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Vision impacts learning


Good eye health extends beyond seeing 20/20.  For your child, vision depends not only on how clearly he or she sees, but the coordination of ocular muscles, peripheral vision, and perception of spatial relationships. 


Even if a child is screened as 20/20 (so-called “perfect vision”), serious deficiencies can be overlooked without a thorough eye examination from a behavior and developmental optometrist. Such oversights can significantly impair learning.  For instance, a child with poor eye coordination, focusing issues, or peripheral vision limitations will struggle with tracking words on screen or paper, lowering their reading comprehension. Worse, if these ocular issues go unresolved, children can become frustrated with learning and wish to avoid academics entirely.  


For eons our vision developed to see far away. We were hunters and gathers, spotting game and enemies with only brief periods of near work. In the last 150 years everything changed. We began to craft and work in factories and compulsory education became routine. Today we do nothing but stare at screens at school, work, and home. Our vision developed and is perfect for seeing at distances, but nearly everything we do now requires intense near vision work. This causes an enormous amount of daily visual stress, leading to poor visual development.


People respond in 1 of 3 ways to visual stress

  1. Physical changes develop in their eyes in order to cope. In order to see clearly at near, they sacrifice their distance vision. This is a child who becomes nearsighted (needs glasses for far away).

  2. They force themselves to do the work but with reduced comprehension. This is a child who takes hours to do 20 minutes of homework. While reading they often skip lines, reverse letters, work below school potential, tire quickly, and have poor visual memory/spelling skills.

  3. They simply avoid doing near work. This is the child who cannot tolerate near work and who refuses to do it, has a short attention span, with ADHD or dyslexia suspected, and/or behavioral issues. 


At Ithaca Eye Care, we have the expertise to diagnose these eye problems that may be limiting your child’s learning. Dr. Boscia will perform a thorough eye health assessment, checking not only visual acuity and any ocular pathologies, but going beyond to examine visual development and processing.


Call our office today to schedule you and your child’s examination in our caring, family-friendly environment.  607-257-1500

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Children Dealing with BVD

Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD) occurs in both children & adults, but what a child experiences in their vision can go untreated and lead to learning problems. The problem of BVD is when an image is viewed by one eye differently than the other eye, causing a misalignment. This forces the brain to correct the alignment over and over, which leads to eye muscle strain, headaches, blurriness, and lack of focus.

A child with BVD has difficulty concentrating, especially when trying to read. Since BVD isn’t often addressed or checked first, children may be taken to local physicians or other professionals to help their child’s education, when, in reality, an eye exam with an eye doctor would have been the ideal solution. Dr. Boscia is an expert at addressing BVD and vision therapy, where she can easily identify & direct you and your child to visual success.

Although eye charts are standard to screen for eye problems, these only test for farsightedness or nearsightedness. These test will not identify BVD which has small amounts of misalignment.  The eye misalignment can lead to reading and attention difficulties.  Since BVD may affect up to 50% of children diagnosed with ADD/ ADHD, reading and other learning problems, it is critical to test for even small misalignment amounts. 

At Ithaca Eye Care, Dr. Boscia has been trained in identifying children with BVD.  Your child will undergo a thorough Neuro-Visual Medical exam, identifying small amounts of misalignment.  Treatment may include corrective prismatic glasses, vision therapy and/or syntonic light therapy.  

Signs of BVD 

  • They "tilt" their head 

  • Motion sickness

  • Nausea/ Difficulty gaining weight

  • Clumsiness (poor depth perception)

  • Sore, tired eyes

  • Skips lines when reading

  • Re-reading for comprehension 

  • Blurred or double vision

  • Light Sensitivity 

  • Closing or covering an eye 

  • Anxiety 

If you suspect your child may have BDV, fill out our questionnaire 

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