Human eye muscles are among the strongest in the body when considering how small and lightweight the eye is. But why do they need that extra strength? It is because of the precision required to make eye movements. Reading eye movements are specialized to allow chunking of information to quickly absorb it through the visual system. When a child is struggling with learning to read or to advance their skills, inefficient reading eye movements may be one of the culprits.

The ability to use eyes in a coordinated and precise fashion is so important many school vision screening batteries now include a test for it. When a child is examined and found to have a reading eye movement delay, the main intervention is vision therapy. Therapy helps the child to utilize the visual information necessary to attain reading efficiency and ignore the extra things that are bombarding the senses. Reading, as with almost anything, gets easier with practice. But when a child struggles with reading, it’s almost as if they can’t even get to the starting block. The therapy techniques get the ball rolling. A good therapist is constantly observing the patient and addressing any problems along the way toward molding a productive reader.

If you have a question concerning your eyes, ask Dr. Picken directly by emailing him at prairievisioncenter@gmail.com.

Dr. Jace Picken is an optometrist at Prairie Vision Center in Wahpeton

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