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Home » Practice Blog Content » Sight vs. Seeing: How our eyes process information and tell us about life

Sight vs. Seeing: How our eyes process information and tell us about life

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Think about this: We use our eyes to take in 90% of everything going on around us. All other senses combined are just ten percent.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know your eyes are helping you react to and absorb everything they possibly can throughout your day? But how can we show our doctor how we’re using our eyes, to make sure this is the case? There’s new technology that does just that: it performs a multitude of tests in the form of eye-tracking “video games,” each taking only a few minutes to complete. The resulting reports provide valuable insight into how a patient’s eyes and brain are functioning. It’s called RightEye, and it helps EYEcenter optometrists and vision therapists to better assess patients of all ages and vision levels.

During her years as a tennis coach, RightEye co-founder Melissa Hunfalvay read a statement that changed her perspective on vision:

‘Elite level tennis players do not watch the ball.’

“It confused me at first, because ‘watch the ball’ is a fundamental concept in sports,” Hunfalvay said. “I started to realize then, that experience teaches us where to look.

“Experienced tennis players watch the arm as it comes forward on a serve: this helps them anticipate where the ball’s going to go,” Hunfalvay continued. “Inexperienced players wait and watch for the ball, and this doesn’t allow enough reaction time. The same is true in soccer, football, baseball–the list goes on.”

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Have you ever seen a teenager drive? They often don’t look past the hood of the car. But experienced drivers look 20 feet ahead. If you text and drive, you look at the same places as inexperienced drivers. Statistics on both athletics and distracted driving tell us that where we look matters. Tracking eye movement can provide this information quickly and accurately.

Where you’re looking can help you anticipate better and improve your safety. But our eyes also tell us how we look at something. Doctors assessing head injuries ask patients to follow a finger with their eyes. We can now re-create this test using eye-tracking: the paths your eyes follow allow us to see differences between someone who has had a concussion and someone who hasn’t.

Our eye movements can also reveal if we’re seeing clearly. To read effectively, our eyes need to converge. There are times when this fails to happen, and that’s called “convergence insufficiency.” It’s one of many eye conditions that aren’t tested for during basic vision assessments, like those provided in most schools. Using eye tracking technology can give us this information within a few minutes.

Think of the implications of missing the opportunity to assist kids with reading, and potentially misdiagnosing them with attention disorders because they look around the room instead of at their work. We might think they have trouble focusing, but really what they need is reading glasses.

RightEye is a solution for these kids, for adults, for athletes, for patients recovering from a concussion. Since many health and vision conditions are identified through eye movement, tracking it can help us assess your vision like we’ve never been able to before. Click here for more information about RightEye tracking technology, and call us or click here to schedule a screening.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.