Vision and Learning

Convergence Insufficiency a Patient Health Issue

Dan L. Fortenbacher, O.D., FCOVD

When over 21 million people in the United States are affected by a vision problem that can have serious consequences especially to a child’s quality of life, it begs the question…”Why?”

Studies show that Convergence Insufficiency affects about  1 in 12 children often causing headaches, poor concentration for reading tasks and even double vision. Yet, even when finally diagnosed by an eye doctor, most patients say they have never heard of this condition prior to their diagnosis.  One cause could be that too many parents rely on a school vision screening to test their child’s eyes and school vision screenings routinely overlook vision problems involving proper eye coordination and binocular (eye teaming) control. Therefore, a child  may “pass” the eye sight test at school and still have a serious vision problem like Convergence Insufficiency.

Just as undetected Glaucoma or Diabetes is a serious patient health issue, so too is the problem of undetected cases of  Convergence Insufficiency. However, unlike Glaucoma or Diabetes, in the case of Convergence Insufficiency there is a cure.  Since the patient with Convergence Insufficiency is typically unaware that they have a disease that can have serious consequences, it is important for all health care providers who work with children to be informed about this condition…including Family Physicians and Pediatricians.

In January 2011, I was contacted by Scott Eshowsky, MD from  Main Street Medical in Granger, Indiana.  Dr. Eshowsky is a wonderfully caring doctor who is Board Certified in Family Practice and currently serves as the Medical Director for Main Street Medical Group.  As a concerned physician, who has experienced first hand the impact of vision problems on child development, Dr. Eshowsky asked me to come to Main Street Medical Group and provide more information about Convergence Insufficiency. I accepted the invitation and on January 18, 2011 presented to the doctors within their practice the following lecture. While  my lecture was 7 months ago and took about an hour to present, with new  PowerPoint to video technology, I have tweaked, polished and added some artistic flare so that this lecture on Convergence Insufficiency can be viewed in only a few minutes and nicely within the palm of your hand on your smart phone or iPad. If viewing on your PC, open to full screen by clicking in the lower right corner of the video.

I hope you find this presentation both informative and enjoyable!

For further information and resources from this lecture, click here.

For a PDF copy of this lecture, click here.