Six Core Visual Skills

Six core visual skills

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Vision is an important sense that a human has. It allows us to live normally day by day and successfully perform all our tasks. For example, clear vision protects us from danger together with other senses like taste or smell. Did you know that 80% of learning happens through our vision?

That’s why it is important to maintain healthy vision and treat any visual anomalies. Failure in one visual skill can have a substantial effect on the quality of life. Imagine if you couldn’t judge depth and repeatedly bumped into things around you. Horrible, right? And depth perception is just one of the six core visual skills! Let’s take a look at each one of them and what role it plays in a vision. We will also include some visual skills examples!

Convergence

Convergence insufficiency happens when eyes do not work as a team and cannot converge efficiently. In other words, the eyes point behind an object rather than directly at it.

Individuals with convergence insufficiency have problems maintaining binocular vision when looking at near objects, which affects their everyday activities. While the number of people with convergence problems is far from low (up to 15 %), we still don’t completely understand why convergence insufficiency ensues.

Luckily, convergence insufficiency can be treated even later in life, and adults who perform eye exercises are able to achieve very high levels of improvement. Convergence excess refers to when the eyes point in front of an object than directly at it. If it is insufficient, one will experience discomfort and eyestrain when performing near activities such as writing or reading. Sometimes people can also experience headaches, fatigue, and tension that often result in reading problems.

Divergence

Divergence is the opposite of convergence and means simultaneous outward movement of both eyes away from each other when looking at the object in distance.

Divergence insufficiency is a condition of eye misalignment when eyes can not diverge properly, resulting in pointing in front of the object rather than at it. Another condition is divergence excess when the two eyes point behind the object rather than directly at it. The symptoms include double vision when looking at a distance, wandering eyes, headaches, and tired eyes.

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Depth

Depth refers to the ability to discern whether objects are closer or farther away in relation to one another, and to see the world as three-dimensional. Depth perception is one of the most important visual skills.

Binocular vision, commonly referred to as stereopsis, is a prerequisite for depth perception. However, depth impairment definitely has an impact on life. It can decrease a kid’s ability to learn. Furthermore, there is difficulty driving and navigating the appropriate road. For sports professionals, the poor depth prevents the development of their full potential. It also has an effect on career development, as it prevents you from obtaining a position requiring strong depth perception skills.

Alignment

To achieve the binocular vision, the eyes must be aligned. Eye alignment refers to looking in the same direction and focusing on the same object. If not, eye alignment problems occur, such as strabismus and amblyopia. We can check alignment using a torch, pay attention to abnormal head posture, do the cover test, and test ocular movements and double vision.

Recognition

Recognition refers to the ability to track an object when it moves across the visual field. It is one of the core visual skills that are needed for good vision in everyday life. The benefits of recognition training are observed in the most profound way in outdoor activities.

Movement

Eye movements help stabilize images on the retina, enabling clear vision even while the subjects and the person are moving. Generally, there are four types of eye movement:

  • Saccades: Saccades are quick eye movements when the focus of fixation rapidly shifts. For instance, they can be as little as the movements performed when reading or as large as those made while looking around a room. Saccades are also the rapid eye movements that take place during a critical stage of sleep.
  • Smooth pursuit movements: These are significantly slower tracking movements of the eyes. Such movements are controlled voluntarily. The observer has the option to monitor a moving stimulus or not.
  • Vergence movements: Vergence movements align the fovea of each eye with targets located at different distances from the observer.
  • Vestibulo-ocular movements: Vestibulo-ocular movements balance out head movements by stabilizing the eyes’ position in relation to the outside world.

Conclusion: Six Core Visual Skills

To summarize, all the visual abilities mentioned above must be trained and maintained in order to have healthy vision. Any reduction in these visual abilities causes issues for the person. Luckily, there are several digital training options available, including EyeHero, to help build visual skills.

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