Not everyone with convergence insufficiency has signs and symptoms. Signs and symptoms occur while you're reading or doing other close work and might include:
- Tired, sore or uncomfortable eyes (eyestrain)
- Difficulty reading — words seem to float on the page, you lose your place or you read slowly — which might cause you to avoid reading or not complete schoolwork
- Double vision (diplopia)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Squinting, rubbing or closing one eye
When to see a doctor
If you or your child has symptoms of convergence insufficiency or problems reading, consult an eye care professional — an ophthalmologist or an optometrist.
The cause of convergence insufficiency isn't known, but it involves a misalignment of the eyes when focusing on nearby objects. The misalignment involves the muscles that move the eye. Typically, one eye drifts outward when you're focusing on a word or object at close range.
Difficulties with reading and concentrating can affect a child's learning. Convergence insufficiency does not cause learning disabilities, but it makes using your eyes difficult and tiring.
Convergence insufficiency typically isn't detected in routine eye exams or school-based vision screenings. Reading difficulties of children with the condition might lead to an evaluation for learning disabilities, but it's important to rule out this eye disorder.
July 15, 2017
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- Borsting E, et al. Improvement in academic behaviors after successful treatment for convergence insufficiency. Optometry and Vision Science. 2012;89:12.
- Scheiman M, et al. Non-surgical interventions for convergence insufficiency. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD006768.pub2/full. Accessed April 6, 2017.
- Scheiman M, et al. Home-based therapy for symptomatic convergence insufficiency in children: A randomized clinical trial. Optometry and Vision Science. 2016;93:1457.