Convergence insufficiency is a condition in which eyes are unable to function together when looking at nearby objects. Our brain combines information it receives from both eyes to see objects clearly and in a single image. The eyes must converge and focus on the same point. To preserve convergence and eye alignment when objects become closer to the face, the eyes must bend inward. Individuals with CI have difficulty converging and keeping eye alignment. This condition causes double or blurred vision because one eye is incapable of turning inward to the required level.
Convergence insufficiency is one of the most common vision conditions, as it affects as many as up to 17 % of individuals (children and adults).⠀
When reading or conducting near work activities for lengthy periods of time, people with CI frequently experience hazy or double vision, eye strain, and pain. Symptoms of convergence insufficiency include headache, double vision, eye fatigue, blurred vision, sleepiness when reading, needing to re-read things, trouble concentrating on what a person is reading, words seem to move, jump, or float on the page, motion sickness or vertigo.
The specific cause of convergence insufficiency is unknown. Infection, traumatic brain injury, certain drugs, neurodegenerative illnesses, myasthenia gravis, or Graves ophthalmopathy can all cause convergence insufficiency.
Diagnosis is set based on a full eye examination. Tests will include visual sharpness assessment. An eye care provider will examine how your eyes converge when you’re supposed to look at things from a close distance. It’s possible that you’ll need to repeat this test with each eye independently, and then together. With just a health history and eye examination, your practitioner should be able to diagnose the issue.
To be able to precisely diagnose CI, a doctor should take at least the measurements of the near point of convergence, exodeviation, accommodation, and positive fusional vergence.
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The main treatment for convergence insufficiency is vision therapy. There are computer programs, such as AmblyoPlay, that can help enhance convergence ability and track progress over time. Symptoms usually go away once you’ve done the exercises on a regular basis for a short amount of time. According to the findings of a study conducted by the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial Group, vision therapy is the most effective method for improving both convergence and patient symptoms. Furthermore, eye doctors frequently recommend certain eye exercises. Looking through prisms could be one of these exercises. However, the prism lens approach is only used when a person is unable or unsuccessful in undergoing vision therapy. Covering one eye does not help with CI correction because it does not allow you to practice working with both eyes simultaneously. However, it may temporarily alleviate symptoms. Due to the effectiveness of vision therapy, surgery is rarely considered.
As CI is not a condition that people could out-grow, it is present both in children and adults. Convergence insufficiency can be successfully treated in adults as well.