Convergence Failure – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments

Convergence Insufficiency – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments that many are unaware of. Also, Convergence Insufficiency occurs when your eyes don’t work together while you’re trying to focus on a nearby object. When you read or look at a nearby object, your eyes need to turn inward (converge) for focus. This provides binocular vision, allowing you to see a single image. Insufficiency of Convergence can make reading difficult. This can make parents or teachers suspect that a child has a learning disability rather than an eye disorder. Treatments for Convergence Failureare generally effective.

Causes of Convergence Insufficiency: Convergence  Insufficiency results from misalignment of the eyes when focusing on nearby objects. The exact cause is not known, but the misalignment involves the muscles that move the eye. Normally, an eye shifts out when you are focusing on a word or object nearby.

Symptoms of Insufficiency of Convergence:  Not everyone with Insufficiency of Convergence experiences symptoms. Symptoms and symptoms occur while you are reading or doing other work nearby and may include:

  • Headaches
  • Difficulty reading – words blurry or seem to advance on the page
  • double vision
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Stretching or closing one eye

When to See a Doctor:  If you or your child experiences signs and symptoms of Convergence Insufficiency or has trouble reading, see an eye professional, such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist. A technician called an orthoptist can help with evaluation and treatment.

Complications of Insufficiency of Convergence:  Difficulties with reading and concentration can impair a child’s learning. Convergence Insufficiency  typically goes undetected in routine eye exams or school-based vision exams. A child with the condition may be assessed for learning difficulties because of their reading problems.

Testing and Diagnosis of Insufficiency of Convergence:  Insufficiency of Convergence may not be detected during a routine eye exam. To diagnose the condition, your doctor may do the following:

  • Take a medical history. This can include questions about problems you have with focusing, blurred or double vision, headaches, and other signs and symptoms.
  • Test your eyes ‘ ability to focus . This is done with simple tests, such as asking you to focus on a small object as it is slowly moved toward you, or to read an eye chart through a prism lens.
  • Perform a routine eye exam. If you have other vision problems, such as myopia, your doctor may perform tests to assess the degree of the problem.

Treatments for Insufficiency of Convergence:  Treatment options for Insufficiency of Convergence include:

  • Pencil flexes. In this simple exercise, you 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. Your doctor may suggest that you do this at home for 15 minutes a day, five or more days a week.
  • Office or home based vision therapy. You can do focusing exercises to improve convergence. If you do this at home on a computer, you can print out your results to share with your eye doctor.
  • Combined therapy. Many experts recommend using vision therapy – often with computer software programs – along with pencil push-ups. The combined approach may be more effective. And computer-assisted therapy may be more appealing to children.
  • Reading glasses. If computer therapy or exercise doesn’t help, your doctor may suggest that you wear glasses with built-in prisms for reading. This is usually most effective for children.
  • Continuous observation. It is possible to receive a diagnosis of Insufficiency of Convergence but not show signs or symptoms. If this is true for you, watch for symptoms when reading or doing nearby work. Your doctor may want to test you at some point in the future.
  • Surgery. In rare cases, if exercise or computer-assisted therapy doesn’t work, your doctor may recommend surgery. Studies show that vision therapy in the doctor’s office is more effective than doing eye exercises or computer-assisted therapy at home. Other aspects to consider before choosing a treatment are cost and convenience.

You will likely see improvements in your symptoms after four weeks of doing exercise or computer-assisted therapy. Treatment may offer long-standing relief from the symptoms of Convergence Insufficiency . But symptoms can come back:

  • After an illness if you don’t get enough sleep.
  • When you are doing a lot of reading or other nearby work.

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