Convergence insufficiency is the most common type of binocular disorder. For many years, optometrists have excelled at helping patients through office based vision therapy. Most Ophthalmologists claim that the condition can be treated appropriately with simple, unsupervised procedures done at home, despite this having been proven to be no better than placebo therapy according to scientific studies published in medical journals.
It sounds like we’re referring to a pair of binoculars that aren’t working right, but the term actually refers to problems in using both eyes together as a team. When the two eyes are cosmetically misaligned to the point where you can see one eye aimed in a different direction from the other eye, the condition is termed strabismus.
You might look at someone who has strabismus and think that the more obvious the eye turn, the more difficulty that person has in functioning, but this is not always the case. In fact, the person with strabismus who is well adapted may have fewer problems than the person with unstable binocular vision who is always fighting to try to use both eyes together as a team.
Ophthalmologists (eye surgeons) tend to ignore binocular disorders unless the patient is either willing to be operated on or complains of double vision. Optometrists specializing in visual function respect the patient’s energy cost in maintaining binocular vision and treat the patient accordingly to minimize eye strain and fatigue while maximizing performance.