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Binocular Vision Evaluation

During the eye health examination, your eye doctor evaluates how healthy your eyes are.  In addition, your doctor will determine whether a prescription is needed to help you see clearly either up close for reading or in the distance (to see the board in the classroom or for driving). However, when a problem is detected in the way one’s eyes function together when reading it is necessary to do more in-depth testing.  This helps the doctor to determine the depth of the problem as well as the best treatment options.

The binocular vision evaluation is much more in-depth than the regular eye exam.  During this evaluation the doctor will be testing all the visual skills required for reading and learning, as well as other activities of daily life.

Most people think of “20/20” as perfect or normal vision, even though all it means is you are able to see a certain size letter on the eye chart from a distance of 20 feet.  This test tells us nothing about the visual skills that play a vital role in reading and learning.  The eye health examination is required as the first step because the doctor first has to rule out the possibility of disease, in addition to determining whether or not glasses are needed.   When the doctor finds that there are problems associated with doing work up close that are not easily fixed with glasses, the additional testing is recommended.

If any of the visual skills required for reading are inadequate or lacking, one will have difficulties with reading, including trouble remembering what was read.  For some, the smaller the print is in books, the greater the difficulty.  Often children who did well prior to third or fourth grade will start struggling with academic performance because of the change in the size of the print.

The evaluation takes about an hour.  After the testing is completed there will be a second appointment to review the results of the testing.  If the patient is a child, it is requested that only the parents be present for the meeting with the doctor so there can be a full discussion of the child’s difficulties in addition to the diagnosis.