How Does Vision Therapy Improve Reading Ability?

Published on
March 23, 2023

According to the American Optometric Association, approximately 80% of what a child learns in school is acquired through vision, and vision problems can significantly impact academic performance.

As a developmental optometrist, Dr. McBryar has treated many students who struggle to learn how to read due to vision problems. In this blog, we will explore how vision therapy can help improve reading ability, what functional vision is essential for reading success, and how vision therapy can address learning-related vision problems.

What Is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is a specialized treatment that addresses problems related to eye focusing, tracking, making reading eye movements, depth perception, peripheral vision, visual perception and processing skills, as well as visual sensory motor integration. Unlike routine eye exams, a neurodevelopmental vision evaluation tests each skill to identify where a patient excels and where they struggle. A customized treatment plan is then created to develop those skills up to the expected level for that patient's age.

How Does Vision Therapy Improve Reading Ability?

Reading involves a series of visual skills, including:

  • Turning both eyes inward when reading
  • Focusing and zooming in on the page
  • Accurately tracking eyes across the page and scanning into peripheral vision where the next word is located
  • Processing visual information, which involves understanding and taking meaning from what you're looking at

If a student's vision is poor, or their visual skills are not up to par, it can significantly impact their reading performance, comfort, and enjoyment. In some cases, it can lead to eyestrain, headaches, fatigue, frustration, skipping words and lines, losing place on the page, and poor comprehension.

Through a sequence of vision therapy activities, patients can learn how to control their eyes, acquire visual information, and process it accurately and efficiently. They learn how to do a skill, then learn how to do it easily without a lot of effort, and finally, try to ingrain these skills long term. As these learning-related vision problems are improved, reading performance often improves as well.

Take our online visual skills assessment to help identify if you or your child has a potential visual deficit that may be interfering with success in the classroom, work, or sports /about-us-practice-page/our-specialty/vision-therapy-specialty/vision-and-learning-quiz/

Schedule a Neurodevelopmental Vision Evaluation to Improve Your Child's Reading Skills with Dr. McBryar, Developmental Optometrist

If your child is struggling to read, it may be due to a vision problem. Consider scheduling a neurodevelopmental vision evaluation with a developmental optometrist like Dr. McBryar. A comprehensive vision evaluation can identify the root cause of your child's reading difficulties and help create a customized treatment plan to improve their visual skills. With vision therapy, we can learn to control their eyes, acquire visual information, and process it efficiently and accurately. Contact us today at (423) 710 3965 to learn more about how we can help your child achieve their full potential in reading and learning.

Parents who want a more thorough evaluation of their child's vision or are concerned about a potential underlying vision problem, visit our clinic from all over Tennessee, and we are proud to be a leading provider of pediatric vision services for patients from Hixson, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley.



Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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