Correlation between asthenopic symptoms and different measurements of convergence and reading comprehension and saccadic fixation eye movements

Optometry. 2010 Jan;81(1):28-34. doi: 10.1016/j.optm.2008.10.019.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between asthenopic symptoms, convergence amplitude, reading comprehension, and saccadic eye movements in children 8 to 10 years of age.

Methods: Sixty-six children age 8 to 10 years were examined. Convergence was evaluated using (1) nonaccommodative target at near and distance, (2) a near computerized stereogram, and (3) measurement of the near point of convergence (NPC). Reading ability was examined by (1) a reading comprehension test in which children had to answer questions regarding a paragraph they read and (2) the Developmental Eye Movement Test (DEM), which evaluates saccadic speed and accuracy. Asthenopic symptoms were scored by an Asthenopic Symptoms Questionnaire.

Results: Asthenopic symptoms score was correlated with the near point of convergence (r = -0.4; P = 0.003), convergence on a near stereogram (r = 0.38; P = 0.01) and distant light (r = 0.27; P = 0.04), but not with convergence on a near nonaccommodative target (r = 0.07; P = 0.6). The DEM ratio score was correlated with the asthenopic symptoms score (r = -0.32; P = 0.01), but the reading comprehension test score was not (r = 0.12; P = 0.4). There was correlation, however, between the time for completion of the reading comprehension test and the asthenopic symptoms score (r = 0.39; P = 0.006).

Conclusion: Asthenopic symptoms score was correlated with convergence amplitude as measured, whereas accommodation is controlled and the ratio score calculated based upon DEM results. Further study is needed to evaluate the usefulness of the integration between symptom survey and objective reading examinations as screening tool for the diagnosis of convergence insufficiency.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accommodation, Ocular / physiology*
  • Asthenopia / diagnosis
  • Asthenopia / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Convergence, Ocular / physiology*
  • Depth Perception / physiology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular / physiology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reading
  • Saccades / physiology*