What is convergence insufficiency?
Convergence Insufficiency (CI) is a binocular vision disorder, meaning that both eyes do not work together to produce one clear, steady image – something that we take for granted when our eyes work properly. Convergence Insufficiency is defined as having a problem with the simultaneous turning inward of both eyes that occurs when viewing an approaching object or near target, such as print in a book.
Reading requires us to focus our eyes on close objects, whether that is with books, papers, tablets, or computer screens. Convergence eye teaming skills are learned and developed during our early years, but can become less efficient depending on the visual stresses or demands of our lives. When the two eyes cannot converge to the same exact place, there are conflicting messages sent to the brain, interfering with functioning.
When we are not able to converge our eyes easily and accurately, problems may develop, such as:
Convergence Insufficiency is not commonly diagnosed.
Convergence Insufficiency is a condition that may not be discovered during a routine eye exam. It requires comprehensive and specialized testing as well as the doctor’s thorough understanding of vision development. A person may have this undetected vision problem and not even be aware of it, even though he/she may have had vision exams and glasses previously prescribed. Therefore, a person with 20/20 eyesight can have Convergence Insufficiency.
Eye coordination problems like convergence insufficiency generally cannot be improved with eye glasses or surgery. An individualized program of Vision Therapy may be needed to improve eye teaming abilities and reduce symptoms and discomfort when doing close work. If treated properly with the appropriate motivation and compliance, Convergence Insufficiency can be successfully treated!