Convergence Insufficiency Treatment

Published on
April 30, 2022

Convergence Insufficiency is an eye condition in which your eyes are not able to work together as a team. As you bring an object closer to your eyes, your eyes have to converge or come together more but in this particular condition, the eyes are unable to do that in a coordinated effortConvergence insufficiency (CI) is an eye disorder that affects about 5-15% of the children in the United States and can have a significant impact on school and work performance. 

Symptoms

The symptoms of convergence insufficiency can include:

 

  • Blurry or double vision when reading or performing other near tasks
  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Eye pain when reading or performing your work
  • Words that seem to move across the page
  • Anxiety and muscle tension
  • Inability to recall what you’ve read despite focusing intensely

Treatment of convergence insufficiency with vision therapy

Convergence insufficiency can be treated most effectively with vision therapy. The treatment helps patients with convergence insufficiency by training their eyes to concentrate and converge properly. Patients are assigned a variety of tasks and exercises both in the office and at home in order to enhance their neuroplastic development and to help their eyes to function properly. The National Eye Institute published the results of a gold standard double blind treatment trial which compared the results of individuals with convergence insufficiency who attended office therapy, home based activities and were placed in a placebo group. According to the findings of this study, vision therapy is the most effective treatment for convergence insufficiency.

Vision therapy performed in-office generally takes about 6 months to be effective, however since therapy is highly individualized the length will depend on the visual needs and progress of each patient. Our brains can learn new things through a process called neuroplasticity (think about learning to ride a bicycle), the goal of vision therapy is to develop the visual skills needed to enable our eyes to converge as a team, thereby eliminating the difficulties of reading and other near tasks. 

Other ways to treat convergence insufficiency

Treatments other than vision therapy are generally less effective in treating this condition. There are times when prism lenses are used, but this is generally used in complicated scenarios. A surgery is rarely performed, and only in extreme cases because it yields less-than-ideal results.

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