Eye muscle coordination is a skill that must be developed early in childhood.  It can be defined as both eyes having the ability to work together as a team.  Each of your eyes sees a slightly different image.  These two images are blended together by your brain into one three-dimensional picture by a process called fusion.  Good eye muscle coordination keeps the eyes in proper alignment.  Poor eye muscle coordination is the result of lack of adequate vision development or improperly developed eye muscle control and can be treated.

Because the images seen by each eye must be fused, a person will compensates for poor eye muscle control by subconsciously exerting extra effort to maintain proper alignment of the eyes. In some cases, the muscles cannot adjust the eyes so that two images are seen and double vision occurs. 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.

Signs and symptoms that may indicate poor eye coordination in young as well as older adults include double vision, headaches, eye and body fatigue, irritability, dizziness and difficulty in reading and concentrating.  It is especially important to watch for these characteristics in school aged children.  Specifically those signs that may display poor eye muscle coordination in children include covering one eye, skipping lines or losing their place while reading, poor sports performance and avoiding tasks that require close work and tiring easily with those same tasks.

Because poor eye coordination can be difficult to detect, it is important to have a comprehensive vision and eye health exam yearly at minimum during school age years.  We recommend an initial examination as early as 6-12 months through the InfantSEE program we participate in at both our Stillwater and Pawnee locations.  InfantSEE provides free vision analysis for infants 6-12 months.  The evaluation is simple to go through and provides invaluable information.

Follow up examinations should be at age three, five, and then yearly until graduation.  Statistics show that 3 in 10 children are at risk for undiagnosed vision problems and most are missed without a vision and eye health exam.  Unfortunately, statistics show that only 47% of high school students have had an eye exam by the time they graduate.  Vision demands change yearly as curriculums change and become more difficult over time.  A comprehensive examination by an optometrist can determine the extent, if any, of poor eye coordination or other vision problems that may exist.

Poor eye muscle coordination is often successfully treated with eyeglasses and/or vision therapy. The success rate for achieving proper eye muscle coordination is quite high. Sometimes, eye muscle coordination will improve when other vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism are corrected.

If you think your child demonstrates any of the previously mentioned signs or symptoms please call our offices in Stillwater at 405-372-1715 or Pawnee at 918-762-2573 for more information or to schedule an exam.  We also invite you to visit our website at www.cockrelleyecare.com and like us on Facebook at Cockrell Eye Care Center!

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