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Focusing on Convergence Insufficiency

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Does your child excel in many kinds of things, but struggle when it comes to school? It's important to be aware that the child could have a hard-to-detect condition, which impacts learning at school. It's known as Convergence Insufficiency (CI).

To explain, CI is a near vision issue that negatively affects one's capacity to see, read, learn and work at close distances. A child with CI has trouble, or is more or less not able to coordinate their eyes at close range, which makes necessary activities, like reading, really challenging. In order to avoid double vision, CI sufferers put in extra effort to make their eyes converge, or turn back in. This additional effort can often cause a whole range of difficult issues such as eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, double vision, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and the inability to comprehend during relatively brief periods of reading.

You may have also noticed that your son or daughter often loses the place when reading, squints or tends to shut one eye, struggles when trying to repeat what they just read, or tells you that words they look at appear to move or float. Another issue that often comes up is motion sickness. And if your child is sleepy or overworked, it's not uncommon for their symptoms to worsen.

Unfortunately, CI is frequently misdiagnosed as learning or behavioral issues like ADD, ADHD, dyslexia or anxiety. Additionally, this condition slips under the radar when a child gets a simple eye exam using only an eye chart. Your child may have 20/20 eyesight, but also have CI, and the subsequent troubles associated with reading.

Despite all this, the fact is that CI often responds well to professional treatment, which involves either supervised vision therapy in a clinical office with home reinforcement, or prismatic (prism) eyeglasses prescribed to decrease some of the symptoms. Unfortunately, most people aren't tested adequately, and because of this, aren't getting the treatment they need early enough. So if your child is struggling to read and concentrate, call us to discuss having your child tested for CI.