Vision and Plagiocephaly and Torticollis

During the developmental years, asymmetries in bilaterality are reflected in asymmetries in learning to use both eyes together. Physical asymmetries between the sides of the body create a demand on the developing visual system making it more difficult for the brain to use the signals from both eyes at the same time. In some cases when the image sizes are too different or clarity through one of the eyes is markedly different than the other, the child may attempt to resolve the problem by building in a visual adaptation that, over time, can lead to a permanent visual problem, even after the treatment of the primary plagiocephaly or torticollis. The kinds of visual problems that can develop include:

  • Strabismus (an eye turn of one eye relative to the other: in, out, up or down)
  • Amblyopia (decreased clarity of sight through one eye that is not fixable with glasses)
  • Astigmatism (optical asymmetry causing blurred sight)
  • Anisometropia (significantly different prescriptions in the two eyes)

The goal of our work in the clinic is to identify any risk factors and to set the stage to guide visual development towards less affected conditions. This often involves the use of partial eyeglass prescriptions and the administration, generally through home-based activities, of visual developmental activities. When eyeglasses are used the prescriptions often are given in a more conservative, homeopathic type of approach, using the least amount of lens power necessary to get the visual system to develop normally. When home vision developmental guidance activities are prescribed the goal is a more balanced use of the body and a more balanced stimulation and use of the visual system. Vision’s primary purpose is in the direction of purposeful movement. Our goal is for your child to have the freedom to use her visual system is as normal a manner as possible.


Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., Named President and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute

We’re thrilled to welcome Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., to the Kennedy Krieger family as our next President and CEO.

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