We so often take, quite literally, the little things in our modern-day lives for granted- the characters on our smartphones, newspaper print, the ball we’re supposed to catch in the gym. Although most of us have memorized button placement, the general gist of what we’re reading, or how to position our hands to catch, we still need our eyes to converge, or team, in order for us to be able to clearly see what’s before us. This concept is known as convergence sufficiency and it is critical to our ability to clearly and accurately see what’s around us. When our eyes are unable to maintain that binocular focus, however, we need to be assessed for convergence insufficiency.
Convergence insufficiency is the inability of our eyes to work together while looking at things that are close up or far away. For many, one eye may turn outward while the other turns inward. This deficiency causes vision to become blurry, inexact, and generally unclear.
Vision therapy is the most effective way to treat convergence insufficiency. This therapeutic intervention helps those with convergence insufficiency by training the patient’s eyes to converge and focus the way they should. Various tasks and exercises are assigned to patients both in-office and at home in order to enhance their neuroplastic development and help the mechanisms of their eyes work properly.
In order to test the efficacy of vision therapy as a means to treating convergence insufficiency, the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial, known as the CITT was conducted, The CITT was a gold standard, double-blind treatment trial in which the National Eye Institute evaluated the results of patients who were administered vision therapy in-office, were given eye exercises to perform at home, and were put in a placebo group. After years of study statistical analysis proved that in-office vision therapy treatment was the most effective, long-lasting treatment for convergence insufficiency.
Even if your vision is 20/20, you may struggle to see things clearly and strain-free. For some people, the eyes know what to do but can’t do them effectively. For others, the eyes need a little help functioning the best they can. Vision therapy for convergence insufficiency is a well-researched, evidence-based practice that can improve what you see, how you see, and your ability to appreciate what you see.