Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Can a vision problem make reading seem too hard?

Children who are unable to team their eyes efficiently on a near-point visual target may have a condition called Convergence Insufficiency (CI). These children may complain that reading is too hard or that it is boring or that it gives them a headache. They may also complain that words double on the page or wiggle. Recently the results of a randomized clinical trial of treatments for symptomatic convergence insufficiency in children was published in the Archives of Ophthalmology (vol. 126 No. 10, October 2008). The study found that this condition can be successfully treated through in-office vision therapy. You can read the full study online at http://archopht.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/126/10/1336. CI is not the only learning-related visual issue that can interfere with a child's reading performance. If your child is having difficulty with school, arrange for a binocular vision examination by developmental optometrist who will be able help if there are any contributory visual issues. To find a developmental optometrist in your area go to www.covd.org and search for members of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development near you. The American Optometric Association recommends that every child receive an annual eye exam. It's important.

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