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Focusing Problems

Focusing Problems

Our focusing system, which is also known as accommodation, allows us to see clearly, especially up close. Our eyes are designed for distance vision, so when we look at something up close, the natural lens in our eye has to change shape to redirect light rays on the retina for near objects.

For children with accommodation problems, print will become progressively blurry as they read for longer periods of time, and their eyes will fatigue from the strain of trying to keep the print clear. Sometimes children with focusing problems will hold their books very closely or lay their heads down. Headaches are very common. Reading glasses are often prescribed to help shore up inadequate focusing systems, but sometimes therapy is need to improve a child’s focusing stamina.

Normally, children have a large amount of focusing capacity. However, some children do not have the ability to maintain focus for a long time while reading, or they may be unable to quickly change the focus of their eyes from near to distance to near, etc.

Accommodative dysfunctions can cause:

  • Blurred vision at distance or near
  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty reading and concentrating
  • Avoidance of near work

Focussing problems are generally not muscle problems. Occasionally, a child can fail to establish adequate focussing stamina during their early years of development, but in the vast majority of cases focussing dysfunction problems arise from fatigue as a result of sustained near visual tasks such as reading, writing, computer, etc.

So in a sense this problem is an acquired one rather than something being innately wrong with your child's visual system. Prolonged near tasks can be fatiguing to certain individuals. The visual effort required to try to cope with this task can sometimes cause a breakdown in the visual system leading to focussing dysfunction. This can even happen in the adult eye, especially if we are tired, run down or ill, or have commenced a new task with a lot of near work.

If you are concerned that your child may have any of these symptoms, we would recommend a comprehensive eye examination at Outlook Eye Centre.

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