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Convergence Insufficiency: What Is It and How Is It Treated

Convergence Insufficiency

Convergence InsufficiencyConvergence insufficiency, known as a near vision disorder, is an eye-teaming problem in which the eyes have a strong tendency to drift outward. When an individual is dealing with convergence insufficiency, he or she often has trouble maintaining clear, comfortable vision especially when reading or looking at something close up.

Convergence, the ability of the eyes to turn inward together to focus on a nearby object, is critical to your vision as it enables your binocular vision allowing you to see a single, clear image. This visual disorder affects nearly 20 percent of the population. There are a variety of symptoms associated with the visual disorder including:

  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty reading or doing homework
  • Trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Short attention span for near work
  • May cause sleepiness when reading in adults
  • Dizziness or motion sickness
  • Squinting, rubbing or closing one eye

Most people are unaware that they even have convergence insufficiency, as they ignore the symptoms or pass them off as something else. It is the leading cause for misdiagnosis of ADHD because it causes the same symptoms doctors label as ADHD, including a short attention span.

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above in yourself, spouse or your child, you need to schedule a vision evaluation immediately. Keep in mind that your child can pass his or her basic eye exam at school and still suffer from convergence insufficiency. This is why we urge parents to bring in their child for a complete developmental evaluation, so that they can receive an accurate diagnosis.

If the results of the exam indicate that you or your child has convergence insufficiency, we will then develop an individualized treatment plan. This visual disorder cannot be treated with glasses or surgery; however, vision therapy has been proven to be an effective, successful treatment method. In fact, research has shown that office-based vision therapy is by far the most effective treatment for this near vision disorder. According to a study done by the National Eye Institute, 75 percent of patients who received vision therapy reported fewer and less severe symptoms of convergence insufficiency.

At Vision For Life, we create a custom therapy program for our patients that consist of age-appropriate visual exercises and light therapy that retrain eyes to work together as a team. Our one-on-one, individualized approach to treatment produces effective results, enabling the patient to be able to read, perform near work and focus during school or work.

Convergence insufficiency can worsen overtime, sticking with a child well into adulthood. The sooner you or your child seeks treatment for convergence insufficiency, the greater the results are. To schedule an appointment, call 618-288-1489 or click here today!