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Convergence insufficiency (CI)

Patient information A-Z

What is convergence insufficiency?

Convergence insufficiency (CI) is a condition where you are unable to fully move your eyes together towards the nose (converge).

Why do I need to be able to converge?

Convergence is needed in order to be able to focus clearly on a near object (such as print in a book).

What are the symptoms of CI?

Patients with CI may experience any or all of these symptoms, and they will commonly worsen following periods of close work.

  • Blurring of near vision (eg for reading)
  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Double vision when doing near tasks

How can CI be diagnosed?

Your orthoptist will assess your ability to converge your eyes during the assessment.

How can CI be treated?

Eye exercises are normally the method of treatment given for CI. These exercises can be practised at home, and when performed regularly, most patients start to see improvement in symptoms quite rapidly.

The exercises will be supervised by an orthoptist (an allied health professional, who specialises in eye movement disorders), who will advise you on the types of exercises to do, the way to do them, and how frequently exercises should be practised. The orthoptist will guide you through your entire treatment regime, offering advice and support.

What are the benefits of orthoptic exercises?

Improved convergence will help eliminate your symptoms.

Are there any risks/disadvantages of orthoptic exercises?

  • The exercises do not produce instant improvement, and require a level of commitment and dedication from you.
  • Symptoms may get worse before they get better.

How often will I been seen?

You will be seen over several appointments to review how the exercises are going, and to advance the exercises if necessary. Generally appointments will be every one to two weeks, but this will vary from patient to patient. Your orthoptist will be able to give you more details about your attendance regime.

Contacts and further information

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the orthoptic department on 01223 216528

Ophthalmology department
Box: 41
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Hills Road,

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Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151