Visual Dysfunction

See our post on blindness here, this is not what this post is about.

Visual dysfunction is any impairment of the visual process that reduces operational ability and adds strain and stress to even simple visual tasking.

Mostly these are not of a medical nature and more in the realm of developmental, behavioural and environmental causes. In cases of reduced visual acuity (low vision or blindness), unlike many medical causes, these cases in the realm of behavioural vision can be reversed. Since behaviour is determined in large part by both wiring and experience (and environment), Vision Mechanics must be aware of both the medical and behavioural possibilities when something goes wrong.

Quite aside from troubled tissue, that is, primary disease, visual dysfunction can take many forms and have different causes:

  • Difficult alignment of the eyes.
  • Restrictive di/convergence.
  • Limited focusing range and facility (accommodative dysfunction).
  • Difficult fine motor control (saccadic dysfunction).
  • Trouble with spatial relations/perception.
  • Trouble with inputs from balance (vestibular) and body sense (somatosensation/proprioception).
  • Difficult (high/asymmetric) refractive state (different glasses prescriptions in the right vs. left eyes).

Only a Vision Mechanic can observe and measure these things, so look for an optometrist with an interest in behavioural vision. General advice is to have a detailed vision examination if you (or someone you know):

  • haven’t had one ever.
  • are having trouble with reading or attention.
  • have headaches, blurred vision, or double vision.
  • have had a brain injury.

Visual dysfunction can present in many forms, some which look very much like medical concerns: Headache, double vision, blurred vision, reading and attention problems, and mood disorders. The more you know about vision, and how your own vision works, the better prepared you are to eliminate vision as a cause of your ongoing concerns.

You can learn a lot more about visual dysfunction and how this affects your vision, work, and life through our courses on, so feel free to go over and have a look. You’ll be especially interested in spending time with us if you’re a parent, a teacher, therapist or doctor working with reading, developmental, and learning disorders, or even brain injuries.

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All science, with just a little attitude and no filler. That’s the Vision Mechanic. See you next time.

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