Convergence

Convergence is the coordinated movement and focus of our two eyes inward. Close work requires us to focus both of our eyes inward on close objects, including books, papers, computer screens, etc. Convergence skills are learned and developed during our early years.

 

A problem with the coordinated movement of our eyes inward to look at close objects is called a convergence problem. A common convergence problem is Convergence Insufficiency.

 

When we are not able to converge our eyes easily and accurately, problems may develop, such as:

  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty reading and concentrating
  • Avoidance of near work
  • Poor sports performance
  • Dizziness or motion sickness
  • Treatment of Convergence Problems

Eye coordination problems like convergence insufficiency generally cannot be improved with eye glasses or surgery. A program of Vision Therapy may be needed to improve eye coordination abilities and reduce symptoms and discomfort when doing close work.

 

See Chart: 10 Things to Know about Convergence Insufficiency

 

New Research on Convergence Insufficiency

The National Eye Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, released a statement concerning the effectiveness of office-based vision therapy for treatment of Convergence Insufficiency. Dr. Mitchell Scheiman, FCOVD, has completed the 12-week study, known as the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT), found that approximately 75 percent of those who received in-office therapy by a trained therapist plus at-home treatment reported fewer and less severe symptoms related to reading and other near work after the office-based vision therapy.

 

"This NEI-funded study compared the effectiveness of treatment options for convergence insufficiency," said Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., director of the NEI. "The CITT will provide eye care professionals with the research they need to assist children with this condition."

 

"There are no visible signs of this condition; it can only be detected and diagnosed during a comprehensive eye examination," said principal investigator Mitchell Scheiman, O.D., FCOVD, of Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University near Philadelphia, PA. "However, as this study shows, once diagnosed, CI can be successfully treated with office-based vision therapy by a trained therapist along with at-home reinforcement."

 

Reprinted with permission from www.covd.org