Convergence insufficiency, ocular surface disease share symptoms

Posted on the PCON Supersite November 18, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO – Treatment of symptomatic convergence insufficiency in presbyopic patients using base-in prism resolved symptoms of ocular surface disease, a study found.

“In convergence insufficiency, there is an overlap of symptoms [with ocular surface disease]. Just because someone complains of burning, dryness and ache does not mean they have ocular surface disease; it could be related to convergence insufficiency,” Bruce A. Teitelbaum, OD, FAAO, told PRIMARY CARE OPTOMETRY NEWS here at Academy 2010.

The randomized, double-masked study enrolled 26 presbyopic patients with symptomatic convergence insufficiency who participated in a previous study to determine the efficacy of base-in prism. Patients were randomly assigned placebo glasses or treatment glasses and quantified the severity of their ocular surface disease symptoms on a scale from 0 to 4.

The ocular surface disease symptoms in the treatment group “dramatically” improved from baseline as compared to the placebo group, the study authors said. The treatment group reported a total symptom score of 2.69 compared to the baseline score of 6.42.

“Many people treat dry eye just by the symptoms. What we’re saying is that some of the symptoms may be driven by a binocular problem,” Dr. Teitelbaum said. “If therapy isn’t working in cases of mild dry eye and objectively a patient does not appear to have a dry eye, perhaps this is something to think about.”

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