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Adult Held Back in Life By Convergence Insufficiency

As I type these posts, I am reminded of a 55 year old male patient that I treated in Philadelphia while I was working towards my doctorate.  He was soft spoke spoken and eager to try vision therapy as he said that he has had symptoms of head aches for his entire life if he did any work at near or attempted to read a book. 

He stated that he couldn’t read more than 2 pages of a book without getting a headache and it had been that way his entire life.

A detailed vision exam in our optometric clinic revealed that he had Convergence Insufficiency.  Convergence Insufficiency is the most common and well studied of the binocular vision disorders.  While his story was heart breaking, the good news was that his condition could be treated and most likely cured with Vision Therapy. After just a few months, he was completely cured and upon coming to his last session he stated that he read 40 pages of a book the night before with zero symptoms. He was in tears and my reporting doctor and myself were as well.  

He was so grateful that someone finally helped him with something that he had visited the best eye hospitals in the world to try to get help for, including Will’s Eye Hospital right in Philadelphia.  Everyone told him that his vision was fine since he could see 20/20 and there was nothing they could do.

The saddest part of his story was that it took until he was 55 for him to finally get relief from his disorder.  He spoke of how he had wanted to go to college when he was younger but had a hard time studying. He then said that in adulthood he would always be the last one to finish filling out a job application and felt like everyone viewed him as the dumbest person in the room.  His self confidence was damaged and he said that he always thought that he was an intelligent person and wanted to read books, but could never physically read them because of his headaches and double vision.  

And this entire time… he had perfect 20/20.  So what was wrong? Why was this kind, brilliant, and eager many unable to read even 2 pages of a book without getting headaches?  It’s because vision is so much MORE than 20/20.

To learn more about the many visual skills beyond 20/20, click here.

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