Vision is a three-step process, that mainly takes place in the brain. When we see a dog, our eye captures the image, but it is the brain that tells us that image is a dog. The picture of the dog travels through our brain along the visual pathway and finishes at the visual cortex, which decodes the image and tells us what it is. A disturbance in any of these three areas – the eye, the visual pathway, or the visual cortex – can disrupt the way we see, process information and complete daily tasks. Sometimes, children are misdiagnosed with a cognitive learning disability when the problem really lies in their visual processing!
A Functional Vision Evaluation includes an evaluation of the optical (1), sensorimotor (2), and visual processing systems (3) to check for weaknesses in the eyes, visual pathway, and visual cortex. While corrective lenses can resolve problems detected in an optical exam, problems detected with the visual pathway or visual cortex are corrected with vision therapy, which retrains the brain in the proper processing of visual information.