Why Do Simple, Inexpensive Convergence Training Exercises Continue to Perform as Well as More Expensive Computer-Based Home Therapies? Uncoupling Your Expectations
WHY DO SIMPLE, INEXPENSIVE CONVERGENCE TRAINING EXERCISES CONTINUE TO PERFORM AS WELL AS MORE EXPENSIVE COMPUTER-BASED HOME THERAPIES? UNCOUPLING YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Aust Orthopt J 2020 Volume 52: 4-13
Alex Christoff CO1
1The Wilmer Eye Institute at John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Convergence insufficiency is a common disorder of binocular vision affecting older children, teenagers, and adults. Patients with convergence insufficiency report symptoms of reading difficulty, eyestrain or discomfort associated with near activities, blurred vision, and headache. Affected individuals are unable to maintain fusional convergence during near activities. The diagnosis is made based on a remote near point of convergence and decreased positive fusional vergence amplitudes at near fixation. Treatment of convergence insufficiency includes orthoptic exercises designed to build convergence amplitudes, spectacles to address presbyopia, computer orthoptics that simulate the vergence demands addressed by traditional orthoptic exercises, and office and home-based vision therapy.
Researchers have sought to compare the advantages of more costly, contemporary treatments to inexpensive, simple home therapies with widely varying results. No consensus exists as to superiority of one treatment over the next in terms of reduction of symptoms, or improved objective clinical measures, regardless of cost. Simple, orthoptic convergence training exercises for use at home continue to perform well in patients with symptomatic convergence insufficiency. Three cases treated successfully with simple jump vergence exercises that preserve the fundamental neuro-sensory relationship between convergence and accommodation are presented to illustrate how compliance and adequate treatment application of inexpensive home therapies continues to improve objective measurement of convergence amplitudes and near point of convergence, and subjective symptoms. A review of the visual sciences literature reveals how asthenopic symptoms have been shown to develop in healthy volunteers in laboratory conditions after prolonged viewing of simulated 3-dimensional images on a flat-panel computer monitor like those used in popular computer vergence training programs.
Convergence Insufficiency, convergence near point, asthenopia, positive fusional convergence amplitudes