The way our eyes team together and focus directly affects our ability to read, process and understand information. When our two eyes do not team together to make a single image, symptoms like double vision, headaches, poor depth perception, and tired or sore eyes may occur. Theses symptoms can significantly handicap ones reading and learning abilities and are often linked to a condition known as convergence insufficiency (CI) or double vision.
CI is a common condition which causes a difficulty or inability to effectively converge or align both eyes together to perform near oriented visual tasks, like reading or computer work. Office based vision therapy helps individuals restore normal coordination and teamwork of the two eyes (binocular vision). CI may occur in children and adults. Symptoms often include difficulty reading and concentrating on reading tasks, avoidance of near work, ADD and ADHD characteristics, double-vision (overlapping words) while reading, eyestrain, headaches and rubbing or closing of one eye while reading. This extra effort can lead to a number of frustrating symptoms that interfere with the ability to read smoothly and can cause schoolwork to suffer or become erratic.
The initial diagnosis of convergence insufficiency is relatively easy. The evaluation for the treatment and cure of the condition requires further testing to determine the underlying cause and how the condition will be treated. The most important diagnostic tools are convergence tests, not the 20/20 letter charts typically used by schools, pediatricians and eye doctors. A person can pass the 20/20 eye chart test and still have convergence insufficiency.
CI doesn’t go away with age. The brain develops some bad habits to avoid the confusion of double-vision over time, but the real problem remains. As technology continues to evolve, our adult work demands increase as most jobs are centered around daily computer work. Adults with CI experience tired eyes and headaches at work, which reduces job performance and makes work unbearable at times. Thankfully, The Vision Therapy Institute can correct CI for patients of all ages!
In 2008, the National Eye Institute released the results of a major multi-center research study designed to look at multiple methods of treatment for convergence insufficiency. Based on scientific evidence, the research shows that office-based vision therapy is the most effective and consistent treatment for CI when compared to all other methods, like an exclusively home therapy approach. To simply “wait and see” could be a dangerous course. This condition usually worsens over time and treatment should be started early.
After treatment, our patients’ gain enhanced reading and learning abilities allowing them to lead more productive lives.
For more information on CI, please visit www.convergenceinsufficiency.org