Troubles with eye tracking can complicate many everyday functions Advanced vision Therapy Center Boise Idaho


Eye tracking, also referred to as visual tracking, is the ability of one's eyes to “track” from left to right in an efficient manner, and “follow” the movement of objects. Eye movements should be smooth and consistent, with the ability to be completed quickly. 


Poor eye tracking skill can make reading and learning difficult Advanced vision Therapy Center Boise Idaho


Eye tracking is critical in many day to day activities; including reading comprehension, reading fluency and reading speed - as well as the ability to “track” a ball during a game of baseball, “track” movements of characters and objects in video games, and much more.


Eye tracking skills are particularly important for reading, and achieving maximum academic potential. Poor eye tracking skills are closely associated with poor reading skills. Poor eye tracking skills are more common than most people may realize. 25% (1 in 4) of all students cannot read due to vision skills deficits. Approximately 30% of individuals diagnosed as having dyslexia have some degree of eye tracking deficits, and until treated will impede progress of dyslexia therapy or tutoring.


Eye tracking is a term used to describe the function of eye movement abilities. The umbrella term used to encompass this group of eye movement abilities is ocular motility, also referred to as oculomotor function. Eye tracking (ocular motility, oculomotor function) refers to the ability to quickly and accurately look (fixate), visually follow an object (pursuits) and efficiently move the eyes from point to point (saccades). Eye tracking skills are especially important to success in learning to read, and the ability to read in a manner that allows the student to achieve maximum academic potential.


Some of the symptoms associated with eye tracking deficits are:

  • Appears to guess at words

  • Avoids or resists reading

  • Clumsiness, spills or bumps into objects

  • Difficulty copying from the white board

  • Easier to read large font

  • Head movement (side to side) when reading

  • Loss of place when reading, writing, or copying (especially during the return sweep phase)

  • Omits words or transposes words when reading (especially small or similar words)

  • Overwhelmed by pages of text

  • Poor accuracy with word endings

  • Poor awareness of punctuation

  • Poor handwriting

  • Poor reading comprehension

  • Poor reading fluency

  • Poor reading speed

  • Poor sports performance (particularly ball-playing sports)

  • Prefers to be read to, rather than read

  • Re-reads words or sentences

  • Reverses words or letters

  • Skips sentences

  • Slow, halting reading pattern when reading out loud

  • Squints, or rubs eyes when reading

  • Text or words may appear to “float” or “move” on the page

  • Tilts head when reading

  • Uses finger or guide when reading


Eye tracking deficits often times go unnoticed until a child progresses to higher grade levels in school; when both the complexity and the volume of classroom demands and homework increase. In addition, there are other factors that contribute to delayed diagnosis of eye tracking deficits.

  • The child does not report vision problems, presuming they are having the same visual experience that everyone else does.

  • Parents cannot tell a child has a vision problem simply by looking at the child.

  • Both pediatric ophthalmologists and general care optometrists do not routinely test for eye-movement disorders, such as eye tracking deficits, so these conditions are often missed during regular eye examinations.

  • The child just had an eye exam and the parents were told the child has 20/20 vision.

  • When a child struggles to read, educators often re-evaluate their effort or teaching method, try to cater to the child's optimum learning style, assign more homework thinking “practice makes perfect”, or recommend tutoring.

  • Eye tracking deficits (ocular motility, oculomotor function) are incorrectly identified as fine motor deficits, and the child is referred to an occupational therapist for fine motor therapy.


Eye tracking deficits are best diagnosed and treated by Residency Trained Neuro-Optometrists. Residency Trained Neuro-Optometrists complete an optional, year-long program of advanced study upon graduation from optometry school. They must successfully complete a rigorous application process in order to be accepted into a residency program. Nationally, a small percentage of all optometrists complete a residency program. If you or your child exhibit symptoms associated with eye tracking deficits, it is important to seek the care of a Residency Trained Neuro-Optometrist.


Residency Trained Neuro-Optometrists use age and grade normed standardized testing, along with advanced examination techniques, and specialized equipment to measure and assess eye movements. Eye tracking deficits (ocular motility, oculomotor function) are complex; for instance a person with eye tracking deficits may or may not have convergence insufficiency or double vision. There are three different components of the visual system that can contribute to eye tracking problems. It requires the training of a Residency Trained Neuro-Optometrist to identify, diagnose, and treat:

  • Eye teaming deficits

  • Focusing problems

  • Functional peripheral vision

all of which can contribute to eye tracking problems. It is important to identify the issue(s) through in-depth testing.


The good news is that eye tracking deficits (ocular motility, oculomotor function) are treated with very high success rates under the care of a Residency Trained Neuro-Optometrist. Eye tracking deficits (ocular motility, oculomotor function) cannot be corrected by “balancing the brain”, or by an occupational therapist working on fine motor skills. In cases such as this, a treatment program of vision therapy can be prescribed and monitored by a Residency Trained Neuro-Optometrist.


If you are considering a vision therapy program it is important to ask:

  • Who will be performing the initial assessment?

  • What type of formal training have they completed? What are their credentials?

  • Does a Residency Trained Neuro-Optometrist develop the vision therapy treatment program?

  • Is the vision therapy treatment program individualized to each person?

  • Is the vision therapy program one-on-one with the same therapist?

  • Does a Residency Trained Neuro-Optometrist oversee and monitor the vision therapy program?


If you or your child exhibit the symptoms associated with eye tracking deficits, please contact our office. We're happy to answer questions, and assist you in getting the help you need. Give our office a call at 208.377.1310. You'll be glad you did.


There are many symptoms associated with eye tracking deficits Advanced vision Therapy Center Boise Idaho

Posted by Advanced Vision Therapy Center at 3/10/2017 5:24:00 PM
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