Is your son or daughter smart when it comes to lots of things, but cannot cope well with school? It's important to be aware that the child could be suffering from a hidden but very real condition, which effects learning. It's called Convergence Insufficiency (CI).
In short, CI is a near vision problem that negatively impacts a child's capacity to see, read, learn and work at close distances. A person with CI has trouble, or is simply unable to coordinate his/her eyes at close distances, which makes everyday activities, like reading, extremely challenging. And to prevent subsequent double vision, people with CI try harder to make their eyes converge, or turn back in. And this extra burden on the system can often cause a whole lot of difficult symptoms including eyestrain, headaches, blurry or double vision, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and the inability to comprehend during relatively brief reading periods.
Other things that may point to CI include if your son or daughter often loses the place when reading, tends to shut one eye to better see, struggles to repeat what they just read, or says that words they look at appear to move or float. It's not rare for all these symptoms to get worse when your child is tired, anxious or overworked.
Unfortunately, CI is frequently misdiagnosed as learning or behavioral issues like ADD, ADHD, dyslexia or anxiety. Additionally, this vision problem is often unable to be picked up during school eye screenings or regular eye exams using only an eye chart. A child can have 20/20 vision, but also have CI and therefore, struggle with reading.
The good news is that CI tends to respond well to proper treatment. Treatments are usually comprised of supervised vision therapy with practice sessions at home, or the use of devices known as prism glasses, which will decrease some symptoms. Unfortunately, people aren't tested thoroughly enough, and because of this, aren't getting the help they need early enough. So if your child shows signs of having a hard time with any of the issues mentioned above, see us and make a point to have your child examined for CI.