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Convergence Insufficiency

Vision Therapy for Convergence Insufficiency

Research shows that Convergence Insufficiency (CI) can affect up to 15% of all school-age children — that’s approximately 1 in 6 children!

CI refers to a decreased ability to bring the eyes inwards and comfortably maintain this focus over long periods of time. The inwards positioning of the eyes is required to read books, do homework, and look at a computer screen. As you can imagine, having CI could significantly impact a student’s learning ability, attention levels and overall school performance.

Convergence Insufficiency can also result in blurred or double vision and a halo effect around words or objects.

This condition not only harms children’s grades but also negatively impacts their emotional wellbeing, as frequent and repeated failures can cause their self-esteem and confidence levels to plummet.

CI cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or surgery. However, vision therapy has been proven to improve eye’s coordination abilities and alleviate discomfort when reading, doing homework or any other activities involving near focus.

If you suspect that you or your child may have convergence insufficiency, contact Dr. Shaun Golemba at the Vision Therapy Center At Valley Vision Optometry today. We can help.

Could My Child Have Convergence Insufficiency?

As you may derive from the list below, a child’s academic performance could be significantly impacted if they experience any of the following symptoms.

reading book (1)Students with convergence insufficiency may experience any (or several) of the following symptoms:

  • Reading below grade level
  • Not achieving to potential at school
  • Dislikes doing homework
  • Attention issues
  • Headaches
  • Double vision
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Tired when reading
  • Difficulties with concentrating
  • Often losing your place when reading
  • Words appear to move, jump, or float on the page
  • Motion sickness or vertigo

How Can Vision Therapy Help?

It’s important to understand that the eye muscles are actually healthy in those with CI. The issue is the brain’s ability to control and coordinate the way both eyes work together. When the brain and eye interaction functions effectively, it enables us to read words on the board, in a book, catch a ball, and maintain focus throughout the day.

Vision therapy for CI trains the brain to better control and coordinate both eyes in order to increase the child’s ability to maintain clear and comfortable focus. As the brain- eye teamwork improves, the symptoms listed above are slowly alleviated. Vision therapists can also work on convergence insufficiency treatment methods to potentially recover depth perception and 3D stereo vision.

A functional eye exam will determine whether you or your child have convergence insufficiency, and if so, Dr. Shaun Golemba will provide vision therapy treatment to correct it.

Is Vision Therapy Effective in Adults and Children Alike?

boys using laptop (1)Vision therapy treatment is most effective in childhood since the rapidly-developing brain is easily trained to make permanent changes. That said, convergence insufficiency treatment for adults is still useful but may take a bit longer to experience results, thus requiring a little more patience.

The Vision Therapy Process

A developmental optometrist and vision therapist will tailor a vision therapy plan according to the severity of the convergence problem. The eye doctor and therapist will then guide you and monitor your progress to determine what changes or adaptations need to be made throughout your customized program.

Convergence insufficiency treatment exercises may use specialized equipment and tools such as prisms, lenses, and computerized technology, to stimulate the brain to better control the two eyes simultaneously.

Results depend on your active participation and compliance with the program, whether in-office or at home. Overtime, the more you train your brain, the easier and more automated the exercises will become. Gains can be experienced from as little as a few weeks to six months.

We encourage you to schedule a meeting with Vision Therapy Center At Valley Vision Optometry at the first sign of convergence insufficiency in your child. Dr. Shaun Golemba at Vision Therapy Center At Valley Vision Optometry will be happy to help your child achieve the best opportunity to improve their reading and learning and improve their overall school performance.

We serve patients from Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland, Okanagan, and Kootenay’s, all throughout British Columbia.

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We are currently offering in-office care by appointment only.

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COVID-19 UPDATE

The following is a summary of the steps we have taken to protect your safety.

Physical Distancing Measures:

o Reducing density of people: We have adopted a schedule which will reduce the amount of patients in our facility at one time.

o We will have some of our team working from home operating a call centre and tele-medicine pre-screening.

o Spacing stickers have been placed on our floor.

Engineering controls:

o Forms have been digitized and will be emailed to patients in advance of the appointment to minimize contact.

o A “For Payment" button has been installed on our website, valleyvisionoptometry.ca for patients to be able to pay from home to minimize contact.

o Plexiglass barriers have been installed at all 3 Front Desk stations

o Our doors will remain locked during Phase 2, opening the door to let in scheduled patients only.

o A dropbox has been installed for patients to drop off glasses in need of repair.

o Contact lens sales are administered through our webstore.

Administrative controls:

o Cleaning protocols have been written. Staff training on these protocols has been scheduled.

o Clear rules are posted on our front door and throughout all of the stations in our office.

Personal protective equipment:

o Patients will be required to wear a mask upon entry to the office and throughout their time with us. Those who do not have a mask will be supplied a surgical mask upon entry.

Policies around sickness:

o Employees and patients with cold or flu symptoms will be required to stay home.

Frequent hand washing:

o Patients, Doctors, and our Team will be required to wash hands upon entry and exit in to the exam rooms.

o Eyewear Consultants will wear gloves when handling eyewear and performing adjustments.

We currently are operating a reduced schedule, so are triaging patients to ensure those with the highest needs are prioritized.

Sincerely,

Dr. Shaun Golemba

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As of May 19th, we have re-opened by appointment only. Our current hours are Monday to Friday, 8am – 4pm. Please call our office to schedule an appointment. Read about our safety protocols here.