Does your child show a real interest in so many activities, but have a tough time when they're at school? You may be relieved to know that he or she may be suffering from a hidden condition, which creates an obstacle in the way of learning at school, known as Convergence Insufficiency (CI).
To explain, CI is a near vision problem that gets in the way of a child's capacity to see things at close distances. This means, a person with CI would have trouble reading, writing and working on things, even when it's a book or activity sitting just in front of them. A sufferer of CI has trouble, or is entirely unable to coordinate his or her eyes at close range, which makes basic activities, like reading, very hard. And to prevent subsequent double vision, people with CI strain more to make their eyes turn back in, or to use the correct medical term, converge. This extra strain can lead to a whole lot of frustrating symptoms including headaches from eye strain, blurred vision, double vision, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and reduced comprehension after relatively small reading periods. Further symptoms include challenges with doing computer work, desk work, playing on handheld video games or doing crafts.
Other symptoms that may point to CI are if your child easily loses the place when reading, tends to shut one eye to better see, has trouble remembering what was read, or tells you that words they look at appear to move, jump, swim or float. Another issue that often comes up is motion sickness.
Unfortunately, CI is usually diagnosed incorrectly as ADD or ADHD, dyslexia, or an anxiety disorder. And furthermore, this problem slips under the radar when a child gets a simple eye exam using only an eye chart. Your child may have 20/20 vision, but also have CI and therefore, struggle with reading.
But there's good news too! It's been shown that CI tends to respond positively to proper treatment. These treatments are usually comprised of vision therapy supervised by an eye care professional with practice sessions at home, or the use of prism glasses, which will decrease a number of symptoms. The bad news is that because of considerable lack of testing for CI, many people are not finding the treatment they require early in life. So if your child is struggling with reading, writing and concentrating, see us to discuss having your child tested for CI.