Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Eye tracking problems and reading - pursuits and saccades

Some students have reading problems because their eyes cannot properly track the words on the page.

There are two types of basic movements that eyes make when reading.  The first type is called a pursuit.  Imagine a baseball field, imagine the pitcher throwing the ball to the batter.  As the batter's eye follows the ball, the eye is performing a pursuit.

The second type of eye movement that is critical to reading is a saccade.  In baseball, if you quickly look from fist base to second base to third base, that is a saccadic eye movement.  To read properly, your eyes must have very precise and accurate pursuit and saccadic eye movements.  People with problems with pursuits and saccades often miss words, loose their place when reading and have to re-read sentences.

Problems with pursuits and saccades can be effectively treated with vision therapy.

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