A new visual syndrome – BAOD…it’s more than a feeling

A child who struggles to keep up in school will often exhibit a variety of behaviors that interfere with performance.  These may manifest as poor attention, lack of concentration, acting out, anxiety, low self esteem and withdrawl.  One common approach to try and help the child is to to treat the behavior problem through doctor prescribed attention or mood enhancing medications. But too often the actual cause of the problem is more than a feeling…


In the field of developmental optometry  a set of concurrent disorders indicating the presence of a visual syndrome is emerging. This syndrome typically presents as a dysfunction involving, at a minimum, 3 components of ocular coordination. The 3 areas of visual skill dysfunction typically include Binocular  (eye teaming) control, Accommodation (eye focusing) control and Oculomotor (eye tracking) control. The BAOD Syndrome represents a disorder of these three systems (Binocular- Accommodative- Oculomotor).

BAOD affects a  high percentage of children and adults and is often found with the following symptoms:

  • Reduced reading and learning performance
  • Behavioral and emotional problems
  • Good distance visual acuity (20/20) leading to false negatives on acuity-based vision screenings

To help doctors, therapists and the public at large to gain a better understanding for BAOD, the following powerpoint presentation was developed for The VisionHelp Blog. It’s more than a feeling…

                                                                         BAOD Syndrome – The PowerPoint PDF

                                                                       BAOD Syndrome – The PowerPoint version

Dan L. Fortenbacher, O.D.,FCOVD

3 thoughts on “A new visual syndrome – BAOD…it’s more than a feeling

  1. Is anyone working with tools more sophisticated than a Brock’s string? Is any research being conducted on using new technology? Now the disorders have been identified isn’t it time to update treatment?

  2. Bruce,
    You raise a great question. Too often the images that are portrayed about vision therapy seem to rely on activities that are highly effective but do not look very high tech. The Brock String is a good example. And yes, absolutely there are many more high tech tools that we use to help our patient develop their binocular vision. The beauty of the Brock String is that it provides to the patient visual awareness of their binocular vision as well as immediate feedback about the binocular alignment in a truly simple, inexpensive and portable way. I use it as a demonstration to parents in nearly every patient conference because it conveys these important elements of treatment so well.

    But, there are many more sophisticated tools that we utilize to help our patients explore a “stereo rich” experience in the vision therapy room. These often involve computer generated digitally projected 3-D images that provides the patient with the opportunity to explore stereopsis (3-D vision).

    • “And yes, absolutely there are many more high tech tools that we use to help our patient develop their binocular vision.” Besides computer generated images that my son can’t see what other tools are there? My son has had more than a year of therapy at two different optometrists offices and neither one has any tools developed in the last 25 years. Most of the equipment was dated 1950 – 1970. (Please don’t argue that it is effective even though it is old because at least in my son’s case it isn’t.) Is someone working on developing new tools and if so who would that be? The Pennsylvania College of Optometry? Thank you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s