Convergence Insufficiency Treatment

Convergence Insufficiency Treatment in Olympia

American Family Vision Clinic

Convergence Insufficiency

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.

What is 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.

What is Convergence Insufficiency?
How Do You Know if You Suffer From Convergence Insufficiency?

How Do You Know if You Suffer From Convergence Insufficiency?

There are a number of symptoms with which you may be faced if your eyes do not team, or work together, properly. If you experience any of the following, you may want to ask your optometrist to evaluate you for convergence insufficiency:
  • Headaches
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating on what you’re reading
  • Using a finger or implement to point at words as you read
  • Avoidance of work that requires good hand-eye coordination that is close up
  • Anxiety and muscle tension
  • Vertigo
  • Inability to recall what you’ve read despite focusing intensely
  • Words that seem to move across the page
How Do You Know if You Suffer From Convergence Insufficiency?

How is Convergence Insufficiency Treated?

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.

The Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial

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.

What is Convergence Insufficiency?

Common Questions

There are other ways to treat this condition but they generally do not prove as effective. Prism lenses are sometimes used but have not proven to be terribly successful. Surgery is rarely performed as it yields less-than efficacious results.
The intensity and duration of treatment, take less or more time depending on the severity of the insufficiency and the patient’s compliance to treatment. A successful regimen of vision therapy performed in-office takes, on average, 18-20 sessions. Your overall health, including physical, developmental, and behavioral conditions, as well as how often you practice what you learned in the doctor’s office at home, all factor into the success and longevity of your treatment.
Although children are in their developmental prime and are able to put the therapeutic techniques they are taught to the best use, adults can benefit from vision therapy as well. Because our brains remain dynamic throughout our, lives we can learn new things no matter how old we are. Neuroplasticity makes the ability to train our eyes possible whether we’re 13 or 35.
Convergence Insufficiency Treatment
Dr. Zurcher cartoon

When You and Your Eyes Work Together

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.

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