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Visual fixation is a basic and essential skill of the visual system to perform the correct binocular vision. Fixation is considered a eye movementBecause when we fix our gaze on a certain object, our eyes never become totally still. 

Visual fixation is monocular and is classified into two types: central visual fixation and eccentric visual fixation. In Área Oftalmológica Avanzada We explain below what visual fixation is and its importance within the ocular system. 

visual fixation

What is visual fixation?

Visual fixation is the monocular ability of the eye to keep the gaze focused on an object. Visual fixation is part of eye movements, because when the eye does not remain still while staring at an object, it makes subtle involuntary movements called microsaccades or fixation movements. 

Visual fixation movements are very important, since they serve to locate the image of a stationary object as accurately as possible in the fovea, while the head is stationary. 


Visual fixation is classified into the following types: 

  • Central fixation: is the type of visual fixation that occurs when the patient fixes the object in the fovea. The fovea is the area of ​​the visual system with the greatest visual acuity.  
  • Eccentric fixation: This type of visual fixation occurs when the patient focuses their object of interest in an extrafoveal area, that is, outside the fovea. Therefore, visual acuity is poor.

How to carry out the study of visual fixation?

To study the visual fixation of a patient, it is necessary to examine the visual system through the fundus. To perform this test it is necessary to use a ophthalmoscope, an instrument that allows the ophthalmologist to observe the fundus of the eye in detail and study visual fixation. 

To explore the fundus, one eye must be occluded to examine the other, it is important that there is little light in the room and drops will be applied to the eye structure to dilate the pupil

During the test, the patient will be asked to fix his gaze on the fixation object shown by the ophthalmoscope. Meanwhile, the doctor will examine the eye to identify where the object is fixed to the bottom. During the examination, three ocular positions will be determined: right, front, nasal and temporal.

Because it is important?

Visual fixation is a practically automatic action of the visual system, and perhaps that is why we are seldom aware of its importance in performing daily activities. Enjoying a correct visual fixation allows carrying out actions as “simple” as reading, and actions as complex as detecting stimuli easily in a complicated visual scene. 

Visual fixation is essential so that there is no delay in vision between what is being observed and what is being processed. It is also very important to have a good visual fixation to be able to compensate for problems such as inattention and hyperactivity.  

So you may have good visual fixation and, until now, only be aware of its importance. If you have any questions regarding this information, do not hesitate to contact us. In Área Oftalmológica Avanzada We are delighted to serve you.

eye fixation
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eye fixation
Visual fixation is a basic and essential skill of the visual system to correctly perform the binocular vision.
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Área Oftalmológica Avanzada
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