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Eye Movements and Childhood Development

Posted: October 4, 2019
By: Chris Johnson, intern, & Dr. D

                  Nearly every child will have its vision checked at some point. You’re probably familiar with the traditional test, in which children are asked to read the letters on a poster from across the room. While this is a great way to screen kids for vision problems that might require glasses, you might be surprised to learn that many eye issues can go undetected during this typical screening. This is because many of the issues- such as the ability to focus the eyes on one spot, or to follow moving objects- are not really problems with the eye at all. Often, an imbalance in brain activity is to blame. These imbalances are especially common in children who are struggling developmentally, academically or behaviorally.

                  One of the best examples of this connection is seen in dyslexic children. Dyslexia, which is a difficulty with reading, was once something of a mystery to doctors. Recent research has shown that not only do some kids have trouble processing the words that they read, but often their eyes are actually unable to smoothly follow the words on a page. Instead, their eyes may jerk slightly back and forth, making the words nearly impossible to understand. No wonder so many of these kids tire out and are frustrated when trying to read. But there’s good news: Just like a muscle, “weak” areas of the brain can be strengthened with practice. Often, simple exercises can be performed at home to help strengthen any underactive areas of the brain. That’s why all children in our office are screened for problems with eye movements.

                  And there’s more good news! More research has shown the power of chiropractic care to help kids normalize brain and eye function! Chiropractic adjustments can help remove irritation from the nervous system and provide the stimulation needed to form strong connections in the brain. This is just one more reason that all children should be regularly checked by a chiropractor.

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