Maybe you have Convergence Insufficiency
One in ten students (1) has some form of convergent insufficiency. This can impact your reading speed, and your ability to comprehend and remember what you have read.
What is Convergent Insufficiency?
Convergence insufficiency is a common condition. In order to look at a near target such as a book your eyes need to move to an inward position. Moreover, your eyes need to stimulate the focus system at the same time.
Your goal is to create clear and single image. The importance of this process is to allow the visual information such as reading material to stimulate your binocular cells and from there your deeper layers of the brain.
In convergence insufficiency the above process is not performed and one or both eyes are drifting to an outward position when looking at near objects.
When one or both eyes drift outward one of the two issues can occur, double vision or suppression. If the condition is not new it is more likely that you would have suppression. This means using only one eye when reading and ignoring your second eye’s inputs.
There is another affect. If your convergence ability is low the result is you need to spend more cognitive energy to align the eyes. This cognitive energy should be used for the visual processing to help us with comprehension; hence your leaning efficiency can be impacted.
How does it affect your reading?
The basics of any perception ability are to:
- receive the information,
- analyze the information, and
- memorize the information
Also critical with reading is your ability to ignore stimulations that are not important and to be able to focus on the one thing is the most important.
With convergence insufficiency the ability to focus words on the page or screen is affected, which then affects your visual processing. The information is not going into your brain in the right form this means your reading and comprehension is negatively impacted.
Typical symptoms would be slow reading ability with mistakes such as missing letters (small letters), low comprehension or poor memory.
While Convergent Insufficiency can significantly impact a person’s learning, resolving it can be a quick process. Typically it can be treated within 2 months.
Patients learn to stimulate their third nerve in order to improve convergence and focusing. Once the convergence becomes stronger the patient learns how to process the visual information such as reading quickly and efficiently without mistakes. Moreover, not only will your understanding of the visual information improve but your visual memory and visual sequence memory will improve.
If you have any questions or would like to arrange a Free Assessment please contact us at: www.sydneyorthoptic.com.au
Bsc.Optom, M.ortho (Sydney Uni)
- Association of symptoms and convergence and accommodative insufficiency in school-age children.
Borsting E, Rouse MW, Deland PN, Hovett S, Kimura D, Park M, Stephens B Southern California College of Optometry, Fullerton, California 92831, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Optometry (St. Louis, Mo.) [2003, 74(1):25-34]