What is Convergence Insufficiency (CI)?

NOTE:  Please CHECK OUT Dr. Dominick Maino's BLOG
for additional information on CONVERGENCE INSUFFICIENCY

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What is it?

- a common near-vision problem that (due to recent scientific research) is gaining recognition

-an inability to focus eyes at close range

-interferes with a person’s ability to see, read, and work at close distances

-occurs when eyes don’t turn inward properly while you’re focusing on a nearby object (when you read or look at a close object, your eyes should converge, or turn inward together to focus so they provide binocular vision and you see a single image; if you have CI, you won’t be able to move your eyes inward to focus normally)

-cause is unknown, but misalignment involves the muscles that move the eye; typically one eye drifts outward when you’re focusing on a word or object at close range

-often goes undetected because testing is not included in pediatric eye tests, school screenings, or basic eye exams (a person can pass the 20/20 eye chart and still have convergence insufficiency)

--may cause difficulty with reading, which may make teachers and parents suspect that the child has a learning disability, instead of an eye disorder

 

How common is it?

-There is a reported prevalence among children and adults as high as 13% of the population -the Southern California College of Optometry found that approximately 1 in 8 (13%) of the 5th and 6th graders they tested had the disorder

 

Symptoms

(may show and/or complain of the following while doing close work such as reading, computer work, desk work, handheld video games, doing crafts, etc)

- -often associated with a variety of symptoms including eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, diplopia (double vision), sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, movement of print while reading, and loss of comprehension after short periods of reading or performing close activities

-also may have problems with dizziness, and squinting or rubbing of eyes

-can also have negative impact on many areas of life such as coordination, judgment of distances, eye contact, motion sickness, hand/eye coordination, etc.

 

Treatments

-best  and most effective treatment for CI is supervised vision therapy in a clinical office with home reinforcement (15 minutes of prescribed vision exercises done at home 5 days per week)

-computer vision therapy involving eye focusing exercises done on a computer using special software designed to improve convergence; results may be printed out to share with your eye doctor

-home treatment could involve pencil push-ups (focus on a small letter on the side of a pencil as you move it closer to the bridge of your nose, stopping the movement if you have double vision.  The exercise is often done for 15 minutes a day, 5 or more days a week)

(www.convergenceinsufficiency.org)