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Home » What's New » Under the Radar: Convergence Insufficiency

Under the Radar: Convergence Insufficiency

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Lots of children are diagnosed with learning or behavioral disabilities when in fact, that's not the issue at all. You may be relieved to know that he or she might have a hidden condition, which impacts learning, medically referred to as Convergence Insufficiency (CI).

In short, CI is a near vision problem that negatively affects one's ability to see, read, learn and work at close distances. A child with CI struggles to, or is entirely unable to coordinate his/her eyes at close distances, and that really impacts on basic activities like reading or writing. And to prevent subsequent double vision, they strain more to make their eyes turn back in (converge). All this additional strain will often give way to an astounding amount of uncomfortable symptoms including headaches from eye strain, blurred vision, double vision, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and reduced comprehension after short periods of reading.

Other symptoms that may indicate CI include if your son or daughter easily loses the place when reading, squints, rubs, closes or covers an eye, struggles to recall what was just read, or reports that words they look at seem to move around on the page. And if your child is sleepy or overworked, it's not uncommon for their symptoms to become worse.

CI is frequently misdiagnosed as learning or behavioral issues like ADD, ADHD, dyslexia or anxiety. Additionally, this eye problem often goes undetected when a child gets a simple eye exam using only an eye chart. Anyone can have 20/20 eyesight, but also have CI and therefore, struggle with reading.

The good news is that CI can be expected to respond positively to proper treatment. These treatments are usually comprised of vision therapy supervised by an eye care professional with practice at home, or the use of devices known as prism glasses, which will minimize some symptoms. Unfortunately, due to considerable lack of testing for CI, lots of sufferers aren't able to access the help they need early in life. So if your child shows signs of having a tough time dealing with any of the symptoms mentioned above, speak to us and be sure to have that loved one screened for CI.

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