Convergence Insufficiency is a common eye muscle coordination problem. When a person is reading or doing close work, the eyes cross slightly to maintain single vision. This usually happens easily and without much effort. In convergence insufficiency, the eyes have difficulty turning in for near work, and want to turn out instead. The eyes are working very hard to maintain single vision at near, and this additional effort can cause a host of symptoms:
- Blurred Vision
- Double vision
- Difficulty concentrating/poor attention
- Loss of place while reading
- Skipping words or skipping lines while reading
- Slow speed of reading
- Reduced reading comprehension
Convergence insufficiency is found in 5% of the population, and it typically appears in childhood, often by 1st grade. It can only be detected through an eye examination and is usually missed on vision screenings. Children with convergence insufficiency are often misdiagnosed as having ADHD or learning disabilities. This is why a thorough eye examination by a developmental optometrist is an important first step when learning problems are present!
Treatment for Convergence Insufficiency
Vision Therapy is the most effective treatment for convergence insufficiency. Vision therapy is conducted once a week in the office and home activities are prescribed for daily practice. These activities strengthen the eye muscles, as well as strengthen the brain’s ability to control the eye muscles! Convergence Insufficiency is often found with other vision problems such as eye tracking problem, eye focusing problems, and often visual processing deficits. (each link to own page)
Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT) study
In 2008 a randomized clinical trial found that office-based vision therapy was significantly more effective than either home-based pencil push-ups or home-based computer vision therapy for treating convergence insufficiency. Read more about the CITT study.
Here you can find information about convergence insufficiency and how it is treated.