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Patient Resources


Efficient Visual Learning When Accessing Academic Instruction On Line

20/20 Is Not Enough!
Carl G. Hillier, OD FCOVD

La Jolla LearningWorks is sponsoring an important webinar on how to establish efficient visual learning when accessing academic instruction on-line.

You will learn how to:

  • Manage On-Line Visual Stress
  • Improve On-Line Visual Endurance
  • Enhance On-Line Visual Learning

Fundamental Ideas:

The development of academic skills is more and more dependent upon accessing teachers via an electronic interface – our computers. When using a computer, the doorway to learning  is  primarily accessed through the child’s visual system.

Opening the on-line doorway to learning is absolutely essential. This means ensuring that the visual system can “access the academic experience.” There is a myth that “20/20 eyesight” is sufficient for a child to access visual information – nothing could be further from the truth.

20/20 eyesight simply means you can see clearly far away, it says nothing about your child’s ability, skill or endurance to focus up close, to move their eyes and track along a line of print while reading, or to have the ability to have both eyes easily align on the screen or to process and remember what they see.

This webinar will provide practical and easily applied concrete methods to enhance your child’s ability access to the educational experience offered on-line. The webinar will review the physical and visual environment your child is in while engaged with on-line learning. It will review the importance of lighting, blue-blocking glasses, optimal computer screens, nutritional support for the extended exposure of light hitting the retina, and eye exercises that can minimize if not eliminate visual stress from extended computer use.

Vision Quiz

Learn how to detect possible visual problems in a child or adult with vision quizzes and checklists on this page.

Take the Quick Quiz

Answer the questions, then click on “Show Me the Answers” below to see how much you really know about your vision.

1. If I have 20/20 vision, I can’t have a vision problem.
True or False?

2. Vision is learned.
True or False?

3. All children are ready to read at the age of six.
True or False?

4. Eyesight is hereditary. You can’t do anything about it.
True or False?

5. Visual problems can affect a person’s self-esteem and hinder success.
True or False?

6. Surgery is the only way to correct strabismus (a turned eye).
True or False?

7. Amblyopia (lazy eye) cannot be corrected after the person reaches the age of seven.
True or False?

Show me the answers

1. False. Being able to read the 20/20 line on the eye chart does not tell you everything you need to know about healthy vision. For example, it does not tell you whether or not vision in one eye is suppressed or less efficient or whether there are problems with visual processing.

2. True. Research at the Gesell Institute tells us that children are not born with “normal” vision — they must learn to see.

3. False. Visual abilities develop as a child matures. The child who develops slowly may not have the visual skills to read at the age of six.

4. False. Environmental demands (reading, computers, TV) can create stressful situations which may alter vision in healthy eyes. Also, developmental vision problems can be significantly altered by environmental factors.

5. True. A person may have the intelligence to succeed, but without the proper visual skills needed for comprehension and learning, he will experience repeated failure, leading to lack of self-esteem.

6. False. Surgery is generally a cosmetic cure only. Vision Therapy can go beyond making eyes look straight. The person can regain the use of the two eyes together as a team and develop depth perception.

7. False. Neuroscientists have proven that, in most cases, there is no critical developmental cut-off age for amblyopia. Vision improvement can be gained at any age. However, delaying therapy may increase the amount of therapy needed. Learn more at No Age Limits: Scientific Research Proves that Lazy Eye Can Be Treated in Older Children and Adults


Questions for Your Surgeon Before Eye Muscle Surgery

The decision to have any type of surgery for your child is a difficult one to make, as there are risks inherent in any type of surgery. General anesthesia before age 3 years has shown to put children at higher risk of language and abstract reasoning deficits at age 10 years. This is also true for eye muscle surgery. The success depends upon the skill of the surgeon and many other variables, many of which are often unknown prior to the surgery.

If you decide to consult an ophthalmologist regarding eye surgery, then it is important for you to have as much information as possible in enabling you to make your decision. In order to facilitate your being well informed, the answers to the following questions are very important to have prior to making your decision.

Point to remember:
Surgical intervention reduces the probability of success of vision therapy. It is better to have therapy first, before performing strabismus surgery. If you improve visual skills beforehand, it may improve the probability of a successful surgery.


1. What are the chances of success after one surgery?
2. What is the definition of success? Is it normal eye teaming or only cosmetic improvement?
3. What is the probability that my child’s eye will look worse after the surgery?
4. What is the probability that my child will need 2, 3 or more surgeries?
5. If amblyopia is present, will surgery improve the clarity of my child’s vision?
6. Will my child have improved depth perception after the surgery, i.e., stereopsis?
7. What are the complications (i.e. infection, risk of general anesthesia)?
8. Will my child need to wear glasses after the surgery?
9. Will the surgeon do a “prism adaptation test” (e.g. one-week at home) to assess the probability of surgery being successful?


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