Saturday, November 3, 2012

Helpful Apps & Resources for Convergence Insufficiency

What is Convergence Insufficiency?

Convergence Insufficiency is a common vision problem that can make reading or staying on-task quite difficult for school-aged children. The condition is caused by poor eye coordination (eye teaming), which prevents the eyes from working together, especially when viewing small images or trying to read fine print. Convergence insufficiency can also cause problems such as eyestrain, fatigue (or visual stress), headaches, and sometimes blurred or even double vision when reading. One or more of these conditions can then often result in poor focus and attention as well as poor reading comprehension and retention.

In many cases, the condition is often not diagnosed. Routine school vision screening cannot check for convergence insufficiency, and it is frequently missed in regular (non-comprehensive) eye exams. In fact, many children with convergence insufficiency are often misdiagnosed with a learning disability, dyslexia or ADD/ADHD.

Vision therapy sessions administered by a medical professional such as a developmental optometrist are sometimes part of the solution for convergence insufficiency. In addition, eye exercises conducted at home may be involved in the treatment as well.

Special Note: If for some reason it is not possible to access services as described above here (because of one's location or type of health insurance plan coverage), consider the use of colored overlays or other non-invasive and customizable tools such as the Reading Focus Cards (U.S. Patent 7,565,759) to assist with the symptoms of convergence insufficiency or other issues experienced by some struggling readers.

Important: Please remember that only a comprehensive eye examination can evaluate for vision-related reading and learning problems.

We thought our readers might be interested in accessing a few apps that might help with convergence insufficiency. This week, these apps and resources are here for you!

Apps for Convergence Insufficiency

1. Top 5 Smartphone Apps for Your Eyes---2 are FREE (mostly Apple-compatible)
Compiled by La Jolla Lasik Institute

2. More Apps for Convergence Insufficiency (for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch)
From One Place for Special Needs (may need to register on the site to access)

3. Reading Focus Cards Desktop App (Patent 8,360,779) (for Macs & Windows PCs)
From Brennan Innovators, LLC
This DESKTOP app for Windows PCs and Macs provides practical READING SUPPORT for children and adults with ADHD, dyslexia, autism and other conditions that can affect reading success. It improves FOCUS, FLUENCY and VISUAL COMFORT for better CONCENTRATION and RETENTION when reading digital media (webpages, PDF files, Word docs, Excel spreadsheets & more.) The app's innovative technology allows it to float on top AND stay on top of nearly any underlying application. It can be moved over text on a computer screen by the fingers, mouse or arrow keys as needed. In addition, the Reading Focus Card app supports touch-screen technology (where applicable). (This desktop app is the digital version of the physical Reading Focus Cards (Patent 7,565,759), solutions for struggling readers.)
a. For Macs (desktops & notebooks):
Visit the Mac App Store at or search for the app called Reading Focus Cards.
b. For Windows PCs (desktops & laptops):
Visit Gumroad at OR visit the Microsoft Windows Store and search for the app called Reading Focus Cards. (No URLs are provided for apps in the Windows Store.)

4. Overlays! (App for OS X 10.8 or later---Price: $6.99)
Created by Abbie Gonzalez
Use to help with reading or sometimes to help following large tables and lists of data. Battle the wall of text, eyestrain and distractions with this on screen overlay to help you keep your place!
- Keep your place in huge walls of text, tables and lists.
- Pick the color, height and transparency that helps you read better.
- Use a lightly colored overlay or a completely solid line to help you keep focused. Pick what works for you!
- Easily access preferences from the menu bar icon.
- Works in full screen applications, and even over virtual machines.!/id868499627?mt=12

Resources for Additional Information:

1. Information AND additional resources on convergence from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development

2. Information, Symptoms and References for Convergence Insufficiency from the Mayo Clinic

3. Information and Numerous Resources on Convergence from One Place for Special Needs---Vision therapy exercises a child might do in an office setting (Video) and other related information (may need to register on the site to access)

4. Information on Research and Treatment for Convergence Insufficiency

Happy reading, everyone!

For more information: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

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