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What is Convergence Insufficiency?

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Too often, children are incorrectly diagnosed with all sorts of behavioral issues, when the real issue actually is something else completely. You may be relieved to know that he or she may have a hidden vision problem, which hinders learning, known as Convergence Insufficiency (CI).

In short, CI is a near vision problem that negatively impacts one's capability to see things at close distances. This means, a person with CI would have trouble reading, writing and working on things, even if it's a book or activity sitting right in front of them. A sufferer of CI has trouble, or is simply unable to coordinate his/her eyes at close range, and that greatly infringes on basic activities like reading or writing. To prevent double vision, they strain more to make their eyes converge, or turn back in. This additional strain often leads to an astounding amount of prohibitive issues like headaches from eye strain, blurred vision, double vision, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and the inability to comprehend even during brief reading periods. Subsequent side effects include challenges with working on a computer, desk work, using digital readers or cell phones, or doing crafts.

You might also notice that your child easily loses his or her place while reading, squints or tends to shut one eye, has a hard time remembering what was read, or reports that words on the page appear to move or float. Additionally, some kids also get motion sickness. And if your son or daughter is sleepy or overworked, it's not uncommon for their symptoms to be amplified.

Unfortunately, CI is frequently diagnosed incorrectly as ADD or ADHD, dyslexia, or an anxiety disorder. Additionally, this eye condition often goes undetected during school eye screenings or basic eye exams using only an eye chart. Your child may have 20/20 eyesight, with CI, and lack the visual skills necessary for reading.

That said, the good news is that CI can be expected to respond well to treatment, involving either supervised vision therapy in a clinical office with home reinforcement, or prismatic (prism) glasses prescribed to decrease some of the symptoms. Unfortunately, people aren't examined adequately, and because of this, aren't receiving the attention they require early enough. So if your child shows signs of having a tough time coping with any of the issues mentioned above, make an appointment with us and make a point to get that loved one examined for CI.