Study Shows Treating Convergence Insufficiency Improves Reading Speed and Comprehension

Convergence insufficiency is a problem with how the eyes work together, that can affect reading speed, comprehension, ability to sustain focus and more.  The official study just published can be seen here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29577409. Well done study in getting improvement in a short period of time. Often the maximum improvement takes longer, but it’s much more difficult to do a longer study.

These visual conditions are most often missed in vision screenings and often in routine examinations.  I see countless kids who have been struggling at school because of exactly this condition. Let’s examine one.

Below are the eye tracking recordings of a grade 10 female, first as a C student (top) where her eyes were continually drifting apart while trying to read, and then as an A student at the bottom where her eyes actually worked together.  Her reading speed increased by 60+wpm and her comprehension was 90% rather than 60%.  It took approximately 9 months of vision therapy, and now her academic trajectory is completely changed.

Here are the stats taken with a device that records how the eyes move and track while reading..  Note the changes in comprehension, fixations, regressions, reading speed, and overall reading mechanics grade level.

Before:

After:

 

Now let’s get nerdy and get into the raw data.  Note the two eyes not working together (left is red, right is blue)

Eye movement tracked after.  Left in red, right in blue.  Note how the two eyes are working much more together.

So she went from reading 163 words per minute with 60% comprehension, to 227 words per minute with 90% comprehension.  From a struggling C student to an A student.  A completely different post-secondary trajectory.  If you know of someone who is struggling with school, child or adult, it’s critical that they have testing done on how their eyes track and work together.  The problem isn’t always visual, but it’s easy to rule in or out.  If it is visual, then it’s treatable.

 

 

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