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Binocular Vision (Functional Visual Skills)

Binocular vision is all about using two eyes equally, to send information to the brain in order to guide our actions and appreciate depth perception (3D Vision).

When we refer to Binocular Vision or Visual Skills we're talking about 4 things: P . T . F . T

  P = Posture of the eyes

  T = Teaming skills 

  F = Focusing skills

  T = Tracking skills

When the posture of the eyes are straight (i.e. no eye turn/strabismus), each time we look at an object a few things should happen:       

  1. Both eyes point towards the object and our brain judges how close or far it is from our body

  2. A message is sent to both eyes to move either inwards (converge) for close distance, or outwards (diverge) for far distance. This teaming movement should happen equally in both eyes so the object is seen as one. 

  3. This teaming movement triggers the internal lens of the eyes to expand (accommodate) or relax so that the object is clear, i.e. in focus

  4. The eyes must then lock onto the object, and follow it so the brain can track its movement.

  5. Both eyes need to receive and send equal information to the brain.

Sound simple enough right? the coolest part is these 5 things happen instantly - without us even thinking about it. 

More specific information about specific visual skills can be found by clicking:

  • Shifting attention from near to far objects which requires our eye posture to change 

    • ​copying from the board at school 

    • looking from the computer screen to a colleague across the room

    • looking at the speedometer then back to the road while driving

  • Keeping objects and words clear as your eyes follow a moving target or read across the printed page

  • Using information from both eyes (binocularity) to judge depth and distance

    • crucial skill in sports​ and general play for children

  • Visual-motor integration

    • guiding a pencil across a page when writing

How do I use my Binocular Vision skills?

How do I know when there's a problem?

When there's a breakdown in these Visual Skills the symptoms often vary depending on (1) the severity of the problem, (2) how long the problem has existed and (3) the individual's pain/discomfort threshold.


Binocular Vision issues are common in both Adults & Children, but children are less likely to report any issues because they assume what they are seeing is normal - without a reference point of proper vision and visual skills it's hard to compare.

Some of the most common signs & symptoms:

  • Squinting the eyes when looking at objects either near or far

  • Excessive blinking

  • Rubs eyes frequently

  • Closes one eye or has a significant head posture

  • Sensitivity to light

  • The appearance of an eye turn

  • Close working distance when reading, writing or holding an iPad

  • Frontal headaches

  • Tired eyes, particularly after close work such as reading, iPad/computer

Download our FREE 'Symptoms Checklist' to see if you or your child need an appointment

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