Many people don’t realize the great extent to which vision affects learning. Not only can vision issues – particularly binocular vision problems like Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD) and Vertical Heterophoria (VH) – make reading difficult, they can also make it hard for children to focus, pay attention and relate well to others. It’s for this reason that some children are diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD when really the problem is originating from the eyes. Other children simply struggle for years to fit in, without really knowing why they can’t. Consider the experience of Adam, a patient of Vision Specialists of Michigan.
Adam’s Story: Finding Clarity
“If I had known about my eye troubles, my vision issues, when I was a child – maybe more importantly, if the people around me had known – what my vision issues had to do with my learning ability and my ability to interact, and my ability to relate to people, I can’t imagine how different I would be today. I really can’t. I can’t tell you that my life would have been better, but I imagine it would have been, because my inability to focus, my inability to see comfortably, impacted every aspect of my life. Relationships, learning, interactions, all the way down to self-concept, self-awareness, self-confidence. I think because I couldn’t see well, and because my vision was so unique, I felt inadequate and felt like something was wrong and there wasn’t anybody around me that understood that this was the problem and there might be a solution. And if they had and if there was, I think my entire self-concept would be completely different.
“I first heard of Vision Specialists from my therapist, who noticed in me, as we discussed anxiety, as we discussed stress and different issues, some things that sounded familiar to him. And it was a remarkable situation because, although I’d been in therapy before, I’d never had a therapist who spoke to me about my glasses. So it was unusual to say the least.”
What happened at your first appointment with Vision Specialists?
“After going through the testing process and getting my glasses, I noticed immediately a clarity in the world around me. And although that’s a broad statement, it’s a very specific statement, because everything I did and every person I interacted with, was done in a way that felt clearer and more comfortable. I was definitely calmer. I did notice a reduction in stress. I noticed that after getting the glasses, there was a reduction in the anxiety and discomfort. I think a lot of what has been impacting me all of my life has been because of my vision, and I had no idea.”
You’d worn glasses before your exam at Vision Specialists. When did you start wearing those?
“I got glasses as a young kid. I think it was pre-teen. And in all the vision tests, when I went to eye doctors and stuff, they said, ‘Oh yeah, you need glasses, you need glasses. Okay, here’s your glasses.’ And I could see better, because zero to one is better. Now, there’s a huge difference between going from zero to one and zero to 10, but I didn’t know the difference. So glasses improved my life when I was younger. They did not change the world around me, and that’s the difference. My glasses through Vision Specialists changed the world around me. My glasses when I was younger through my regular eye doctor changed how I saw things up close.”
How often do you (and should you) come back to Vision Specialists for an exam?
“I would say to someone who is a patient here that they need to come in once a year. My vision has changed greatly over these three years. I think it’s important with vision issues like mine, and probably like many other patients here, your eyes impact so many other things in your brain and in the world around you that the slightest change can be a big difference.”
What would you want to tell parents with children who struggle with learning like you did as a child?
“If I were able to talk to parents with young kids in school who are struggling … there’s a part of me that wants to get emotional about it and beg them to investigate. It’s not the answer for every student. Every student is unique, every student has challenges and every student’s solution is going to be unique to that student. But what I would say is if their child is struggling with reading and comprehension and focus, they need to investigate.”
Is there anything else you want to share?
“One of the biggest things I learned from this entire experience coming to Vision Specialists is the impact your vision has on the world you experience. I don’t think people realize how impactful good vision is, and I feel like good vision isn’t quite enough to say it. Seeing the world isn’t just about visualizing. Seeing the world is about experiencing it, and when you have trouble experiencing it, for one reason or another, that’s a problem. And when that problem can be fixed, there’s no reason not to fix it.”
Make an Appointment Today
At Vision Specialists of Michigan, we have the tools – along with a great amount of knowledge and experience – to help patients find answers to their vision-related difficulties. To find out more about the testing and treatment process using glasses with aligning micro-prism lenses, give us a call today at (248) 258-9000 or take a moment to fill out our BVD questionnaire.