Convergence Insufficiency is a condition which occurs when a person cannot converge or turn their eyes in, sufficiently. This failure to converge properly can give rise to a number of important symptoms, especially for children who have learning disabilities.
Our two eyes converge when we want to look at a close object. Looking at a near target means we must do two things:
- Exert focus so that the near object is clear.
- Converge our two eyes so that the object remains single, rather than going double.
So convergence insufficiency means that either a child cannot converge properly, or that they can actually converge, but it takes an enormous amount of energy and effort to do this. In each case, the implications for learning can be very profound!
What Does Convergence Insufficiency Mean for Your Child?
If converging (or turning the eyes in to maintain clarity and single vision) requires an exorbitant amount of effort, there are two ways a child can go.
- They can do the work, because they are determined, and then they suffer eye strain as a result. This eye strain would involve symptoms like sore eyes, tired eyes, headaches and periods of blurry vision, or even double vision.
- They lose concentration on their close work, and most often develop learning difficulties as a result of not concentrating on school work. They also tend to get very frustrated with school, and are frequently very slow at reading.
Reading speed is another area affected by this condition. With insufficiency of the convergence mechanism, when a child moves from one word to the next as they are reading, their eyes have a large tendency to swing out. This means that, as they move from word to word, they have to keep pulling their eyes in time and again, and this can cause them to read slowly, without expression and also to lose their place often as they read.
The treatment for convergence insufficiency can involve exercises or reading glasses, and most parents choose the second option because it is quick, effective and takes a lot less effort!
This eye condition is easily treated and we tend to get very good results in a short period of time. So if your child has learning problems as a result of convergence insufficiency, come and see us at Eye CU Optometrist and let’s get their learning back on track!