Convergence insufficiency is a condition in which your eyes are unable to work together when looking at nearby objects. This condition causes one eye to turn outward instead of inward with the other eye, creating double or blurred vision.
Convergence insufficiency is usually diagnosed in school-age children and adolescents. It can cause difficulty reading, for which parents or teachers might suspect that the child has learning difficulties rather than an eye disorder.
People of all ages may have convergence insufficiency diagnosed after a concussion or traumatic brain injury.
Treatments are usually effective for convergence insufficiency.
Not everyone with convergence insufficiency has signs and symptoms. Signs and symptoms occur while you're reading or doing other close work and might include:
If you or your child has symptoms of convergence insufficiency or problems reading, consult an eye care professional — an ophthalmologist or an optometrist.
The cause of convergence insufficiency isn't known, but it involves a misalignment of the eyes when focusing on nearby objects. The misalignment involves the muscles that move the eye. Typically, one eye drifts outward when you're focusing on a word or object at close range.
Difficulties with reading and concentrating can affect a child's learning. Convergence insufficiency does not cause learning disabilities, but it makes using your eyes difficult and tiring.
Convergence insufficiency typically isn't detected in routine eye exams or school-based vision screenings. Reading difficulties of children with the condition might lead to an evaluation for learning disabilities, but it's important to rule out this eye disorder.
People with convergence insufficiency might have otherwise normal vision, so it's important to mention reading or learning concerns to your eye care provider. To diagnose convergence insufficiency, your eye doctor might:
If convergence insufficiency isn't causing symptoms, you generally don't need treatment. But for people with symptoms, treatment with eye-focusing exercises can increase the eyes' convergence ability.
Treatment, which can take place in the office with a trained therapist or at your home, might include:
Recent studies indicate that office-based therapy with home reinforcement is the most effective treatment for convergence insufficiency. Home-based treatment with pencil pushups or computer programs hasn't been shown to be as effective. But home treatment costs less and is more convenient and more readily available.
Treatment for convergence insufficiency might take three months or longer. Treatment can resolve convergence insufficiency, but symptoms might recur after illness, after lack of sleep, or when you're doing a lot of reading or other close work. Discuss treatment options with your eye care professional.
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