What Is Convergence Insufficiency

What Is Convergence Insufficiency in Olympia

Dr. Levi Zurcher cartoon

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What Is a Convergence Insufficiency?

As the name indicates, it is the inability for the eyes to converge appropriately. What that means is when the eyes engage to fixate at a near point target they don’t come all the way in. This can produce what we know to be called double vision. Blurry vision can also be experienced when you have a convergence insufficiency.

Convergence Insufficiency, The Broad Strokes

Convergence insufficiency cases are probably the most prevalent issue in vision related disorders. They happen to be the most commonly missed ones as well. If a person has otherwise clear vision, this problem may remain undiagnosed. Similarly, most eye exams and school screenings do not look for this and given the implications on academic performance, learning, and development, it’s not something we should ignore or leave unaddressed. As we’ve seen with other medical issues, the pattern shows us that left untreated most conditions worsen instead of righting themselves. A convergence insufficiency disorder can affect us in many areas of life and follow us from childhood to adulthood. 

Convergence Insufficiency, The Broad Strokes
Convergence Insufficiency, The Broad Strokes

Convergence Insufficiency, The Broad Strokes

For those of us wondering whether or not we have a convergence insufficiency, don’t fret, we have a list of symptoms for convergence insufficiency’s that might shed some light into what it is we’re looking to address and ultimately treat. The symptoms can range in severity for each item but are not limited to: 

  • Double vision at near point
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye strain
  • Fatigue
  • Eye pain
  • Headaches
  • Light sensitivity



Convergence Insufficiency, The Broad Strokes

Now, the cause for these symptoms are associated with convergence insufficiency but what about the cause of convergence insufficiency in general? Science isn’t able to tell us the origin of convergence insufficiencies yet, but what we can reason is that to some extent it is influenced by genetic factors as well as environmental factors. For now there's no clear cut origin. Aside from the physical symptoms, we can talk about the effect it could have on our daily lives. The ability to converge effectively is paramount when it comes to our quality of life. If we are unable to converge, it can affect everything from learning to personality development. With double or blurred vision, learning for children comes next to impossible depending on severity. For adults, doing near point work will prove difficult. Also, pushing through these difficulties with the exertion of energy will end up being the origin of maladaptive behaviors that are used to evade the discomfort of the issue.

Treatment For Convergence Insufficiency’s

For this particular disorder there happens to be scientific backed research for the therapeutic value of vision therapy. The Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT) published the results from two trials that indicate that vision therapy programs are effective in treating children and adults who have CI. They also released the Convergence Insufficiency Symptoms Survey (CISS) to help in diagnostic measures. What the study concluded was that a regiment of vision therapy and orthoptics resulted in the successful treatment of children and adults who suffered from CI.  American Family Vision Clinic utilizes this exact approach when it comes to treating out-patients who have a convergence insufficiency. Our vision therapy program at American Family Vision Clinic uses a well rounded approach to achieve the best results for each person with a tailor made therapy program. With an advanced vision exam and therapy patients can look forward to tackling this issue. 


Convergence Insufficiency, The Broad Strokes
Dr. Zurcher cartoon


Convergence insufficiency is one of the most common vision conditions impacting a child's performance in the classroom.


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.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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