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Convergence Insufficiency



Convergence insufficiency is a problem with eye teaming. A person may be unable to converge their eyes or to sustain convergence. This can result in discomfort and even double vision when performing near-point tasks such as reading.

Convergence is a visual skill that is learned and developed. Some people develop the skill to a level that meets their needs, while others develop it to a lower level or not at all.

Symptoms

You may experience the following symptoms when doing any type of close work, including working on a computer and reading. The more work you do and the more fatigued you are, the more pronounced the symptoms will become. Typical symptoms include:

  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of place when reading
  • Difficulty reading and concentrating
  • Avoidance of near work
  • Poor sports performance


Less common symptoms include:
  • Dizziness or motion sickness
  • General fatigue


The symptoms of convergence insufficiency can range from mildly annoying to so severe that you avoid nearpoint tasks.

Is there convergence insufficiency in adults?
Convergence insufficiency (CI) occurs in adults as well as children. Because there are currently no epidemiological studies on CI in adults, we don’t have statistics on its rate of occurrence. However, we do know it occurs and that it can be diagnosed and treated.

Is there a convergence eye test?
Convergence insufficiency is surprisingly easy to diagnose. However, not all eye care providers include the diagnostic tests in their examination.

If you suspect your symptoms could stem from convergence insufficiency, communicate them to your optometrist and inquire about whether they may be from CI.

If you don’t have an optometrist that you currently see or if you have symptoms but no diagnosis, you can schedule a functional vision exam by filling in the form below.

Convergence Excess

Convergence excess is also a problem with ‘eye teaming.’ When a person has convergence excess and looks at a nearpoint target, their eyes converge to a point that is closer than where the target actually is. For example, if a book is held 16” away from the reader, the eyes may be pointing at a spot only 14” away.

Ideally, both eyes should point in the same spot and perceive visual space equally in order to work together as a team and provide efficient vision.

What causes convergence excess?
Like convergence insufficiency, convergence excess results from poorly developed control of convergence. Unlike convergence insufficiency, a person with convergence excess is able to converge their eyes but over-converges them.

Convergence excess is also a problem with eye teaming. When a person has convergence excess and looks at a near point target, their eyes converge to a point that is closer than where the target actually is. For example, if a book is held 16 inches away from the reader, the eyes may be pointing at a spot only 14 inches away.

Ideally, both eyes should point in the same spot and perceive visual space equally in order to work together as a team and provide efficient vision.

symptoms

Similar to convergence insufficiency, convergence excess symptoms occur most frequently while doing some type of close work, including working on a computer and reading.

People with convergence excess can do the near work, but tend to get tired much faster than people who don’t have this functional vision problem.

Typical symptoms include:

  • Eye strain/fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of place when reading
  • Difficulty reading and concentrating
  • Avoidance of near work
  • Poor sports performance


Less common symptoms include:

  • Dizziness or motion sickness
  • General fatigue


Treatment for Convergence Insufficiency and Convergence Excess

Treatment for both convergence insufficiency and convergence excess varies for each case and depends on the severity of the problem and the presence of other functional vision problems (e.g. eye focusing and/or eye movement problems). Treatments can include:

Glasses (Lenses)

A lens prescription can be very helpful in some cases. It’s important to note that this type of prescription is different from a prescription to improve reduced visual acuity due to nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism. The purpose of this type of prescription is to improve performance on near point tasks, not to improve clarity of vision.

Light Therapy (Syntonics)

Syntonics is a form of light therapy used for vision problems. Treatment involves viewing a specific color of light for a short time each day. The doctor determines what color of the light will be most useful based on the findings of their functional vision exam.

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