Functional Vision Assessments

Dr. Pennifold has a special interest and extra post-graduate education in performing Functional Vision Assessments for patients of all ages. These assessments involve more in-depth testing regarding the way the eyes move, track, fixate, focus, and work as a team.

Not all optometrists perform these assessments, and Dr. Pennifold is one of a handful of optometrists in Edmonton providing these services. These assessments are not covered through Alberta Health Care, and may be eligible for reimbursement from your private insurance company, but we are unfortunately unable to direct bill for these services.

Those that may benefit from a Functional Vision Assessment:

  • Have visual symptoms following a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • Have trouble focusing their vision, or get double vision (diplopia), eye strain or headaches from visual tasks.
  • Are behind in learning, reading, writing in school.
  • Have poor coordination, balance, or get easily motion sick.
  • Have an eye turn inward, outward, or up or down, intermittently or constantly (strabismus).
  • Have a lazy eye (amblyopia – reduced visual acuity in one or both eyes).
  • Feel that they have not reached their visual potential.
  • Athletes who want to accelerate their visual skills.

Functional Vision Assessments include:

  • Checklist of questions relating to your (or your child’s) visual symptoms. This should be filled out prior to attending the assessment appointment.
  • A detailed history regarding your concerns, symptoms, eye and vision history, medical history, developmental history, educational history, current visual demands, and visual goals.
  • Testing regarding (differs on a per case basis):
    • Eyesight: visual acuity, refractive status
    • Eye Movements: fixation, smooth eye tracking (pursuits), saccades (jumps)
    • Eye Focusing: accommodation amplitude, sustainability, and facility
    • Eye Teaming: eye posture, eye teaming range, depth perception, suppression
    • Visual Perception: visual discrimination, constancy, closure, analysis, memory, motor integration, and spatial skills
  • Discussion involving the diagnoses.
  • Available treatments which may include lenses, prisms, and vision therapy / rehabilitation.
  • Question and answer time.