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Convergence Insufficiency

Convergence insufficiency is an eye teaming problem where the eyes have a difficult time working together and can drift apart during reading and other near activities.

Convergence insufficiency often goes undiagnosed because an individual can pass a typical 20/20 eye chart test and still have the problem without knowing it. We recommend bringing your child in for an eye exam if you suspect your child exhibiting any visual difficulties. The vision screenings done at school aren’t enough to diagnose convergence insufficiency; therefore a comprehensive eye exam is necessary.

There are a number of symptoms that may indicate convergence insufficiency. If your child is showing any of the symptoms listed below during reading or homework activities, we highly recommend scheduling a comprehensive eye exam with one of our optometrists.

Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • eyestrain
  • headaches
  • blurred vision
  • double vision
  • sleepiness, particularly after a close activity
  • difficulty concentrating
  • movement of print while reading
  • loss of comprehension
  • motion sickness
  • vertigo

Many people who experience convergence insufficiency do not have symptoms because the brain will choose to ignore one eye to avoid seeing double. This vision suppression results in a loss of binocular vision and depth of perception which can have a negative impact on coordination, sports, distance judgement, and motion sickness.

As with all vision disorders, early diagnosis is key. Our optometrists can diagnose any potential problem that may be affecting your child’s academic stature at school. The following weblink discusses the impact of convergence insufficiency on a child’s schooling: Children’s Vision and Learning Month from COVD

Active treatment for convergence insufficiency includes supervised in office vision therapy with home reinforcement. Your child will be working with one of our certified vision therapists once weekly. The frequency and length of the therapy sessions is based on the severity of the binocular disorder, determined by our optometrists.

Passive treatment includes using prismatic lenses to decrease symptoms, however the lenses do not “cure” the insufficiency. This method of treatment may lead to eye adaptation in which will higher prescriptions are needed over time and a patient can become dependent on the glasses.  Thus, prismatic lenses are a temporary fix, and we recommend pursuing vision therapy so the underlying binocular disorder can be addressed and managed properly.

Contact us today with your questions or concerns or to book an appointment for an eye exam.

Tags: Convergence Insufficiency, Vision Therapy

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