Vision and Memory

Woman experiencing memory loss

How Vision Affects Your Memory

Vision plays a crucial role in your ability to remember facts and figures, spell correctly, and even perform well when playing sports. Although sounds, smells, and feelings certainly affect memory, recalled images make up a significant percentage of your memories. An issue with the way your brain processes images could lead to memory issues. Vision therapy offers a natural way to improve vision-related memory problems in both children and adults.

What Is Visual Memory?

Good short- and long-term visual memory is needed to remember things you've seen before. When you have poor short-term visual memory, you'll won't be able to recall images soon after you've seen them. Long-term visual memory issues make it difficult to retrieve visual memories stored in your brain weeks, months or years ago.

If your brain can't correctly process and store the images it receives, you may develop memory problems. Without good visual memory, it may be difficult to recall words and events or understand non-verbal cues and body language.

What Is Working Memory?

Your working memory is part of your short-term memory and is responsible for temporarily holding on to information while it is being processed. The two types of working memory include auditory and visual-spatial. Your visual memory records and processes what you see while your auditory stores what you hear.

The working memory system of your brain can affect how your child learns to read, understands math, and how well they focus on tasks. If the connection between your child's eyes and their brain isn't good, they might have issues like recalling words associated with a picture that their teacher drew on the board.

What Are the Symptoms of Visual Memory Problems?

Issues with the brain/eye connection often begin early in childhood and may affect a child's performance in school. Unfortunately, it's not always easy for parents and teachers to identify the source of a child's problems. Children who have trouble recognizing letters or numbers or remembering what they've read may be incorrectly diagnosed with learning disabilities or even labeled lazy.

Does your son or daughter have trouble remembering spelling words on test day or struggle to copy words or letters correctly? These issues can be signs of visual memory problems. The problem can also affect your child's ability to complete math problems, form mental images, remember names, write or read.

If you're an adult and struggled in school, these problems may sound familiar. Unfortunately, visual memory issues can continue to affect you long after you finish school.

Short- and long-term visual memory problems may make it difficult to recognize people or objects, give someone directions to your home, remember passwords or phone numbers, or even recall where you put your glasses or car keys. You may find it difficult to react quickly to changing situations when driving or remember the contents of work-related emails.

Sports performance can also suffer when you have a problem with your visual memory. It's impossible to remember the locations of the other players on the field or court if you have a poor short-term visual memory. Memory problems can make it difficult to find an open player when you're ready to throw the ball or avoid opposing players intent on stealing the ball or tackling you.

How Can Vision Therapy Improve Visual Memory?

Vision therapy focuses on strengthening the connection between your brain and your eyes and improving the way your brain processes and stores the information it receives from your eyes. During your comprehensive eye examination, your therapist will perform an examination and conduct a few tests to determine if your memory problem is caused by a visual processing issue.

Once you've received your diagnosis, your vision therapist will prepare a treatment plan designed to improve and enhance your short- and long-term visual memory. Vision therapy activities retrain your brain to properly process and store images.

You'll participate in a series of hands-on activities and computer games during therapy, such as matching games that help you retain and recall recently seen images. In addition to participating in activities and games during supervised therapy sessions, your vision therapist may also give you a few activities to try at home.

Could you or your son or daughter have a problem with visual memory? Vision therapy offers an effective solution that can improve the quality of your life. Contact us to schedule your comprehensive vision examination.

Sources:

Understood: 5 Ways Kids Use Working Memory to Learn

Science Direct: Visual Memories

All About Vision: Vision Therapy for Children

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