VTC Logo

Vision Therapy for Accommodative Dysfunction

Accommodative dysfunction, also known as eye focussing difficulty, is a common cause of eyestrain and headaches. Normally, when we look at something up close, then far away, then back up close again, our eyes quickly change focus to allow us to see things clearly at all distances. This visual ability, called accommodation, is an automatic focussing system. 

Accommodative dysfunction can present as the inability to sustain focus at near or the inability to switch focus from near to far and vice versa. This is usually a frustrating situation for the individual as they often have “20/20” vision but they are unable to either sustain that clear vision for longer than a few seconds or minutes when doing near tasks such as reading or they are unable to maintain clear vision when switching focus from near to far or vice versa such as when copying from the board. Children with accommodative dysfunction will commonly complain of blurry vision in the classroom despite having “20/20” vision. 

Symptoms that indicate that you or your child may have accommodative dysfunction

Blurred vision
Fluctuating vision
Headaches when reading or doing near work
Poor attention
Avoidance of reading or writing
Words moving around on a page
Difficulty maintaining clear vision when reading
Eyestrain and/or pain around the eye
Poor reading and overall school performance

This is what reading a paragraph may look like to someone with accommodative dysfunction

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Accommodative dysfunction can be treated with vision therapy alone or a combination of vision therapy and eyeglasses. An individualized vision therapy program for accommodative dysfunction includes customized vision activities to improve accommodative magnitude, accuracy, speed and flexibility with the goal of providing the ability of reading and doing near work for an extended period of time without any symptoms such as blurred vision, fatigue or headaches. 

No. A vision therapy assessment is a thorough examination to detect any functional vision or visual information processing delays. If any of those are detected, then vision therapy is recommended, and the severity of the conditions and the estimated length of treatment can be determined. However, if it is found that the person’s symptoms are not due to an underlying visual condition, then vision therapy is not required. Thus, if you suspect a functional vision or visual information processing delay with yourself or your child, the first step is always to book a vision therapy assessment with the Developmental Optometrist. At the end of the assessment, the doctor will be able to tell you whether or not vision therapy can help.

Book an Appointment

Schedule a Vision Therapy Assessment with our board-certified developmental optometrist, Dr. Arora, for a thorough assessment of your visual skills and visual processing speed.