Binocular vision disabilities affect
at least 15 out every 100 children.
Early detection and appropriate therapy is vital.
The Stereo Vision Project is dedicated to providing valuable information about visual health care and binocular vision impairments, such as amblyopia ("lazy eye"), strabismus (esotropia, exotropia, "wandering-eye", "crossed-eyes", wall eyes"), double vision, and convergence insufficiency, etc. Consult the Parent's Checklist below and look for early signs of these visual health problems.
PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended to be educational and is not intended in any way as a substitute for medical advice and care from qualified vision care providers. The Stereo Vision Project advises the reader to consult a vision care professional in matters relating to visual health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. See the Directory of Vision Care Providers.
A Parent's Checklist
Look for these signs and symptoms in your child.
If you check off several items on the following checklist, consider taking your child for a thorough vision examination which includes the testing of binocular skills.
You observe that:
- one eye drifts or aims in a different direction than the other (look carefully -- this can be subtle). This is significant even if it only occurs when the child is tired or stressed.
- one eye is noticably higher than the other
- head is frequently tilted to one side or one shoulder is noticeably higher
- turns or tilts head to see or read
- squinting or closing of one eye
- poor visual/motor skills (often called, "hand-eye coordination")
- problems moving in space, frequently bumps into things or drops things
While reading or doing close work your child:
Your child frequently complains of:
- holds the book or object unusually close
- closes one eye or covers eye with hand
- rubs one or both eyes during or after reading
- fatigues quickly during reading
- twists or tilts head toward book or object so as to favor one eye
- frequently loses place or skips lines while reading
- uses finger to read
Catch Visual Problems Early!Early detection of visual problems greatly increases the chances of successful rehabilitation. Children should be examined by an eye doctor during infancy and preschool years to detect potential problems with binocular vision. This is particularly important if any member of the family has had ambylopia or strabismus. Testing of binocular teaming skills should be a part of every child's comprehensive eye examination.
A second opinion is warranted when your eye doctor:
In the above cases, the Stereo Vision Project strongly advises parents to consult an optometrist or opthalmologist who offers supervised vision therapy to children, particularly a behavioral optometrist. You are invited to request a free referral at the Directory of Vision Care Providers.
- diagnoses ambylopia or strabismus, but offers only surgery and/or patching -- no mention is made of eye exercises or vision therapy
- recommends surgery only for cosmetic purposes (to make the eye appear straight to others) and does not believe that your child can develop
- tells you that it is too late for either surgery and/or patching and that your child can not develop binocular vision.
To learn more about Vision Therapy and your child's visual health, see
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Stereo Vision Project
How to See 3D
Magic Eye How to See 3D copyright © 1995; Out-of-Print
by Magic Eye, Inc. and Rachel Cooper, Advocate of Vision Therapy Eye Exercises for Lazy Eye.
All other images and text: copyright © 1996- by Rachel Cooper. All rights reserved.