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Authors
SCHEIMAN, MITCHELL OD, FAAO; MITCHELL, G LYNN MAS, FAAO; COTTER, SUSAN OD, FAAO; KULP, MARJEAN TAYLOR OD, MS, FAAO; COOPER, JEFFREY OD, MS, FAAO; ROUSE, MICHAEL OD, MS, FAAO; BORSTING, ERIC OD, MS, FAAO; LONDON, RICHARD MS, OD, FAAO; WENSVEEN, JANICE OD, PhD, FAAO

A Randomized Clinical Trial of Vision Therapy/Orthoptics versus Pencil Pushups for the Treatment of Convergence Insufficiency in Young Adults

publication date
March 3, 2005
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Abstract/Introduction

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to compare vision therapy/orthoptics, pencil pushups, and placebo vision therapy/orthoptics as treatments for symptomatic convergence insufficiency in adults 19 to 30 years of age.

Methods

In a randomized, multicenter clinical trial, 46 adults 19 to 30 years of age with symptomatic convergence insufficiency were randomly assigned to receive 12 weeks of office-based vision therapy/orthoptics, office-based placebo vision therapy/orthoptics, or home-based pencil pushups. The primary outcome measure was the symptom score on the Convergence Insufficiency Symptom Survey. Secondary outcome measures were the near point of convergence and positive fusional vergence at near.


Conclusion/Results

Results

Only patients in the vision therapy/orthoptics group demonstrated statistically and clinically significant changes in the near point of convergence (12.8 cm to 5.3 cm, p = 0.002) and positive fusional vergence at near (11.3Δ to 29.7Δ, p = 0.001). Patients in all three treatment arms demonstrated statistically significant improvement in symptoms with 42% in office-based vision therapy/orthoptics, 31% in office-based placebo vision therapy/orthoptics, and 20% in home-based pencil pushups achieving a score <21 (our predetermined criteria for elimination of symptoms) at the 12-week visit.

Discussion

In this study, vision therapy/orthoptics was the only treatment that produced clinically significant improvements in the near point of convergence and positive fusional vergence. However, over half of the patients in this group (58%) were still symptomatic at the end of treatment, although their symptoms were significantly reduced. All three groups demonstrated statistically significant changes in symptoms with 42% in office-based vision therapy/orthoptics, 31% in office-based placebo vision therapy/orthoptics, and 20% in home-based pencil push-ups meeting our criteria for elimination of symptoms.


Testimonials


  • Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.


    Anna P.

  • I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.


    June S.

  • Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.


    Christine R.

  • Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.


    Lars Wulff

  • Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.


    Justin E.

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