Convergence insufficiency (also called convergence disorder) is a fairly common near vision issue characterized by the eyes’ reduced ability to turn towards each other, or sustain convergence. The disorder often causes double vision or blurred vision making reading or focusing on near objects difficult.
It’s estimated that up to 6 percent of U.S. children have convergence insufficiency, but many go undiagnosed because most have 20/20 vision and basic vision screenings rarely test for eye teaming skills. Instead, many of these children are diagnosed with having some kind of learning disability.
When reading, a child with convergence insufficiency must use extra effort to keep their eyes working together to avoid double vision and blur. This can often cause the child to read more slowly, be inattentive or just avoid reading altogether.
Ophthalmologist Thomas Henderson, M.D. notes, “While this condition can be bothersome, it is relatively easily treated, after appropriate diagnosis, with simple eye exercises to build strength and coordination of pointing the eyes together at an object close to the eyes.”
If you suspect your child may have convergence insufficiency, schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist or optometrist so they can perform the proper screening for diagnosis.