Eye coordination is the ability of both eyes to work together as a team. Each of your eyes sees a slightly different image and your brain, by a process called fusion, blends these two images into one three-dimensional picture. Good eye coordination keeps the eyes in proper alignment. Eye coordination is a skill that must be developed. Poor eye coordination results from a lack of adequate vision development in one or both eyes, or improperly developed eye muscle control. Although rare, an injury or disease can cause poor eye coordination.
A person usually compensates for poor eye muscle control by subconsciously exerting extra effort to maintain proper alignment of the eyes. In more severe cases, the muscles cannot adjust the eyes so that the same image is seen and double vision occurs. This is called strabismus. Because the brain will try to avoid seeing double, it eventually learns to ignore the image sent by one eye. This can result in amblyopia, a serious vision condition commonly known as lazy eye.
Some signs and symptoms that may indicate poor eye coordination include double vision, headaches, eye and body fatigue, irritability, dizziness and difficulty in reading and concentrating. Children may also display characteristics that may indicate poor eye coordination including covering one eye, turning or tilting their head, skipping lines or losing their place while reading, poor sports performance, avoiding tasks that require close work and tiring easily.
A comprehensive examination by a doctor of optometry can determine the extent, if any, of poor eye coordination. Poor eye coordination is often successfully treated with eyeglasses and/or vision therapy. The success rate for achieving proper eye coordination is quite high. Sometimes, eye coordination will improve when other vision conditions like nearsightedness or farsightedness are corrected. In some cases, vision therapy is prescribed which uses specific eye exercises done at home or in a doctor’s office. In some cases of stabismus, surgery may be necessary.
*source: www.aoa.org 10/08