BOCA RATON, Fla. – Millions of Americans live with diagnosed vision problems including nearsightedness, farsightedness, glaucoma or presbyopia.
But an estimated 20 percent are living with another type of vision impairment that often goes undetected during the course of a routine eye exam.
"People have no idea they're having problems sometimes because they've simply learned to compensate," said Dr. Larry Lampert, a neuro-optometrist who worked with Whitehall Boca Raton, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility.
During his stay at Whitehall, patient Jerry Kanovsky underwent functional vision therapy to regain his ability to read.
"After my most recent stroke, I couldn't read anything. After working with Dr. Lampert, I'm now reading an 800-page book and loving every minute of it," Kanovsky said.
Lampert said even people with 20/20 vision can suffer from binocular vision problems, which often go undetected on a standard eye exam.
"I look at how the eyes are working together as a team, how do the eyes focus, and how we're processing with our central and peripheral vision," Lampert said.
The symptoms of binocular vision problems include headache, eye strain, fatigue, blurred vision and double vision.
"We diagnose binocular vision problems through functional testing and treat it with special exercises designed to retrain the eye," said Lampert.
Former professional baseball player Doug Jennings credits functional vision rehabilitation with helping him become a top player in Japan.
"You learn how to use muscles and skills and techniques to be able to stay on the ball and track the ball, which made it a lot better for me," Jennings said.