The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
July 20, 2016
Problems are especially worrisome considering importance of near visual work in an education setting.
New research from doctors at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) Sports Medicine and Performance Center finds children may suffer from abnormal near point of convergence (NPC) following a concussion. The study was published in the journal Optometry and Vision Science on July 6, 2016. Abnormal NPC may be a sign of convergence insufficiency, the inability to focus on objects up–close, which can cause problems for schoolchildren who are recovering from concussion. The biggest concern is that children may not report or recognize their symptoms, and current concussion symptom scales may not detect vision problems like abnormal NPC. Binocular visual disturbances, such as convergence insufficiency, affect nearly half of concussion patients. Children may be especially affected by vision problems due to the heavy visual workload involved with school, such as reading, writing, and focusing on a smartboard. Although most symptoms resulting from concussion appear to resolve within two weeks, there is growing concern that children may have prolonged visual symptoms, which may require at least one month to recover. Of the 275 patients in the study, 67 suffered abnormal NPC after concussion. Out of those 67 patients, 89 percent recovered from their vision problems at a median of 10 weeks.