When you are reading a book, using a computer, tablet or looking at nearby objects, your eyes usually move inward and work together to make it easy to see clearly. This is referred to as convergence eye. And, divergence eye is what happens when you are driving, watching TV, or seeing things that are far away. While these two functions of the eyes are important, some people find have difficulties when their eyes converge, which affects their vision.
Convergence insufficiency is an eye disorder that occurs when the eyes do not work or move together when you are looking at nearby objects. In most cases, one eye moves inwards and the other outward when you look at something close by.
This disorder affects mostly children and young adults, but anyone can develop convergence insufficiency.
The cause of convergence insufficiency is unknown, although doctors believe the disorder is triggered by conditions that affect the brain such as:
It is reported that genetics play a role in convergence insufficiency, meaning if you have a relative who has C.I, the chances of you developing the disorder are higher.
Convergence insufficiency affects everyone differently; some people develop symptoms and others don’t.
The symptoms of convergence insufficiency occur mostly when you are reading and they may include:
Convergence insufficiency often goes undiagnosed because some people have normal vision and can pass normal vision tests.
However, when you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, you may need a comprehensive eye exam where the optometrist near you or ophthalmologist will do a convergence eye test.
At the appointment, the eye doctor will check how the eyes move together and separately, and also measure the near point of convergence. The near point represents the distance where the two eyes focus without double vision. The doctor will use a penlight and moves it closer to you until you get double vision or your eye drift outward.
The optometrist will also assess positive fusional vergence. During this test, you will read letters on a chart using prism lenses and the doctor will easily detect when you begin to develop double vision.
The eye doctor will also do a comprehensive medical history to understand the symptoms and cause of the convergence insufficiency.
Treatment is often not required if you do not have symptoms of convergence insufficiency. However, if the eye disorder is affecting your vision then the doctor may use various treatments to reduce the symptoms. The treatment used will depend on age and preference.
This treatment involves two steps: first, you will place a pencil at arm’s length and focusing on it until you see a single image. Next, you will bring the pencil to the bridge of the nose, focus on it until you develop a double vision. This test should be done every 15 minutes a day for five or more days a week.
This treatment is done at home and you will need a computer and a special program that will assess your eye focusing ability. These are game-like exercises that are ideal for children and teens. When you are done with the eye convergence exercises, you can send the results to the doctor for assessment.
The eye doctor will give you eyeglasses with built-in prisms, which help to reduce double vision. These glasses work by bending the light forcing you to see a single image. This treatment may not necessarily correct the convergence insufficiency but will help improve double vision.
Convergence insufficiency may not be diagnosed with the normal eye chart, so it is vital to visit our eye doctor at Premier Eye Care if you experience eyestrain and other vision problems.