I'm blind but will soon see...

After SB's trip to SpecSavers a couple of months ago, I have been saving up my pennies to visit the optometrists also - I think you are meant to go about once every two years and it has been about seven for me - oooops.

A wee way into the eye exam, we started veering off into some non-standard tests - I started to wonder what was up. That was when the optometrist told me that I had convergence insufficiency - basically, when your eyes have to look inwards to focus at a text, mine don't do it properly. The headaches, eyestrain and general mental fatigue I've been having lately (part of the reason my blogging has fallen off) all started to make sense!

The symptoms can be varied, and I've highlighted the ones that I have been experiencing lately
A person who has convergence insufficiency may show and/or complain of the following while doing close work (i.e., reading, computer work, deskwork, playing handheld video games, doing crafts, etc.):
  • eyestrain (especially with or after reading)
  • headaches
  • blurred vision
  • double vision
  • inability to concentrate
  • short attention span
  • frequent loss of place
  • squinting, rubbing, closing or covering an eye
  • sleepiness during the activity
  • trouble remembering what was read
  • words appear to move, jump, swim or float
  • problems with motion sickness and/or vertigo
Not only that, but I can see that this is a problem I've probably had for the majority of my 24 years on the planet - the list below are common problems in kids growing up with convergence insufficiency (highlighted again the ones I experience)
  • trouble catching balls and other objects thrown through the air
  • avoidance of tasks that require depth perception (games involving smaller balls traveling through the air, handicrafts, and/or hand-eye coordination, etc.)
  • frequent mishaps due to misjudgment of physical distances (particularly within twenty feet of the person's body), such as:
    • trips and stumbles on uneven surfaces, stairs, and curbs, etc.
    • frequent spilling or knocking over of objects
    • bumping into doors, furniture and other stationary objects
    • sports and/or car parking accidents
  • avoidance of eye contact
  • poor posture while doing activities requiring near vision
  • one shoulder noticably higher
  • frequent head tilt
  • problems with motion sickness and/or vertigo
It's amazing to realise that the optometrist (all those years ago) made the mistake of saying I was just short-sighted... I'm not short-sighted at all! For a decent chunk of my life I've basically been shutting down the functionality of one of my healthy eyes - usually not the same one - in order to better focus on things when I've been doing work that requires focus. It even explains why when I'm trying to focus on things I close one eye... I did it today at brunch when SB pointed out something... it just makes me laugh now!

I cannot wait to get my new glasses and see what a difference it makes!

Tell me Scribblettes, do you have any unusual medical problems?


  1. It is ridiculous that the original optometrist missed the problem, but how wonderful that it will soon be remedied! I work in an optometrist and to see the relived and excited expressions people give when they put on their new specs is fantastic! I hope that your provide a huge change not only in your vision but in your everyday life.
    I have been reading you blog for a while now and it is great!

  2. Convergence insufficiency is a fairly common problem and can be treated successfully. Go to http://www.covd.org to find docs who can help. For more info on binocular problems go to htp://www.mainosmemos.blogspot.com and conduct a search on convergence insufficiency. YouTube has a video my the NIH NEI about CI....go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAgyojExdHI