September 7, 2010 by D Fortenbacher, O.D.,FCOVD
When is it OK to “wait and see” if the problem goes away on it’s own?
What if your 6 year old child has been diagnosed with a binocular vision problem that appears to be interfering with her learning to read? You are seeing behaviors that look like she can’t concentrate on books. Her teacher is spotting some signs of trouble but can’t be sure that it is “her eyes”. You take her to an eye doctor who makes the diagnosis of a binocular vision problem called convergence insufficiency but dismisses treatment “for now” and opts for monitoring the problem. But, is it really ok to just wait and see?
As strange as it may sound, an outdated approach often recommended by many eye doctors when faced with a young patient (often 4-7 years old) diagnosed with certain forms of eye coordination problems, such as convergence insufficiency, is to simply monitor the condition and see if it goes away it’s own. In other words, no treatment is recommended.
In response to this and other vision problems in children, the University of Oregon Brain Development Lab has just produced this video on vision and the developing brain. See what the neuroscientists and the research is showing about the importance of early intervention.
Then check out the story of a mom (below) who wouldn’t accept ”NO” for an answer when told that her 6 year old daughter (with convergence insufficiency) was too young to be treated.
Find out how a persistent mom dealt with this problem with her own 6 year old daughter. Read the heartwarming and inspirational story from Paige Melendres in Albuquerque, who was not comfortable with the “wait and see” recommendation by her first doctor. Her story can be found by clicking on CI:The Private Eye Goes Public -Part 1 and scroll down to comment #8. Her story has a happy ending and good advice for parents who may have a child who is struggling.