Vision Disorders


Amblyopia, or Lazy Eye, is the loss or lack of development of vision in (usually) one eye. It occurs at the level of the brain, not the eye itself. Amblyopia is often associated with one of the eyes having a higher refractive prescription and/or an eye being turned in, out, up, or down. It is also possible but less commonly seen to have amblyopia be caused by an eye health problem. Regardless of the cause, early detection offers the best chances for a successful outcome. Patients can benefit from vision therapy for the more common causes of Amblyopia at any age.
Dr. Penelope Suter, O.D., FCOVD.


Strabismus, or eye turn, is a misalignment of the eyes. Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not fixate as a pair; rather, one eye deviates inward, outward or alternate, giving them a “crossed” look. Strabismus also frequently leads to amblyopia. Sometimes surgery is required to help “align” the eyes more closely. However, the brain is the real controller of eye alignment, and if it has not been taught how to fuse the images from the two eyes into one, creating a 3D picture of the world, then surgery is frequently cosmetic, without functional improvement. Vision therapy is recommended as early as possible to achieve the best results in order to teach the brain how to properly join the images from the two eyes. (See Fixing My Gaze: a Scientist’s Journey into Seeing in Three Dimensions, by Sue Barry for a neuroscientist’s viewpoint.)
At birth, small occasional eyeturns are common. However, if the eyeturn appears constant, or does not disappear by age 6 months, the child should be seen for vision evaluation. Another common eyeturn is crossed eyes that appear between ages 1 and 5 years. These should be evaluated as soon as they appear, so that they do not become constant.
Suter Vision optical.


Convergence insufficiency occurs when your eyes do not properly align while focusing on a near object. When you read or look at a close object, your eyes should converge, or turn inward together to align, resulting in a single image. When a patient is not able to do so, he/she tend to experience double vision, strain, fatigue and poor reading comprehension. Vision therapy can greatly alleviate these symptoms patients experience. This is a common problem in children who have reading difficulty in school and adults who find themselves transposing numbers.


Diplopia, or double vision, is the result of both eyes independently focusing on different images instead of both eyes fusing the images into a single picture by the brain. There can be many possible causes for diplopia but once the source is diagnosed, vision therapy can be very useful to correct the condition.


Binocular Vision is the ability to align both eyes on a visual point and combine the images seen by each eye into a single multidimensional image. Vision therapy can help these patients train both eyes to be able to work together.

The optometrists and staff at Dr. Penelope S. Suter’s office are proud to serve patients in Bakersfield as well as surrounding communities such as Arvin, Delano, Frazier Park, Lake Isabella, Lamont, Lancaster, Palmdale, Porterville, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, Visalia, Wasco and many more. Our services include, but are not limited to, general optometry, vision therapy, diagnosis and treatment of eye disease and conditions and the treatment of vision issues that result from brain injury or other neurological compromise.