Convergence Insufficiency (CI) is a common vision condition in which your eyes are unable to work together while looking at nearby objects. Oftentimes, people suffering from CI are unable to complete their school/work tasks due to the excessive up-close reading. But don’t fret- you’re in luck. There are different exercises and treatment plans to reduce eye fatigue and improve your eye-teaming ability.
Treatments for CI
Thankfully, convergence insufficiency can be treated with the proper exercises and treatment plans. It is important to note that although improvement occurs, it can take up to 4 months to notice a change in your vision.
Vision therapy is the most effective treatment program for improving convergence insufficiency. The programs are designed to improve an individual’s visual, concentration, and learning skills. Convergence exercises are the specific type of vision therapy needed to treat CI. Patients typically work with specialists to exercise the connection between the eyes and brain. The goal of therapy for CI patients is to train the eyes to converge and diverge automatically.
Although office-based vision therapy is more effective, there are many different at-home exercises to gradually improve eye control:
- Pencil Push-Ups: Use the letters on the pencil as a target.= Slowly move the pencil close to your nose, making sure to keep a clear vision. Once the pencil is close to your nose, slowly move it away, maintaining your focus on the target. By repeating this exercise, you can improve your binocular vision.
- The Rule of 20-20-20: every 20 minutes, focus on an object that is approximately 20 feet away from you and look at the object for 20 seconds. Make sure to maintain a clear and focused vision.
- Near and Far Focusing: pick an object that is approximately 20 meters away and stick your thumb out right in front of it. Switch your focus from the object to your thumb.
Computer Vision Therapy
Nowadays, you can seek therapy right from your home. Download computer aided vision therapy software programs onto your computer to play games, complete challenges, and track convergence improvement. These programs allow you to enhance your binocular vision, processing, and concentration skills.
Patients with CI can wear personalized prism glasses that help guide the eyes back into alignment. Base-in prisms help to align the eyes when completing tasks such as homework, reading, work, etc. Base-out prisms force the brain to manually converge (used mainly in vision therapy) and can be tiresome on the eyes.
Is CI Treatment Successful?
Patients can be successfully cured from convergence insufficiency with the proper exercise and treatment plan. Unfortunately, there may be some patients unable to improve their convergence abilities. In these cases, it is important to discuss the available surgical procedures with a doctor.