Convergence Insufficiency:The Silent Crippler of Children
CI continues to affect at least 10% of school-aged children
The binocular vision disorder known as Convergence Insufficiency (CI) has been thoroughly researched over 10 years with gold-standard studies, and yet two years since the landmark research publication of these studies, CI continues to affect at least 10% of school-aged children, as well as some adults including those who have suffered traumatic brain injury. CI has been coined the silent crippler of children because of its serious impact on near-centered visual tasks such as reading, in the absence of any impact on eyesight or eye health.
This vision disorder is not identified in the typical school vision screening
Nor in the majority of common optometrist evaluations. Vast numbers of doctors in the eye care delivery system continue to ignore the condition or fail to prescribe the evidence-based effective treatment protocol outlined through years of research.
The patient with CI has an aggregate of symptoms that by comparison to most health disorders would be judged as highly serious. Based on scientifi c studies, the symptom list includes, but is not limited to, a multitude of frequent problems centered around reading such as loss of place, failure to concentrate, headache, eye discomfort and double vision.
For decades there’s been a variety of treatments prescribed by doctors for Convergence Insufficiency with lack of evidence-based research to show whether one approach was any more effective than another. The results of the research have now made it very clear as to which one of the common treatments for CI are effective as compared to placebo therapy.
Office-based vision therapy in conjunction with home oriented activities is effective in treating Convergence Insufficiency.
Research shows patients’ long-term success, thus defining the cure for CI with office-based vision therapy. “Long- term effectiveness of treatments for symptomatic convergence insufficiency in children.” Optometric Vision Science, 2009 Sep; 86(9):1096-103. To read about the study please visit:
With the current massive amount of evidence, it is important to know that professional awareness has not yet caught up to the research findings in all professional organiza- tions. According to Dan L. Fortenbacher, O.D., FCOVD, investigational reporting found that organizations who publish content that IS consistent with the research include The American Optometric Association and The College of Optometrists in Vision Development.
Parents of children with Convergence Insufficiency should insist that their doctor be up to date on definitive research
Until there is a unified awareness and understanding by all doctors of what the research has proven, countless numbers of children with Convergence Insufficiency will continue to struggle under the visually handicapping conditions of this treatable binocular vision disorder. In order to make an informed decision about conflicting diagnoses or treatment plans, parents of children with Convergence Insufficiency should insist that their doctor be up to date on definitive research. This is not just a reflection on the doctor’s awareness, but their doctor’s opinion, influenced by the position of their professional organization.
At Hope Clinic, we make an effort to bring educators, health professionals and parents up-to-date and help them identify vision disorders, which often are mis-labeled as ADD/ADHD and Dyslexia issues.
If your school child is one of our patients, please consider allowing us to make a school visit to share Dr. Kadet’s formal report with your child’s educators, and other professionals who may work with your child. This not only helps those who work with your child to coordinate our efforts in your child’s best interest; it also helps the educators to get “tuned in” to other possible vision issues in their classrooms. We also speak to homeschool and parenting groups.