80% of Learning Is Visual! The Link Between Vision and Learning

Difficulty focusing can impact copying information off the chalkboard in school

Today I’m going to review the link between vision and learning. Did you know that 80% of the information you learn comes through your vision? This means that in order to achieve your highest potential, good vision is essential! So how does vision develop and how can you make sure that you have the best vision possible?

In the video below, Dr. Fayiz Mahgoub discusses a few direct links between vision and learning. 

If you don’t like the video or want more information, continue reading.

Visual skills are developed over time

Vision is a learned ability. It’s really no different than our ability to learn how to speak, write, or read and this means it’s a skill that can actually be enhanced throughout our entire life.

Let’s take a look at this a little bit deeper. When we look at our ability to speak, read, or write we recognize that it’s actually made up of smaller skills that all come together to give us the overall ability.

Vision works the same way. Our ability to see is a result of seventeen different visual skills that we developed over time.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Every Toddler Should Get an Eye Exam

Here are 3 key groups of vision skills and how they impact our ability to learn

1) Eye movement control

Eye movement control is our ability to move our eyes in a way that is both accurate and also coordinated. To do this, our brain has to control the twelve eye muscles that surround our two eyes in a way that is very accurate.

Having poor eye movement control can cause us to this lose our place when we’re reading. As a result, someone who has poor eye movement control can be seen to be a slow reader. They can also have difficulty remembering what they read because they’re working so hard just to keep their eyes in the right place.

RELATED: The Top 5 Visual Skills for Sports (and How To Improve Them)

2) Focusing skills

Our focusing skills are some of the most important visual skills when it comes to learning. This is a group of visual skills that consists of our ability to focus each eye at a far distance and a near distance and to switch efficiently between far and near as we please.

Difficulties with focusing skills can cause us problems with tasks such as a reading which involves sustaining our focus at near for long periods of time. They can also interfere with our ability to perform tasks like copying from the board, which requires us to focus at far and at near and to switch between the two often.

RELATED: 5 Signs Your Child Could Have a Learning-Related Vision Problem

3) Eye alignment skills

Another important group of visual skills is eye alignment skills. These skills give us the ability to point each of our eyes at the same point in space, whether it be near, far, or moving from near to far.

Having difficulties with our eye alignment skills can make it difficult to be able to see a single image and can result in double vision or eye strain. This can interfere with tasks such as reading or learning from the board.

RELATED: School Vision Screenings: What Parents Need To Know

Are your vision and learning skills up to speed?

You may be wondering how you could find out how well developed your visual skills are and how you might be able to enhance them further. The best way to do this is to get a comprehensive eye exam with your doctor. During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will be checking the health of your two eyes as well as the function of your visual system which is made up of the eyes but also the brain.

Through the comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will be able to identify if you have any functional issues with your vision or with eye health – both of which can contribute to having difficulties when learning.

It’s also important to know that it’s possible to have healthy eyes and not need glasses or contact lenses but still struggle with visual skills like focusing skills, eye alignment skills, and eye movement control.

If you’re found to have difficulties with these visual skills, your eye doctor may recommend vision therapy. Vision therapy is a process that’s meant to teach your brain how to use your eyes more effectively, more accurately, and more efficient.

Looking to learn more about the link between vision and learning? Schedule an appointment with your local eye care professional today!