Convergence Insufficiency – How to help

Convergence insufficiency treatment

Convergence insufficiency results when a patient’s two eyes cannot simultaneously converge, or point inward, to align on a near target.

First, a little background.  When you look at an object at distance, each of your eyes point straight ahead at that object.  Then, your right eye takes a picture of the object it is pointing to and sends it to your brain.  Your left eye takes the same picture and sends it to your brain as well. Next, your brain simply fuses these two images so that you can see one distinct object.

When you change your focus to look at something at near, each of your eyes must converge on the object or word that you look at.  If no convergence insufficiency exists, and your eyes align properly, each eye again transmits the same image back to the brain.  In this fashion, you read from word to word fluently.

The problem starts when your eyes cannot converge properly, which is why it is termed convergence insufficiency.

In this case, one eye points to the word you want to read while the other eye drifts outward slightly.  This results in the second eye pointing to a different word.  Your right eye sends back an image of the correct word, while your left eye sends an image of another word.  Then, your brain tries to fuse these two, unlike words.

When you are reading and this occurs you may say a word that is a blend of the two words that your brain fused.  Or, with convergence insufficiency, your brain may be confused by the blended, nonsense word and may skip over the word.  Other students simply lose their place.

The fact is that this condition affects 1 out of 5 students.

The great news is that there is help.  Through vision therapy you can improve your convergence.  With in office visits once or twice weekly you can build this skill over a period of a few months.  As your convergence improves your reading fluency will improve as well.  You may also notice that other hand-eye tasks are easier.

I have treated over one thousand individuals with convergence insufficiency in the past thirty years.  For a free email or telephone consult about your situation, contact me at


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