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CONVERGENCE INSUFFICIENCY

Convergence insufficiency can be defined as the incapacity of a person’s eyes to maintain binocular function while working at a close range. In most cases, when a person has been trying to focus his vision on a particular object, then one of his eyes will revolve on the outside. This form of medical condition has been the most common occurrence in school children and adolescents. Any person who has recently suffered from a concussion or severe brain injury also has a high likelihood of getting diagnosed with this medical condition. When a person focuses his vision on a close-by object, then his eyes rotate inwards and this synchronized movement of eyes is known as convergence. In certain instances, this particular form of movement stops happening in a person’s eye, which results in the medical condition known as “convergence insufficiency”. This condition has a generational aspect associated with it, so if any member of a person’s family has been diagnosed with this condition, then that person also stands in the high probability section of getting diagnosed with the same condition.

CAUSES OF CONVERGENCE INSUFFICIENCY

The determinant cause of this form of the medical condition still hasn’t been found but according to a certain stratum of an eye specialist, some particular factors can contribute towards its occurrence. The list of probable factors has been mentioned below:-

  • Genes can have a causal relationship with this medical condition.
  • Graves disease:- This medical condition is a form of autoimmune disorder, which results in an overactive thyroid. A person suffering from this disease may have a high probability to be diagnosed with convergence insufficiency.
  • Parkinson’s disease:- It is a distinct form of brain disorder that has a severe effect on the central nervous system. Its symptoms are tremors, stiffness, and a severely depleted sense of coordination. According to experts, “Parkinson disease”, may have a role in the origination of convergence insufficiency in the eyes of a person.
  • Alzheimer’s disease:-  It’s a perilous disease, which leads to the annihilation of memory and other significant mental functions. Its early symptoms can also lead to convergence insufficiency.

SYMPTOMS

  • A person can start seeing words in a blurry manner after extensive periods of reading and also feel incapable to ensure his complete focus on a computer screen.
  • Diplopia (double vision):-  This condition causes a person to see two images of a single object.
  • A person may start having recurring occurrences of eye strain, and if these occurrences are not dealt with in time, then severe forms of eye-related ailments, other than convergence insufficiency can also occur.
  • A person can start having headaches, which further results in tiredness and loss of will to perform daily routine chores.
  • The constant need to read a particular text, more than one time because of unclarity in the vision during the initial session of reading.
  • A person can also start feeling motion sickness. This condition causes the sensory organs of the body to send mixed responses to the brain, which further leads to dizziness or nausea.

TESTING PROCEDURE

The diagnosis of convergence insufficiency is done by an ophthalmologist, optometrist, or orthoptist, and after they have successfully assessed the condition of a patient’s symptoms and have precisely measured the convergence ability, then an eye exam of the patient takes place. The eye examination for this condition is comprising of the measurement of the distance from which the person can hold his eyes together, without the occurrence of double vision. If the person has any other eye-related ailments such as a dysfunctional eye’s muscles, then these medical conditions should also be properly evaluated.

TREATMENT

The particular form of treatment which will be used also depends on the age level of the patient. Below are the methods, which are used as a mode of treatment:-

  • Eye exercise:- Various methods of eye exercise are used to treat the problem of convergence insufficiency such as pencil pushups. In this form of exercise, a person must hold the pencil in front of him, to his arm’s length and he must also ensure that the pencil is in a vertical position and has a sharpened tip. Then the person must move the pencil in straight alignment and bring it near his nasal section. The pencil must be placed in front of the face with the tip just below the level of eyesight. Then the person must keep seeing the pencil until he starts feeling haziness and after that, the person must move the pencil again to his arm’s length and hold for a minimum of 12 seconds. This exercise must be repeated at least 8 times by the person, for an enhancement in his vision.
  • To avoid the occurrence of symptoms of double vision, a person can also use prism glasses. These forms of glasses have a thicker and an attenuated base. A prism performs the function of bending the light, which results in a single image being seen by the person. This method of treatment hasn’t been effective in most instances of double vision. Various forms of eye exercise, help with the enhancement of a person’s vision.
  • Various types of “Convergence cards”, are also used by eye specialists, to cure the problem of convergence insufficiency. A person can initiate this exercise by holding a convergence card near the bridge of their nose and placing their focus on the most distant dot or circle and then successively moving their eyes towards a more closer target. This mode of exercise helps in removing the insufficiency of convergence.
  • The rarest mode of treatment for convergence insufficiency is surgery. If any of the normal eye exercises fail in curing this condition, then the eye specialist can recommend surgery. But the option of surgery in this particular case can lead to other eye-related complications in the nearby future.

Convergence insufficiency has ties with different kinds of neural disorders. Sometimes a severe form of head trauma can also cause this medical condition. The duration of treatment is a minimum of three months. And even after the problem has been cured, there can be recurring symptoms.

Conclusion

The first description of this medical condition was in the year 1885 and since then, most Orthoptist have preferred certain “Orthoptic exercises” as the primary method of treatment. But in the present years, the analysis of data, which was obtained from the research of several eye laboratories, has raised questions on the basic nature and dynamics of convergence. This form of the medical condition occurs when a person does not take proper care of his eyes. As eyes are the most sensitive organ of a person’s body, a person must ensure that he is not putting too much strain on his eyes, by subsequently sitting in front of a computer screen. If a person does adhere to certain precautionary measures, then he can develop “Computer vision syndrome”. A person should also wash his eyes with water at least thrice a day so that any foreign material which has gone into the eye can come out. Proper care of the eyes will ensure a clear and enhanced vision. When the symptoms of convergence insufficiency are recognized at their initial stage, then the method of treatment also becomes much more effective.