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By Sharon Summers, Ed.D.

Information on this page is not intended as medical advice. Concerns about your child's vision should be addressed directly with a qualified health care professional.

  • Myopia: Nearsighted or able to see better when things are close up rather than far away.
    • Learning Issues: May have problems seeing a blackboard from their seat.
    • Prevalence: Occurs in ~ 9% of children aged 5-17.
    • Treatment: Eyeglasses
  • Hyperopia: Farsighted or able to see better when things are far away rather than up close up.
    • Learning Issues: May need to hold a book far away in order to see the words clearly.
    • Prevalence: Occurs in ~ 13% of children aged 5-17.
    • Treatment: Eyeglasses
  • Amblyopia: Loss of vision in one or both eyes despite no physical or structural eye problems. Also known as "lazy eye".
    • Learning Issues: May need to physically move head or body in order to see everything in the visual field.
    • Prevalence: Occurs in ~ 3% of people.
    • Treatment: Patching the good eye.
  • Convergence Insufficiency: Inability to keep both eyes working together (called binocular function) on near distance tasks.
    • Learning Issues: Double vision and/or headaches while reading. May complain of words becoming blurry. Or, student will close one eye while reading a book or at the computer.
    • Prevalence: Occurs in less than 5% of people. Rarely seen in children under the age of 10.
    • Treatment: Orthoptic vision therapy.
  • Strabismus: Misalignment of the eyes.
    • Esotropia: Turning in of one or both eyes. Also known as "cross eyed". It is importatnt to have a child examined for estropia, as this condition may be caused by any number of issues, including diabetes, hyperthyroidism, stroke, or a neurological or genetic condition.
    • Exotropia: Turning out of one or both eyes.
    • Prevalence: Occurs in ~ 4% of people.
    • Learning Issues: May cause double vision (diplopia), which may be described as letters moving on the page
    • Treatment: Depends upon the severity but may include patching the good eye; using eyeglasses, orthoptics vision therapy, or surgery
  • Nystagmus: Rapid and involuntary movement of the eyes, either side-to-side, up-down, or in circles.
    • Learning Issues: Reading is a tiresome activity and may be avoided
    • Prevalence:
    • Treatment: May include surgery

Dr. Summers brings 30 years of teaching (e.g. public school, Higher Education), leadership, and consulting to Hand In Hand. She is the recipient of the 2005 National Center for Leadership in Visual Impairment Fellowship. Dr. Summers specializes in conducting independent evaluations for students suspected of having a visual impairment, cortical visual impairments, and for developing visual fluency in students with multiple disabilities. Dr. Summers oversees Special Education consultations for Hand in Hand.

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April 07, 2020


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