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Vision Therapy for Oculomotor Dysfunction

Eye tracking is the ability of our eyes to move from one spot to another while maintaining focus on what is being looked at. This is a crucial visual skill required for fluent reading and other day to day tasks such as driving. Oculomotor dysfunction, also known as eye tracking difficulty, is the inability of the eyes to track effectively and is a common dysfunction found in school-aged children and struggling readers in general.

There are three oculomotor skills: fixation, pursuits, and saccades. Fixation is the ability of the eyes to look steadily at a stationary object. Pursuits are the ability of the eyes to smoothly and accurately follow a moving object such as following a moving ball. Saccades are the eyes’ ability to look from one object to another in a quick and accurate manner such as when reading text on a page. Oculomotor dysfunction causes symptoms such as loss of place when reading, skipping words, and the tendency to use a ruler or finger when reading.

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

Loss of place when reading
Skipping words
Skipping lines
Omitting words
Substituting one word with another
Using a ruler or finger to guide when reading
Excessive head movement when reading
Poor attention span
Poor reading comprehension

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Vision therapy is the best approach for treating oculomotor dysfunction. An individualized vision therapy program for oculomotor dysfunction includes customized vision activities that train the brain to make controlled eye movements while simultaneously maintaining focus on what is being read and working the eyes as a coordinated team. One cannot outgrow oculomotor dysfunction, so it is recommended to treat it as early as possible before it starts to impact a child’s academic, sports performance or before they develop any compensatory mechanisms such as head turns when reading.

Absolutely! Vision therapy can be successfully performed on children as well as adults. The neuroplasticity of our brain makes it possible to train and re-train it at any stage in life.

Vision Therapy may be covered under medical insurance and most health spending plans. This is different from vision insurance, which typically covers routine eye examinations, eyeglasses and contact lenses. At the end of the vision therapy assessment, our clinic provides you with medical diagnostic codes that apply to the conditions that were diagnosed during the assessment and a detailed report of the diagnosis and treatment plan. This information can be submitted to the insurance company.

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.