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What Are Vision Tracking Deficiencies?

December 14 2021

Does your child have problems with reading in school? Does he have difficulty comprehending not only text-based materials but also other subjects, like math?  Vision tracking deficiencies can have a wide range of effects on a child’s ability to process information and keep up in the classroom. In this post, a Washington, DC optometrist discusses Vision tracking deficiencies and how vision therapy treatments can help.

What Is Vision Tracking?

Vision tracking plays an important role in how well the brain processes visual information. It involves the ability to control where you aim or focus your eyes. Visual tracking uses coordinated and precise eye movements, which are especially important when reading. For a child in a classroom setting, vision tracking ability is essential since as much as 80 percent of what he learns in the classroom is presented visually. 

Along with classroom learning, tracking ability also impacts sports performance. When engaged in reading or sports activities, three important visual tracking skills contribute to getting information from the eyes to the brain:

  • Saccade – specific eye movements that enable the eyes to move from one target to another, such as when reading words across a page or screen
  • Pursuit – coordinated eye movements that are capable of following moving targets and directing eye-hand coordination
  • Fixation – the ability to maintain the kind of steady gaze that’s needed for visual attention and recall

Problems with eye tracking can show up in one or more of the above skills.


Signs of Vision Tracking Deficiencies

One of the best ways to tell if your child has problems with vision tracking is to monitor how they interact with learning materials. Here are a few signs to watch for:

  • Frequently loses his place or has a tendency to skip lines when reading
  • Squints when reading
  • Has to reread sentences to understand what’s being said
  • Becomes tired or drowsy after short reading periods
  • Has difficulty copying (writing) text 
  • Experiences headaches when reading or doing homework
  • Uses his finger to track words across the page when reading
  • Difficulty with reading comprehension in general

How Vision Therapy Can Help

Vision therapy is strategically designed to help patients retrain their eye movements so they work together in a coordinated manner. In this way, the eyes learn to take in information and deliver it to the brain, clearly. In effect, vision therapy accomplishes for the eyes what physical therapy does for the body.

An optometrist trained in vision therapy will devise a customized plan that addresses your child’s particular treatment needs. Diagnosing and treating vision tracking deficiencies early on can have a tremendous impact on your child’s academic performance, both now and in the future. 

If you have more questions about vision therapy or wish to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to call our Washington, DC optometrist office today! 

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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The Center for Vision Development



2525 Riva Road Suite 126
Annapolis, MD 21401


As of Friday 6/30/23, the office will be closing on 4:00pm on all Fridays through the rest of the summer.