What Is Oculomotor Dysfunction?

This eye condition occurs due to a defect in different aspects of eye movement. These aspects include purposeful, controlled, and voluntary eye movement. The world is highly visual, and so oculomotor skills are necessary. Accurate oculomotor skills are crucial for many things, including:

  • Reading

  • Writing

  • Performing art projects

  • Copying information

  • Playing sports

  • Finding background objects

It is helpful to understand what the above condition is, its symptoms, and its treatment.


Oculomotor Dysfunction

People also refer to this condition as ocular motility dysfunction. It involves a deficiency in visual skills such as fixation and eye movement. It is a common vision problem that can affect children and adults.

The dysfunction affects tasks that require visual acuities. The activities include reading, balance, sports, and depth perception. People do not outgrow the condition, but they usually develop compensatory techniques. For example, they start moving their head and using their fingers when reading. The disorder is not about the eye condition but how both eyes work together.


Symptoms of Oculomotor Dysfunction

The symptoms include:

  • Difficulties with visual tracking or following moving objects

  • Repetition, losing place, and skipping words when reading

  • Inconsistent or inaccurate work

  • Needing to use a reading strip, finger, or marker to read

  • Moving the entire head, instead of the eyes, when reading

  • Double vision

  • Blurring

  • Words floating or moving on the page

  • Headaches

  • Abnormal posture


Children With Oculomotor Dysfunction


Children with this condition have a poor attention span, losing concentration easily. They often find it difficult to copy information from the classroom board. The children have trouble with math.

They usually need more time to perform visual tasks than their classmates. They perform poorly on timed tests. They have difficulty understanding text and remembering information. Hand-eye coordination or head-eye movements can be difficult.


Diagnosing Oculomotor Dysfunction

In most cases, optometrists do not diagnose the condition as patients can have 20/20 vision. Eye specialists are called in, and they use different tests to diagnose the dysfunction.

They use quantitative standard tests alongside qualitative testing and observation. An accurate evaluation of the tests helps diagnose the condition.



Treatment for the condition will often include a vision therapy program. The therapy involves prisms, lenses, and specific brain and eye activities. The activities help improve eye movements and fixations.

Oculomotor skills are part of other skills that enhance information processing. The duration of the treatment will vary in individuals. It will depend on the complexity or severity of the condition. For most cases, specialists prescribe a 12-hour treatment program.

Early intervention is essential when dealing with prevalent vision disorders. Eye doctors must address the concerns appropriately. Proper management will help children avoid disruptions that can interfere with academic motivation. Early intervention helps prevent the development of vision problems in the future. It sets them up on equal footing with other children their age.

To understand more about oculomotor dysfunction, visit Bernstein Center for Visual Performance. Our office is in White Plains, New York. You can call (914) 682-8886 today to schedule an appointment.

9:00am - 5:30pm 9:00am - 5:30pm 9:00am - 12:30pm 9:00am - 5:30pm 9:00am - 12:30pm Closed Closed optometrist # # # https://goo.gl/maps/zEfF4ikZ6ydTJ5QEA 1133 Westchester Avenue, Suite N008 White Plains NY 10605