Your eyes converge when you focus on near objects like reading a book, tying your shoe or sending a text message. Convergence insufficiency limits a person’s ability to work with visual information at close distances. Convergence insufficiency can even limit entertainment or leisure activities. According to an article in the Khaleej Times, convergence insufficiency may prevent people from seeing three-dimensional movies, because 3D glasses require healthy convergence and strong vision 3.
Get a pencil and hold it directly in front of your face with your arm fully extended. Look directly at the pencil. Focus on the pencil as you slowly move it toward your nose along an imaginary line. Bring the pencil as close to your nose as possible until you can no longer maintain a single image of the pencil and you shift to a double image of the pencil. Practice this exercise three to four times a day and build on your ability to bring the pencil closer and closer to your nose while maintaining a single image of the pencil.
- Get a pencil and hold it directly in front of your face with your arm fully extended.
- Practice this exercise three to four times a day and build on your ability to bring the pencil closer and closer to your nose while maintaining a single image of the pencil.
Convergence Insufficiency Exercises for Children
Get two different color pencils and stand about five feet in front of a solid-colored wall. Face the wall directly and hold one pencil in one hand with your arm fully extended in front of your face. Hold the other pencil with the other hand with your arm extended midway between your nose and the other pencil. Line up the pencils so that if you connected them with a string, the string would be at a 90-degree angle to your face. Look at the pencil that is further away. While looking at the further pencil, you should see the closer one in double. Look at the closer pencil. You should see the further pencil in double by looking at the closer pencil. Shorten the distance between your nose and both pencils and look at each of them again. Repeat this exercise until you are unable to avoid double vision when looking directly at one of the pencils.
- Get two different color pencils and stand about five feet in front of a solid-colored wall.
- While looking at the further pencil, you should see the closer one in double.
Draw a straight line in the middle and across the length of a sheet of paper or cardboard. Draw five or more dots equally spaced along the line with different color inks or alternating colors. Let the ink dry for a few minutes and raise the sheet of paper up to your nose 2. Position the paper so that the line extends outward in front of your face and you can see the dots on the line. Look at the furthest dot for 10 seconds. The rest of the dots should form a blurry shape that looks similar to the letter A. Move to the next closest dot if you can maintain a single image of the furthest dot. Continue moving closer, looking at each dot for several seconds until you can no longer maintain a single image of the dot that you look at directly. The blurry A shape should gradually transform into a blurry V-like shape as you focus on points that are closer to your nose.
- Draw a straight line in the middle and across the length of a sheet of paper or cardboard.
- The rest of the dots should form a blurry shape that looks similar to the letter A.
- Move to the next closest dot if you can maintain a single image of the furthest dot.
Convergence Insufficiency Exercises for Children
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- Eye Can Learn: Eye Exercises For Better Visual Health
- The American Academy of Optometry: Convergence Anomalies
- Khaleej Times: 3D Entertainment Not For Everyone
- Barnhardt C, Cotter SA, Mitchell GL, Scheiman M, Kulp MT. Symptoms in children with convergence insufficiency: before and after treatment. Optom Vis Sci. 2012;89(10):1512-20. doi:10.1097/OPX.0b013e318269c8f9
- Convergence Insufficiency. Scheiman Vision Therapy [internet].
- Yaramothu C, Santos EM, Alvarez TL. Effects of visual distractors on vergence eye movements. J Vis. 2018;18(6):2. doi:10.1167/18.6.2
- Hassan LI, Ibrahim SM, Abdu M, Mohamedsharif A. Prevalence of convergence insufficiency among secondary school students in Khartoum, Sudan. Oman J Ophthalmol. 2018;11(2):129-133. doi:10.4103/ojo.OJO_170_2017
- Ostrow GI, Del Monte MA, Al-Hashimi MR. Convergence Insufficiency. American Academy of Ophthalmology, Eye Wiki [internet]. Updated 15 Nov 2019.
- Przekoracka-krawczyk A, Michalak KP, Pyżalska P. Deficient vergence prism adaptation in subjects with decompensated heterophoria. PLoS ONE. 2019;14(1):e0211039. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0211039
- Convergence Insufficiency. American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus [internet]. Updated 26 Feb 2019.
- Momeni-moghaddam H, Kundart J, Azimi A, Hassanyani F. The effectiveness of home-based pencil push-up therapy versus office-based therapy for the treatment of symptomatic convergence insufficiency in young adults. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2015;22(1):97-102. doi:10.4103/0974-9233.148357
- Scheiman M, Mitchell GL, Cotter SA, et al. Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial - Attention and Reading Trial (CITT-ART): Design and Methods. Vis Dev Rehabil. 2015;1(3):214-228.
- Part 2: treatment of Convergence Insufficiency. Fulton Eyecare Center [internet].
- Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial Study Group. Randomized clinical trial of treatments for symptomatic convergence insufficiency in children. Arch Ophthalmol, Oct 2008.
Miguel Cavazos is a photographer and fitness trainer in Los Angeles who began writing in 2006. He has contributed health, fitness and nutrition articles to various online publications, previously editing stand-up comedy and writing script coverage as a celebrity assistant. Cavazos holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and political science from Texas Christian University.