Accommodative insufficiency is an eye disorder in which the patient finds difficult to sustain focusing near object for a prolonged period of time. The problem is not related with your eyesight or any refractory error. It is a problem related with eye fatigue which in turn causes stress and strain to the eye especially when doing near work for extended period of time.
This problem is more specific with school going children between the ages of 5 to 14 years. Many school going children complain of frontal headache, pain in eyes, soreness in eyes, double vision etc during reading.These symptoms indicate that the child has reduced near point of accommodation or in other word accommodative insufficiency.
Causes of Accommodative Insufficiency:
Accommodative insufficiency can develop due to several reasons. It is more common in children than adults. The condition is observed in school going children. The possible reasons are as follows:
- Prolonged near task is one of the most common reasons. This can occur in adults as well as children. The patient may experience difficulty in accommodation if he stresses his eyes for prolonged period of time doing close work like reading, writing, using computer, sewing, etc.
- When the overall health of the child is poor. This may develop when the child frequently falls sick from various conditions such as glandular fever, flu, chronic fatigue syndrome etc.
- Asthenopia or eye fatigue and resultant accommodative dysfunction can occur due to certain medications. For example antihistamines, Ritalin, Concerta etc.
- It can develop if the child has high degree of long sightedness.
Accommodative Insufficiency Symptoms:
Accommodative insufficiency mostly occurs in children, but sometimes it can also develop in adult individuals. Mostly the dysfunction occurs from stress produced while doing near work or task. The symptoms generally are those that are experienced while reading, writing or working on computer etc.
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty in reading.
- Eye fatigue
- Double vision
- Lack of concentration
- Feels as if the print moves while reading
- Increased sleepiness while reading
- Sensation as if the eyes are pulled
- The child starts to avoid near tasks as he is not able to focus near point.
The child experiences difficulty in focusing while writing, reading, or while copying from the blackboard. Many times parents as well as teachers mistakenly consider the child is having attention deficit disorder but in actuality it is problem with his accommodative vision. Poor performance is school can be a warning sign that the child may be suffering from accommodative insufficiency and associated refractory error.
Treatment of Accommodative Insufficiency
Accommodative insufficiency frustrates the child and he loses his interest in studies in many cases. Close classwork can be extremely difficult. Hence any patient with accommodative insufficiency requires to be treated. This can be done with the help of eye glasses while doing close work and eye exercises also called visual therapy. Wearing reading glasses is simple solution to reduce stress and fatigue to the eyes in such patients. The child must wear training glasses when he is performing near task. This will gradually develop stamina to the eyes. A time comes when spectacles are no longer needed. The doctor also suggests certain eye exercises that will help to focus near vision properly after a period of time.