Is your child bright when it comes to lots of things, but cannot cope well with school? It's important to be aware that the child may have a hidden but very real vision problem, which effects learning, that eye doctors call Convergence Insufficiency (CI).
CI is a condition that gets in the way of your capability to see, read, learn and work at close distances. A sufferer of CI has trouble, or is more or less unable to coordinate his/her eyes at close range, which makes basic tasks, like reading, extremely difficult. To prevent double vision, they make an effort to make their eyes turn back in (converge). That might not sound all that bad, but that extra strain can often cause a number of difficult side effects such as headaches from eye strain, blurred vision, double vision, fatigue and decreased concentration, and reduced comprehension after small periods of reading. With bad instances of CI, the eyes will turn outwards. This is called strabismus.
Other things that may point to CI are if your son or daughter frequently loses the place while reading, tends to shut one eye to better see, has trouble remembering what was read, or says that words they look at seem to move around on the page. Also, some children experience problems with motion sickness.
CI is frequently diagnosed incorrectly as dyslexia, ADD or ADHD or even an anxiety disorder. And furthermore, this eye condition is often unable to be picked up when a child gets a simple eye exam using only an eye chart, or a basic eye exam at school. A child can have 20/20 eyesight, but also have CI, and the resulting difficulties associated with reading.
That said, the good news is that CI often responds well to proper treatment. These treatments are usually comprised of supervised vision therapy with practice at home, or the use of devices known as prism glasses, which can decrease a number of symptoms. Unfortunately, most people aren't tested adequately, and as a result, aren't receiving the treatment they require early enough. So if your child is battling to read and concentrate, speak to us and make a point to have that loved one screened for CI.