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Convergence Insufficiency and Reading
If your child struggles with reading and complains about double vision or headaches when doing homework, your child could be struggling with a vision disorder known as convergence insufficiency.
Studies show that at least one in 20 children experience convergence insufficiency, which translates to one to two students in every classroom.
Convergence insufficiency is an eye-teaming, near-vision problem. With convergence insufficiency the eyes have difficulty coming together in order to focus on objects close up. The problem lies not within the eyes themselves, but in the ability of the brain to coordinate the eyes together to see one clear image.
Symptoms of convergence insufficiency include loss of place while reading, loss of concentration, re-reading the same line over and over, reading slowly and having trouble remembering what was just read. Teachers and parents may notice a child covering one eye while reading or having trouble concentrating when tired. Recent studies have shown strong relationships between children diagnosed with convergence insufficiency and those diagnosed with ADHD. A student with convergence insufficiency might complain of fatigue, eye strain, headaches or might not even complain at all.
Many times children who have convergence insufficiency perform well on a standard eye chart that measures visual acuity. They may not realize their difficulty reading is due to a vision problem. A comprehensive vision exam from an optometrist is the best way to diagnose convergence insufficiency.
The most effective way to treat convergence insufficiency is with a course of vision therapy. At EyeCare Specialties’ Center for Vision Development, our vision therapists create a specific series of eye exercises and activities for each child to teach them how to better coordinate their eyes to work efficiently as a team with near work.