The Visual Performance Examination

This is the visual examination we carry out on babies, children, adults and the elderly.

During this examination we evaluate the Functional Vision Skills: visual health, visual acuity close up and at distance, oculomotor control, accommodation, the binocular system and the relationship between them, in order to determine whether the patient’s visual performance corresponds with his or her visual requirements.

Optometric examinations are recommended:

  • At 6 months: during this first evaluation we assess the integrity and correct development of the ocular structures.
  • At 2-3 years of age, once the first stage of Motor Development, walking and jumping, is complete.
  • At 6 years, once the final stage of Motor Development is complete: acquisition of laterality, the basis for learning how to read and write.
  • Annually for PREVENTING academic and/or occupational difficulties.

The length of the Optometric Examination is approximately 1 hour. Prior to this evaluation most clinics ask their patients to complete a questionnaire or help with the compilation of an extended case history in order to glean more precise information about aspects such as their health, development, learning, environmental conditions and visual requirements. Once this information has been correlated with the data obtained from the examination, it becomes a determining factor as it will enable the optometrist to provide a better diagnosis of the case and to carry out the most effective treatment.

Perception and Visual Information Processing Test

  • What is perception??

This is the way we gather information via our senses.

We all build an internal reality from the external reality based on different factors.

Once it has been related with our previous experiences and interrelated with other areas of the brain, the information provided by our senses produces a motor response that constitutes our behaviour.

Given that the visual system provides 80% of all sensory information, the processing of the visual information is key for our understanding of the world.

The Perception Test includes:

  • An evaluation of Motor Development
  • An evaluation of Lateralization
  • A Visual Perception Evaluation
  • A Visual-Motor Integration Evaluation
  • A Vision-Hearing Integration Evaluationa
  • A Visual Memory Evaluation

    1. Motor development examination. DGiven that Motor Development (from 0 to 7 years) is reciprocally related with Vision Development (from 0 to 8 years), it is necessary to know what barriers or interferences have occurred within this process in order to understand the visual difficulties. This Development Examination consists of:
      • Primitive Reflexes Examination
      • Bodily Awareness and Balance Tests, Crossing the Midline, Jumping, Skipping, Walking Patterns.
    2. Visual-Spatial Skills. Any disorder of this visual skill results in the subject confusing letters or syllables: right-left d-b, p-q, up-down u-n, b-p, mixed confusions b-q, d-p, front-back le-el, se-es, 45-54.
      • Laterality. This enables us to be internally aware of the two sides of our body and be able to differentiate them.
      • Directionality. This enables us to be able to interpret the right- and left-hand directions in three separate components of the external space.
      • Bilateral integration. This is the skill that enables us to be aware of the two parts of our bodies both separately and simultaneously. The capacity to make integrated use of the two cerebral hemispheres and relate visual information with other bodily data.
    3. Visual perception examination. This consists of 2 phases:
      1. Learning to read (5-7 years of age)
        • Word recognition
        • Remembering and pairing of shapes
        • Spatial orientation
      2. Reading to learn (>7 years of age)
        • Reading speed and comprehension
        • The importance of the visual perception factors diminishes
        • The accommodative and convergence dysfunctions increase

      Signs and Symptoms of a Visual Perception Problems:

      • Poor student during the first two years of primary education.
      • Difficulties with visual vocabulary.
      • Difficulties with recognising alphanumerical codes.
      • A history of inverting letters, numbers and words, e.g. ‘cocholate’ instead of ‘chocolate’.
      • Subjects express themselves better orally than in writing.
      • Excessive generalisation when classifying objects.
      • Difficulties with learning the alphabet and word recognition.
      • Deficient handwriting.
    4. Visual-Motor integration. In this section tests are run to determine the subject’s fine motor skills, in other words using fingers and hands with precision and pencil control and Visual-Motor Integration or the relationship between the visual information processed and the exact copy thereof.
    5. Visual-Aural Integration. Here we evaluate the subjects capacity for integrating the visual and aural information received and their corresponding oral and written response.