Convergence Insufficiency (CI) is a very common childhood problem in which the eyes are not able to sustain a converged position but instead one of them drifts out. Convergence is generally an eye teaming problem leaving child with symptoms such as eye strain, blurred and double vision, headaches, loss of concentration, frequent loss of place when reading and trouble transferring the data.
Many children do not complain of convergence as they do not know how to verbalise this problem since no one ever spoken to them about it. On the other hand, parents and educators usually are completely unaware of the issues and therefore in most of the cases it remains undetected.
Unfortunately in majority of the cases the focus is on the issue-symptom, but not the cause, which leads to the road of labelling a child as inattentive, ADD, ADHD (inattentive type) or Dyslexic.
There are numerous studies supporting those statements, from the relationship between the convergence and attention to the link to some behavioural patters.
Loss of concentration
Frequent loss of place when reading
Skipping words when reading
'Making up' words
Trouble transferring data
It is crucial to listen to the symptoms children are complaining about. Matthew was only 5 when he came to Orthovision, and the reason his mother brought him to us was his complaint: “Mummy I got heart attack in may eye”. The majority of the children is trying to reach to us with their language, trying to explain how they feel and what the problem is, unfortunately most of the time with no success.
Convergence Insufficiency could arise even in adulthood as the ocular accommodation weakens after the age of 40, now even earlier due to use of smart phones and extended use of screens in general.
Some of those adults might have had mild Convergence Insufficiency since childhood but it was not manifested as the system of ocular accommodation was strong enough to keep the eye teaming in good shape.
The issue becomes manifested when the ocular accommodation and vergence become weaker, which normally occurs in the late 30ties or early 40ties.
Click on the image to watch a video of a boy with convergence insufficiency attempting to read. Note the various ways in which he tries to avoid using both eyes together.
The latest studies confirm that Office Based Orthoptic Vision Therapy is more successful than home-based pencil push-up training.
Even we at Orhtovision have similar experience: the office-based exercises at least at the beginning of the treatment are very important.
Home-based eye exercises would be recommended after the office-based Orthoptic Vision Therapy for period of time. There is sound scientific evidence supporting the statement that the Orthoptic Vision Therapy remediates not just the convergence insufficiency but shows improvement in attention and behaviour.