Convergence Insufficiency: The Cause of Common Reading Disorders

Convergence Insufficiency: The Cause of Common Reading Disorders

What is Convergence Insufficiency?


Convergence Insufficiency is the inability to cross your eyes while focussing on a near image. This often occurs while reading or looking at a computer.

What are the Symptoms of Convergence Insufficiency?

- Headache
- Aversion to Reading
- Blurred vision at near
- Presumed Dyslexia in Children
- Double Vision/Words floating on the page

Who is Most Prone to Convergence Insufficiency?

Children are most likely to become symptomatic for convergence insufficiency when entering grade school due to the increased demand for near vision when learning how to read and write. Adults can develop convergence problems secondary to muscle decompensation related to injury, age, and vascular conditions like Diabetes.

What Causes Convergence Insufficiency?

Convergence Insufficiency can develop secondary to an outward eye turn (exotropia or high exophoria) which makes the eye muscles work overtime when trying to converge (turn inward). Being very farsighted can cause difficulty with glasses as the high plus powered lenses naturally cause the eyes to turn more outward. these individuals may see better with contact lenses. Having a "lazy eye" or being amblyopic in one eye may also lead to a secondary CI since the brain typically "shuts off" the vision viewed by the poorer seeing eye. This can lead to an eye turn. Similarly, accommodation problems may lead to a "pseudo-CI" that may resolve with corrective lenses.

How is Convergence Insufficiency Treated?

Corrective lenses are the first line treatment followed by potential vision therapy if residual convergence difficulties persist.

Refer to the CISS Guideline for symptoms related to CI if you believe you may be suffering from convergence difficulties or eyestrain while reading! The first step to resolving your eyestrain is having a comprehensive eye exam. Schedule your exam at Ives Eyecare today!
Screen Shot 2021-06-30 at 7.51.08 PM

Does your child struggle while reading? Do they mix up letters, have trouble focusing
or get easily distracted when told to do their homework? The problem may be as simple
as needing new glasses!