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Convergence Insufficiency

clipart 038Is your child smart in everything except school? He or she might be struggling with a hidden vision problem that impacts learning called Convergence Insufficiency (CI).
CI is a near vision problem that interferes with one’s ability to see, read, learn and work at close distances. A person with CI has trouble, or is simply unable to coordinate his/her eyes at close range, which impairs activities like reading.  To prevent double vision, your child exerts extra effort to make his/her eyes turn back in (converge). This extra effort can lead to a number of frustrating symptoms such as eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, double vision, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, movement of print while reading, and loss of comprehension after short periods of reading, or performing computer work, desk work, playing on handheld video games or doing crafts. In more severe cases of CI the eye would frequently turn outwards which is known as strabismus.  (If this cannot be remedied by prescription glasses or vision therapy, then consultation for strabismus surgery would be another option.)
You may also notice that your child frequently loses his/her place while reading, squints, rubs, closes or covers an eye, has trouble remembering what was read, or reports words that appear to move, jump, swim or float. One may also experience problems with motion sickness. It is not uncommon for these symptoms to worsen as a result of illness, lack of sleep, anxiety, and/or prolonged close work.
CI is often misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD, dyslexia, or an anxiety problem. Furthermore, this condition is often not picked up during school eye screenings or standard eye exams.  A child can have 20/20 eyesight, yet still have CI and lack the visual skills critical for reading.
The good news is that CI responds well to proper treatment which involves either supervised vision therapy in a clinical office with home reinforcement or prismatic (prism) eyeglasses prescribed to decrease some of the symptoms. The bad news is that due to persistent lack of testing for it, many people are not getting the help they need early in life. So if your child is battling to read and concentrate, speak to your optometrist about having your child tested for CI.

Thank you for trusting your eyecare with us over the years.  The Foresight Eyecare team follows the government mandate to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.  After December 2020 announcements made by the Alberta Government, our clinic is following the revised Infection Prevention and Control policy by the Alberta College of Optometrists.

Patients interested in obtaining eye exam services or eye care products can be seen by appointment only.  Please call ahead, and staff will arrange an appointment time and ask COVID-19 screening questions.  If you have any symptoms of cough, fever, runny nose or shortness of breath, we ask that you call or e-mail us and do not attend the clinic for your scheduled visit.   Within the clinic, please wear a mask and use the hand sanitizer at reception.  Our clinic complies with the City of Calgary bylaw requiring mask covering over the age of two years old.  For patients who are unable to wear a face covering due to medical reasons, the patient can be scheduled for an appointment at a time when minimal number of other patients are in the clinic such as at the beginning or end of the day to ensure appropriate physical distancing requirements.

We are using disposable disinfectant wipes on all surfaces and devices such as front desk counters, chairs, handles in exam rooms and waiting room.  All eyewear that have been touched by patients are continually being sanitized.   Any toys and magazines are stored at this time.  Examination areas are being sanitized with hospital grade disinfectant.  Debit and credit cards but NO CASH payments will be accepted.

COVID-19 symptoms are not always obvious.  We want to fend off this pandemic and minimize risk to our patients and the Foresight staff as front line health workers.   Contact that is closer than 2 m (6 feet) is to be avoided, with barriers in place when this cannot be avoided. We choose to continue to do our work and cautiously take care of our patients with compassion, humility, gentleness, and patience.   It is a challenging and new experience for many of us, so let‘s support each other and prevent virus spread!  Beyond 2020, our focus is on take care of you and keeping Clean Hands, Clear Heads and Open Hearts.   For more information, please refer to the following web pages or phone Health Link 811.

www.albertahealthservices.ca

www.collegeofoptometrists.ab.ca

Drs. Dianna Leong, Anh Bui, Andrew Chan