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Convergence Insufficiency

Convergence Insufficiency
2021 18 March

We are all spending so much more time indoors and looking at things up close. Convergence is the coordinated movement of the eyes inward on close objects, including phones, tablets, computers and books. It is one of many vital visual skills learned early in life, as we begin to make sense of the world and how we use our brain to process the information gathered by the eyes. Consider how often you ask your eyes to converge on a daily basis, especially recently while in lockdown.

Convergence insufficiency is a common problem with the development of these skills. When convergence is insufficient, it means that the eyes have difficulty moving/turning inward enough when looking at near objects like your phone or a book etc. In this way the eyes are essentially looking behind the target and making it harder to focus. When we are not able to converge our eyes easily and accurately, symptoms may develop, such as:

  • Eye strain (especially with or after reading)
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Diplopia (double vision)
  • Difficulty reading and concentrating
  • Short attention span
  • Frequenting losing your place while reading
  • Avoiding near tasks
  • Poor sports performance
  • Dizziness or motion sickness
  • Trouble remembering what was read
  • Words appear to move, jump, swim or float
  • Squinting, rubbing, closing or covering an eye

When tested, many people with convergence insufficiency may not complain of double vision or the other symptoms listed above because the vision in one eye has shut down. In other words, even though both eyes are open, healthy and capable of sight, the person’s brain ignores the message from one eye to avoid these symptoms. This is a neurologically active process known as suppression. As such this is a disorder that often goes undetected because a person with convergence insufficiency will still pass the vision test.

Eye coordination problems like convergence insufficiency can sometimes be improved with spectacles, however a program of vision therapy and eye exercises may be needed to improve function, reduce symptoms and alleviate discomfort when doing close work.

At Dingley Eye Centre, we are passionate about your vision and the health of your families’ eyes. Book online through our website, call us to make an appointment or come down for a chat about how our eye tests in Melbourne can assess your eye muscle movement and ability to converge effectively. We are an “essential service,” what could be more essential than seeing comfortably and clearly, and hence will continue to be open to assist you during these trying COVID-19 times.

Dr Richard Pryor, Darran Yeow, Dr Hashinini Seneviratne and the team @ Dingley Eye Centre
We are your local optometrist and thank you for your continued support
Ph: 9551 4244
116 Centre Dandenong Rd, Dingley Village

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