Too often, we meet smart kids who really enjoy camp and extracurricular activities, but just don't have an easy time at school. In truth, he or she may have a hidden vision issue that impacts learning at school. It's known as Convergence Insufficiency (CI).
In short, CI is a problem that gets in the way of your ability to see things at close distances. This means, a person with CI would struggle with reading, writing and working on things, even when it's a book or activity right in front of them. Someone suffering from CI struggles to, or is simply not able to coordinate his/her eyes at close distances, and that really impacts on basic activities like reading or writing. To prevent double vision, CI sufferers put in extra effort to make their eyes converge, or turn back in. And this additional burden on the system can lead to a whole range of difficult symptoms such as eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, double vision, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and the inability to comprehend during relatively brief reading periods.
You might also notice that your son or daughter easily loses his/her place when reading, squints, rubs, closes or covers an eye, struggles when trying to remember what they just read, or reports that words on the page seem to move around on the page. And if your child is tired or overworked, it's common for their symptoms to worsen.
CI is often diagnosed incorrectly as dyslexia, ADD or ADHD or even an anxiety disorder. This vision condition is often not picked up during school eye screenings or regular eye exams using only an eye chart. Anyone can have 20/20 eyesight, but also have CI, and the resulting troubles with things like reading.
The good news is that CI typically responds positively to professional treatment, which involves either supervised vision therapy in a clinical office with home reinforcement, or prismatic (prism) glasses prescribed to decrease some of the symptoms. The bad news is that since there is consistent lack of testing for it, many sufferers are not finding the help they need early in life. So if your child is battling with reading, writing and concentrating, make an appointment with us and make a point to have that loved one examined for CI.