Purpose: The percentage of children who are symptomatic has been shown to increase with the number of signs of convergence insufficiency (CI). Our goal was to investigate whether there is a relationship between the severity of the clinical signs of CI and symptom level reported in children with a three-sign symptomatic CI.
Methods: The Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial enrolled 221 children with symptomatic CI from ages 9 to 17 years. Inclusion criteria included the following three signs of CI: (1) exophoria at near at least 4Δ greater than at distance, (2) insufficient positive fusional vergence (PFV) at near, and (3) a receded near point of convergence (NPC) of 6 cm break or greater. The relationships between the severity of each sign of CI (mild, moderate, and severe) and the level of symptoms as measured by the Convergence Insufficiency Symptom Survey (CISS) at baseline were evaluated.
Results: Mean CISS scores were not significantly different between mild, moderate, and severe exophoria (p = 0.60), PFV blur (p = 0.99), Sheard's criterion (p = 0.89), or NPC break (p = 0.84). There was also no difference between the frequency of subjects scoring at mild, moderate, or severe levels on the CISS and the severity of each sign of CI. Correlations between individual clinical signs and the CISS score were very low and not statistically significant.
Conclusions: Among symptomatic children with a CISS score of 16 or higher and three clinical signs of CI, there is no further association between the severity of the clinical signs and their level of symptoms.