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Vision Affects Learning Ability Linda was in the lowest reading group in her class. Michael was continuously striking out in Little League. Carol was afraid to try out equipment on the playground. Ben was struggling with homework.

What do all these kids have in common? Undetected vision problems. Dr. Sharieff, a development optometrist in Orange county sees cases like theirs everyday.

"Many parents assume that if their child checks out with 20/20 sight during a routine eye exam that he or she has perfect vision. But "sight", the ability to see a chart at a certain distance and "vision", the ability to interpret and understand the information taken in through the eyes are two different things," says Dr. Sharieff.

The children saw dramatic improvements after their problems were detected and treated. The treatment was totally non-invasive.

Current research indicates that almost one out of four children has a vision problem that is interfering with their academic or extracurricular achievements in athletics or the arts.

Because symptoms are often subtle, many problems go undetected because no one ever checks for them. Most children do not report signs that could indicate a learning-related vision problem. They think seeing double, having letters move around on their paper or disappear while they are reading is normal because that is all they have ever experienced. They think everyone perceives things that way.

Visual problems can manifest themselves in different ways. It is not unusual for children who spill their drinks or bump into things more than usual to have a visual problem.

Our brain and eyes work very, very closely together. Our motor response whether we walk, reach for things or track as we read depends on our ability to perceive and process everything in our environment. In simple terms -vision feeds information to the brain and it starts the learning process. Imagine if you are struggling to focus between different objects for reasons such as blurry vision, double vision – there is a terrible distraction, even an interference that affects LEARNING. During this time you have not learnt or learnt far less than normal. This starts the learning slow down and lead to multitude of problems including learning phobia. Most of these patients find it hard to keep up with the instructor.

Double vision problem often gets worse as the day goes on. Many block the vision in one eye to avoid seeing double.

Object Jumping: Some patients face this acute problem of letters or words which appear to JUMP - trying to comprehend when they experience this can be challenging

Many of the patients with problems relating to double vision (or jumping) pass the 20/20 acuity test in school screening and are undetected for a while leading to learning disability. These patients often have problem tracking, focusing, and eye teaming or perceptual skills. Many think their struggles in the classroom and/or workplace is linked to intelligence or how hard they are trying.

This vision related disorders culminate to skill problems in adults and will have detrimental problem on self-esteem and behavior. Children with these problems can grow to be troubled teens and possibly adults with behavioral problems.

A lot of times, children come in demoralized. They have been labeled lazy, learning disabled, troubled, clumsy or dyslexic and told that they are not trying even though they have been working to the best of their ability.

With proper diagnosis and treatment, reading and comprehension levels can be improved and allow these patient to live to the best of their ability. Key is timely diagnosis and corrective action.

Help is available at our center.

Is it a Vision Problem, ADD or ADHD, or Dyslexia?

Many patients with visual disorders are diagnosed to be dyslexic or have ADD and ADHD. This is due to common symptoms. Dyslexia occurs when there is eye-teaming or tracking problem. These patients sometimes pass the 20/20 acuity test indicating good vision. However, detailed vision exam would show the cause for underlying reasons for word or number reversing. True dyslexia can still be present in rare cases after vision disorders are resolved, but in many cases dyslexic symptoms disappear once the eye teaming, tracking and perceptual vision skills are strengthened

Lack of attention span, restlessness and frustration can be the result from not being able to process visual information. There symptoms that visual disorders are also common with ADD and ADHD.

A comprehensive developmental vision evaluation can determine if the symptoms are related to visual disorder. Call our offices to determine if the dyslexia, ADD or ADHD symptoms can be treated by our therapy program.

The key is finding an optometrist who evaluates for vision processing problems and is trained to detect them. Dr. Sharieff's has specialized certification beyond the doctor of optometry degree including fellowship in the area and is board certified in vision therapy. In addition, Dr. Sharieff does vision rehabilitation with brain injury patients at St. Jude Medical Center, HealthSouth Tustin Rehabilitation and UCI Medical Center in Orange County, CA.

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