Discovering Vision Therapy Blog

Making Sure Your Vision Test Covers All the Bases

Posted by Greg Mischio

Just What is a Functional Vision Test?

We write often about people having an undetected vision problem, an issue that won’t be uncovered by typical vision screenings or a Snellen Eye Chart. 

If the problem is “undetected,” then how do we detect it?

Developmental optometrists use an extensive series of tests to try to pinpoint the exact issue.  At The Vision Therapy Center, we use a Functional Vision Test.  In this three-part series, we’re going to explain the three aspects of the test, and why it helps us cover "all the bases".  We’ll begin with the Pre-Test Assessment.

Pre-Test Assessment provides visual function overview

In the Pre-Test Assessment, we want to get a sense of a patient’s overall visual function.  We conduct a series of general tests that focus on different aspects of visual functionality.  It is from this “big picture” that we can begin to narrow in on the specific visual skills that are lacking.

The pre-test sequence is modified based on the patient’s age and developmental level.  For example, our color vision test has two different versions.  One is for older children and adults, one is for pre-kindergarten.  The tests are based on the cognitive-demands being placed on the patient.

Here are the Pre-Test Assessment’s key components and their descriptions:

  • Binocular space perception (VO Star):   To determine your perception of visual space, you make a two-dimensional drawing that represents your perception of three-dimensional visual space. 
  • Stereopsis:  We determine if your eyes are working together to achieve stereopsis, which allows the visual system to perceive three-dimensional space. 
  • Visual motor integration:   We assess a patient’s use of vision and fine motor skills, and how well these two work together. 
  • Developmental Eye Movement Test (DEM):  We assess your eye-tracking ability.  You’ll be asked to read a series of numbers vertically and horizontally. 
  • Eye movements while reading:   Our Visagraph test measures your eye movements when reading. 

The Pre-Test Assessment allows us to create a starting point for more extensive testing.  In a future post, we'll discuss the other components of a Functional Vision Test.

Click here for more information about scheduling a Functional Vision Test.

(Photo by Tara Kuhlow)

 The Vision and Learning Guide from The Vision Therapy Center. Learn how undetected vision problems can impact a child's ability to learn.  Download your free Vision and Learning Guide.

Topics: Functional Vision Test, The Vision Therapy Center