Eye Coordination - Volunteer Eyecare

Eye Coordination

Eye coordination is the ability of both eyes to work together as a team. Each of your eyes sees a slightly different image. Your brain, through a process called fusion, blends these two images into one three-dimensional picture. If your eyes are improperly aligned, seeing three-dimensional images may be difficult.

Symptoms of poor eye coordination include double vision, headaches, eye and body fatigue, irritability, dizziness, and difficulty reading and concentrating. Children with poor eye coordination might cover one eye, skip lines or lose their place while reading, perform poorly in sports, avoid tasks that require close work and tire easily.

Eye coordination is a skill that must be developed. Inadequate vision development or improperly developed eye muscle control can cause poor eye coordination. Although rare, an injury or disease can also cause poor eye coordination.

People with poor eye muscle control often subconsciously exert extra effort to maintain proper alignment of the eyes. In more severe cases, the muscles cannot adjust the eyes so that the same image is seen by both eyes, resulting in double vision.

However, the brain will try to avoid seeing double, so it eventually learns to ignore the image sent by one eye. This can result in amblyopia, a serious vision condition commonly known as lazy eye. Left untreated over a long time, amblyopia can impair the visual system. Vision will not fully improve, even with glasses or contact lens correction.

Because poor eye coordination can be difficult to detect, the American Optometric Association recommends periodic comprehensive optometric examinations, beginning at age 6 months and again at age 3. In this comprehensive examination, a doctor of optometry will test for poor eye coordination.

Poor eye coordination is often successfully treated with eyeglasses and/or vision therapy. Sometimes, eye coordination will improve when other vision conditions like nearsightedness or farsightedness are corrected. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.