Fall Sports Are Finally Here
School has started back up, which means a lot of children and families are already thinking about fall sports. Especially in varsity sports, many of the teams have already had their tryouts, and have probably been conditioning all summer in preparation for the intense competitions ahead. This is exciting for many students, but there are also many who will avoid sports entirely. Why is this? Obvious differences in personality aside, many students feel as though they are too clumsy to “make the cut.” There are many potential causes for this, but did you know that vision disorders are among them? Two vision disorders which affect visual tracking, an important skill in many sports, are amblyopia and strabismus.
Strabismus occurs when the two eyes do not physically fixate on the same point, resulting in one eye appearing to be “turned” out, in, up or down. The two disorders can occur simultaneously, with strabismus being the cause of amblyopia (known as strabismic amblyopia). However, the presence of strabismus does not imply the presence of amblyopia, and vice versa. Sometimes, even if a child suffers from strabismus, it may be that the eye turn is so small that it is not noticeable by a visual examination.
While strabismus describes a physical “eye turn,” amblyopia describes the condition where the brain suppresses or ignores information coming from one eye, resulting in uneven visual acuity and, in extreme cases, blindness in one eye. Either disorder can negatively impact stereoscopy, or the ability to see in three dimensions. Without stereoscopy, depth perception and hand-eye coordination suffer in a sports setting.
Issues in visual acuity are often the first vision problems to be noticed by parents, as “20/20” acuity screenings are often part of a sport physical and are occasionally required by the school for all students. However, when there still seems to be a visual problem in the child, even after testing yields a “20/20” result or the proper lenses are prescribed, a vision disorder should be your next suspect. A vision disorder, left untreated, can affect a student’s academics as well as their sports performance. If you believe you or your child may have a vision disorder, help is available. Don’t wait. A behavioral eye examination can determine the nature and cause of the disorder and allow for a corrective procedure plan to be developed.
Contact our office to at 703-753-9777 to learn more about the benefits of Virginia Vision Therapy Center sports vision training and to schedule your sports vision evaluation today.
For more information on sports vision training, please visit https://virginiavisiontherapycenter.com/sports-vision-training/