Is your child intelligent when it comes to lots of things, but cannot cope well with school? It's important to be aware that the child might have a particular condition that effects learning, that eye doctors call Convergence Insufficiency (CI).
Here's the breakdown: CI is a near vision issue that negatively impacts your capability to see, read, learn and work at close distances. Someone suffering from CI has trouble, or is more or less not able to coordinate his or her eyes at close range, and that really infringes on basic activities like reading or writing. And to prevent subsequent double vision, CI sufferers try harder to make their eyes turn back in (converge). That might not sound all that bad, but that additional effort can often cause a whole range of difficult side effects like headaches from eye strain, blurry or double vision, fatigue and decreased concentration, and the inability to comprehend during relatively small periods of reading. In worse instances of CI, the eyes will turn outwards. This is known as strabismus.
Other occurrences that may point to CI include if your son or daughter frequently loses his/her place while reading, squints, rubs, closes or covers an eye, struggles to repeat what they just read, or describes how the words appear to move, jump, swim or float.
CI is frequently diagnosed incorrectly as ADD or ADHD, dyslexia, or an anxiety disorder. And furthermore, this eye condition is easily missed when a child gets a simple eye exam using only an eye chart, or a basic eye exam at school. Your son or daughter might have 20/20 vision, but suffer from CI, and lack the visual skills critical for reading.
The good news is that CI tends to respond positively to treatment. Treatments are usually comprised of supervised vision therapy with reinforcing practice sessions at home, or the use of prism glasses, which will minimize a number of symptoms. The bad news is that due to consistent lack of testing for CI, lots of people aren't finding the help they require early in life. So if you've seen that your child is having a hard time with any of the symptoms mentioned above, see us and have your child screened for CI.