Landmark Research on Convergence Insufficiency
We’ve covered why convergence insufficiency is so difficult to detect, and we’ve also touched on treatments. Now we’d like to make you aware of a landmark study, and let you know why it’s so important in the treatment of convergence insufficiency.
The National Eye Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, funded a study to determine the most effective treatment for convergence insufficiency.
This double-blind, masked study featured collaboration between optometrists and ophthalmologists. Nine sites throughout the United States participated in the trial, including prestigious clinics such as the Mayo Clinic, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and the Ratner Children’s Eye Center.
“To date, it’s probably the best-conducted study we have on the treatment of convergence insufficiency,” said Dr. Brandon Begotka of The Vision Therapy Center. “It’s very defensible based on the research methods used, and very objective. It’s very hard to dispute the findings.”
Finding the best treatment for convergence insufficiency
What were the findings? The study found that the best treatment for convergence insufficiency is a combination of home-based and in-office vision therapy.
This combination was proven to be more effective than home-based pencil pushups. (A pencil push-up is where you focus on a pencil and move it slowly toward your nose, forcing your eyes to converge.) To Dr. Begotka, the study clearly shows that there’s more to effective treatment than simply being able to converge your eyes.
“Convergence insufficiency usually exists with other visual skill deficits,” he said. “It’s a difficulty with space perception, and just doing pencil push-ups each day is not enough to resolve those issues. We usually have to work on any other visual skills that haven’t developed correctly to treat the problem.”
Click here to read more about the study, entitled “A Randomized Clinical Trial of Treatments for Convergence Insufficiency in Children.”