eyeglasses off.

Two years later, he went to Australia to start Year 10, but his vision remained poor. Since all the lessons were in English, he couldn’t read properly and barely passed Year 10. His Australian “dad” took him to a doctor, as he thought he had dyslexia. The doctor told them that he saw double lines, meaning his eyes did not work together.

He attended my Natural Vision Improvement” Class. In the class, I taught him a few vision training exercises, which helped his vision go up to 20/16. He began to passing his classes with his results averaging around 80 percent to 93 percent. 

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