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Vision Conditions

Learn more about the visual system and vision conditions.
Reading & Writing
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Reading and writing are the two most common tasks people will perform in school or at a desk job. Every time we read from a book, a sheet of paper, or a computer monitor, we are performing a visual task.

How We Read

When we read, we need to:
  • aim two eyes at the same point simultaneously and accurately,
  • focus both eyes to make the reading material clear,
  • continue or sustain clear focus, and
  • move two eyes continually as a coordinated team across the line of print.
When we move our eyes to the next line of print, we continue with the process.

Reading Comprehension

In order to gain comprehension throughout the reading process, we are constantly taking in the visual information and decoding it from the written word into a mental image. Memory and visualization are also used to constantly relate the information to what is already known and to help make sense of what is being read.

How We Write

Writing is similar, but almost works in the reverse order to reading. We start with an image in our mind and code it into words. At the same time, we control the movement of the pencil while continually working to keep the written material making sense. Throughout all this, we focus our eyes and move them together just as in the reading process.

Complicated visual procedures are involved in both reading and writing. A problem with any or all of the visual parts of the processes described above can present difficulties in some way with reading and/or writing.

How to Identify a Vision Problem

Sometimes a visual difficulty that affects reading and writing is easy to recognize, and other times it can be quite subtle to detect.


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