Ocular Motor Dysfunction

Young girl having trouble with eyes

Parents are often aware of the need to screen children for nearsightedness or farsightedness, but fewer know about other pediatric vision problems. Ocular motor dysfunction is a condition that often manifests in childhood, although adults may also have this disorder. Because ocular motor dysfunction causes serious disruption of everyday abilities such as reading, it is important to receive a comprehensive eye exam to test for this condition.

What Is Ocular Motor Dysfunction?

Six muscles control the movement of the human eye. These tiny muscles work together to allow the eyeball to move up, down, left, and right. In most people, the brain signals the muscles to move the eyes without our conscious awareness. For people with ocular motor dysfunction, however, the eyes do not work together properly to contribute to smooth, fluid eye movements.

There are several movements necessary for proper eye function. Smooth pursuits involve following a moving object accurately. Saccades are often used when reading or tracking information; they appear as the eyes jumping back and forth very quickly. Additionally, the eyes must be able to move inward and outward to change the point of focus. Disruption in the effectiveness of eye muscle activity may significantly impair everyday abilities, resulting in the following symptoms:

  • Losing one’s place or omitting words when reading
  • Difficulty smoothly tracking or following moving objects
  • Academic difficulties
  • Difficulty sustaining attention on a task
  • Poor coordination
  • Vertigo
  • Nausea and motion sickness

If your child exhibits any of these signs, it’s important to schedule a comprehensive eye exam promptly to diagnose ocular motor dysfunction or rule out alternative explanations.

Diagnosis of Ocular Motor Dysfunction

An optometrist can diagnose ocular motor dysfunction by conducting a variety of tests. Your eye doctor may ask you to visually follow an object while keeping your head still. This allows the doctor to identify tracking difficulties. The doctor will also look for reduced accuracy of saccades (the quick back-and-forth eye movements), inability to follow objects in a particular sequence, and need to move the head or follow a finger to follow along on a page.

Treatment for Ocular Motor Dysfunction

Your eye muscles are just like other muscles in your body; exercising them can help them perform better. As a result, vision therapy is one of the best treatments for ocular motor dysfunction. Vision therapy allows you to practice new skills to strengthen eye muscles’ ability to work together effectively.

Office Hours

Monday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Locations

Find us on the map

Testimonial

Review From Our Satisfied Patient

  • "Dr. Monterola and her staff were both friendly and professional. They instantly saw me when I arrived. My eyes were examined and glasses picked in 45 minutes. I highly recommend Greenwood Optical."
    Andy Meyer / Seattle, WA

Featured Articles

Read up on informative topics

  • Glaucoma and You: The Importance of Eye Exams

    Want to avoid vision loss due to glaucoma? Schedule a visit with the eye doctor. ...

    Read More
  • Important Healthy Eye Habits for Kids

    Want to keep your kids' eyes as healthy as possible? Try these tips. ...

    Read More
  • Healthy Vision Month

    Get ready for Healthy Vision Month by upgrading your vision habits. ...

    Read More
  • Presbyopia eye drops

    Would you like to stop squinting when you look at close objects? A new kind of eyedrops can improve presbyopia, an age-related vision problem. ...

    Read More
  • Dry Eye

    Sometimes your eyes don’t make enough tears or the tears evaporate too fast because they don’t have the right amount of compounds in them. This is called dry eye. Up to 5% of Americans complain of some form of dry eye. Individuals who wear contact lenses or have undergone LASIK or other types of ...

    Read More
  • Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

    Similar to a bruise under the skin, a subconjunctival hemorrhage happens when a small blood vessel located between the sclera (white portion of an eye) and the conjunctiva (lining on the surface of an eye) breaks and covers the sclera with blood. Unlike broken blood vessels located under the skin which ...

    Read More
  • Decorative (Plano) Contact Lenses

    Colored contact lenses allow you to temporarily change your eye color whether or not you need to correct impaired vision. In this way, you can create a more subtle eye appearance, wear a crazy design for special occasions, or just enjoy a new eye color. Will Colored Contacts Change the Way I See? Yes, ...

    Read More
  • Wandering Eye

    A wandering eye is a type of eye condition known as strabismus or tropia, and it may be caused by damage to the retina or muscles that control the eye, stroke or brain injury, or an uncorrected refractive error like farsightedness. With a wandering eye, one eye deviates or wanders in a different direction ...

    Read More
  • Reading and Writing

    For many adults, reading and writing come so naturally that they seem almost effortless. However, reading and writing are actually complicated skills that take significant effort to learn. For example, reading involves recognizing letters, associating letter combinations with their corresponding sounds, ...

    Read More
  • Lazy Eye

    Lazy eye, also referred to as amblyopia, is a condition that develops in infancy or early childhood, and it typically starts when the focus in one eye is more enhanced than the other. The eye with less focus might be impaired due to a significant amount of farsightedness or astigmatism, or something ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles