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IMG_3899Visual functioning deficiencies are far more common than many people realize, affecting approximately 25 percent of the population by some estimates. In fact, when it comes to all ocular diseases and disorders, visual functioning deficiencies have a prevalence rate that is second only to refractive conditions such as nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia).

IMG_3328Visual deficiencies include eye movement disorders, vergence dysfunctions, alignment disorders, focusing problems, visual information processing disorders and visual sensory and motor integration problems. They affect both children and adults, causing problems with depth perception, coordination, reading, writing and concentration. In children, these undeveloped visual skills can prevent them from reading, writing and concentrating effectively, leading to misdiagnoses of learning and behavioral disorders such as ADHD and autism.

IMG_0488The prevalence of vision disorders makes it important for all children and adults to have their vision assessed for functional deficiencies by a developmental/behavioral optometrist. At Northampton Vision Specialists, we recommend that everyone receive such an exam by their first birthday, as deficiencies are easier to treat in young children. An early diagnosis also means that children can overcome any functional eye problems before they begin to seriously interfere with their academic performance and growth.

Dr. Ruggiero’s exhaustive testing confirmed I had a convergence disorder and tracked badly. When she explained to me how this manifested, I was able to understand for the first time why I had so much difficulty in school with subjects that required a lot of reading, why sometimes I had double vision and why I often had eyestrain.”

Christine Lee

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