Binocular Vision, Orthoptics and Pediatric Optometry
In healthy individuals, functional ocular alignment enables single vision. In patients with binocular vision imbalance, the eyes don’t point in the same direction and symptoms may occur.
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Symptoms appear in the form of visual fatigue, double vision (diplopia) that disappears when one eye closes or intermittent and unstable blurred vision that occurs when performing a task at close range (i.e. computer) or from far (i.e. driving). Our eye doctors are trained to help you reduce or eliminate the symptoms through specific exercises or optical aids.
In children, teenagers or young adults
It is also possible to find an imbalance in the eye’s internal musculature, which is what lets the eyes focus on a near object. This defect can cause a blurry and unstable vision and results in an accommodation problem. A failure in this system can cause headaches, issues with focusing when the gaze switches from close to distant, burning or stinging eye symptoms when reading, and learning disabilities. As accommodation is closely linked to eye alignment, a malfunction in focus (accommodation) can lead to a binocular vision disorder.
Conversely, a binocular vision disorder can lead to an accommodation problem. Exercises or optical aids can again help to reduce or eliminate symptoms related to this condition. It should be noted that in adults over the age of 40, a natural slowing down of this visual ability is called presbyopia and blurred near vision will be treated with optical aids (glasses or contact lenses).
In young children
Strabismus (cross-eye), amblyopia (lazy eye) and other eye conditions such as hypermetropia, myopia or astigmatism are common problems. Our optometrists can successfully assess children’s eyesight from their first few months of life. The Quebec Association of Optometrists recommends having the first eye examination as soon as 6 months to prevent the onset of vision problems. When caught early, the effects of eye defects or diseases, as well as potential long-term implications, are reduced.
Here are a few signs that may lead you to consult us :
- Your child frequently blinks, wrinkles his forehead or rubs his eyes throughout the day ;
- Your child is photosensitive, and his eyes water a lot ;
- Your child hides one eye to look or turns his head to look at an object straight ahead ;
- Your child cries if one eye is occluded, but does not react if the other is occluded ;
- Your child hits himself often and has difficulty finding his way around ;
- Your child has one eye that seems to be misaligned inward (cross-eyed) ;
- Your child gets very close to objects to see them.
From the moment an abnormal eye condition is detected, an eye doctor will recommend glasses, exercises or joint follow-ups in pediatric ophthalmology.