Diagnosing a Vision Problem

A Functional Vision Exam is the Only Way to Diagnose a Vision Problem


The only way to ensure that all the essential visual skills are working correctly is by having a Functional Vision Exam.

The Vision Therapy Center provides a professional eye and vision examination, one that includes a comprehensive assessment of visual information processing, binocular function and other visual skills.

In adults and children, a Functional Vision Exam is necessary whenever symptoms of vision problems are exhibited. To be proactive, the exam should be performed in the following increments:

Baby – 6 months
Child – Annually

Why don’t schools or other optometrists perform this exam?

A large percentage of students don’t have vision problems, and conducting these tests on every child would be costly. Vision screenings are less costly, but limited in scope. Many of these screenings involve little more than reading letters on a distance eye chart, a test that cannot determine if a child has the visual skills necessary for effective reading and learning.

Doesn’t my regular optometrist test for vision problems?

Not all optometrists have the advanced training or equipment required to perform a Functional Vision Exam, which is why many refer their patients to The Vision Therapy Center.

What is included in a Functional Vision Exam?

A Functional Vision Exam generally takes 60 – 90 minutes and includes a series of tests based on the patient’s individual needs. The doctor will first review the patient’s health and eye history, with emphasis on any visual problems and symptoms. This information is used to tailor the Functional Vision Exam, which includes tests on a wide range of visual skills.

These tests are for the typical learning-related vision problems. Different tests may be required for other types of patients (developmental delay, brain injury, sports vision).

The Functional Vision Exam includes:

  • The Pre-Test Assessment
  • The Examination Assessment
  • The End Visit

In some cases, an additional Perceptual Test may be required. Prices and descriptions of vision tests are included below.

Pre-Test Assessment and Examination Assessment ($200-300)
This test takes 60-90 minutes. Generally, testing for learning-related issues costs only $200. Additional tests for special needs such as strabismus, amblyopia, and brain injuries can cost up to $300.

Pre-Test Assessment:

  • Binocular space perception.
  • Color Perception
  • Stereopsis
  • Visual motor integration
  • Developmental eye movement (“tracking”)
  • Eye movements while reading

Examination Assessment:

  • Visual Acuity
  • Pursuits (ability to track a moving target) and Saccades (ability to switch fixation between two targets)
  • Ability to converge the eyes
  • Alignment of the eyes at distance and near
  • Visual Field
  • Refractive Condition
  • Ability to converge and diverge the eyes when looking at a distance target
  • Ability to converge and diverge the eyes when looking at a near target
  • Magnitude of focusing ability
  • Flexibility of focusing ability
  • Function in near tasks with various performance lenses
  • Pupillary reflexes
  • Internal and external ocular health

Perceptual Testing Assessment, if required ($143)

The Perceptual Testing Assessment is not always required, but the developmental optometrist may recommend it. It includes testing the following skills:

  • Presence or absence of primitive reflexes
  • Bilateral integration
  • Laterality
  • Directionality
  • Visual perceptual attention
  • Perceptual speed
  • Visual Memory
  • Visual Motor Integration and Organization
  • Auditory attention
  • Auditory visual integration
  • Auditory Discrimination

Patient Education Visit (No Charge)
After completing the Functional Vision Test and/or the Perceptual Testing Assessment, the doctor will review the results of the testing and create an individualized treatment plan. Both the results of the testing and the doctor’s recommended treatment plan will be presented to the patient and/or the patient’s legal guardian(s) at this 90-minute visit. The purpose of the Patient Education Visit is to provide ample time to discuss the testing results and treatment plan as well as answer any questions that you may have.

Will my child need vision therapy if he or she gets a Functional Vision Exam?

No. The Functional Vision Exam is conducted to determine if you or your child evenhas a vision problem. It’s not uncommon for us to find that only a change in a glasses prescription is needed. But the testing is critical to get to the root cause of a child’s learning issues.

Is the Functional Vision Exam and any resultant vision therapy covered by insurance?

This depends on the level of coverage provided in your health insurance policy. We are happy to provide you with a preauthorization letter that you can give to your insurance company to determine your level of coverage. In the event you don’t have coverage, we have a variety of payment plans that can fit any budget.

Do you have any examples of other children who have been helped by vision therapy?

Absolutely.Check out our Success Stories for other cases.

Let’s determine if vision problems are causing
you or your child’s struggles with learning.

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