Accommodative Dysfunction

Simply put, accommodative dysfunction means that the eyes have difficulty focusing properly. Studies suggest that between 2 and 17% of children may suffer from accommodative dysfunction. The nature of this disorder means that it sometimes goes unnoticed in standard vision screenings conducted at school. Thus, it is important that parents schedule a comprehensive eye exam for children, particularly if an issue with focusing is suspected.

What Is Accommodative Dysfunction?

In kids with normal vision, each eye functions independently, while the brain ties visual information to create a cohesive visual image. The brain directs eye movements, allowing a person to focus on nearby objects as well as those that are far away. These calculations are done subconsciously, meaning that it requires no effort to switch from near vision to distance vision.

For people with accommodative dysfunction, however, the eyes and visual system do not work together appropriately. Particularly when trying to look at nearby objects, the eyes do not focus properly. A variety of symptoms may result, including:

Having accommodative dysfunction makes it difficult and unpleasant to do close-up tasks such as reading. As a result, some children are incorrectly diagnosed with a learning disability.

Diagnostic Procedures

An optometrist can conduct a comprehensive eye exam to diagnose accommodative dysfunction and rule out other possible explanations for symptoms. After taking a thorough patient history, your eye doctor will test visual acuity and the performance of your eye muscles in controlling the eyes. You may be asked to follow a small object with your eyes, view objects through a prism, or perform other eye tests.

Treatment for Accommodative Dysfunction

Using reading glasses for close work is a common way to correct focusing problems. However, vision therapy is typically necessary to retrain the eyes to work well together. Vision therapy includes in-office appointments as well as at-home exercises. The purpose of this therapy is to improve the speed and accuracy of a typical focusing response, making the eyes used to working together to focus on nearby objects.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Pinguecula and Pterygium (Surfer's Eye)

Characterized by a yellowish raised part of the scleral conjunctiva (the lining of the white part of the eye), a pinguecula usually develops near the cornea (colored part of the eye), but does not extend past it.

Uveitis

Uveitis refers to the inflammation of the eye's middle layer, which consists of the iris, ciliary body, and choroid. Several fungal, viral, or bacterial infections lead to uveitis, as do certain autoimmune (systemic) and inflammatory conditions...

Glare and Halos

Glare and halos are both eye symptoms that some people experience around bright lights. Halos show up as bright circles around a light source. Glare is light that interferes with your vision, making it difficult to see or sometimes making your eyes water.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States, making it an important public health priority. Although there are several factors that cause glaucoma, all types of glaucoma are characterized by damage to the optic nerve...

Sjogren's Syndrome

Pronounced SHOW-grins, Sjogren's syndrome is a disorder of the immune system, or an autoimmune disease, which causes the body's immune system to attack and harm the body's glands...

Optic Neuritis

Also known as demyelinating optic neuritis, optic neuritis refers to the inflammation of the optic nerve due to the loss of or damage to a protective covering called myelin, which surrounds the optic nerve...