What is an Eye Teaming Problem?

Eye teaming (also known as binocular vision) is a visual skill that allows both eyes to work together in a precise and coordinated way. Good eye teaming allows a person to maintain single and comfortable vision for a sustained period of time. It is also the basis for superior depth perception.

If there is a problem with eye teaming, objects can appear double or seem to move, which creates a confusing and uncomfortable view of the world. Symptoms of an eye teaming problem include double vision, headaches, blurred vision, and eyestrain, especially while completing near work such as reading and computer activities. Eye teaming problems occur in approximately 5-10% of children and adults.

The two most common teaming problems are convergence insufficiency and convergence excess. Convergence insufficiency is when the eyes have a tendency to turn out during reading and other near work. The visual system must exert extra effort to keep the eyes from drifting out. This extra effort can result in headaches, eye strain, and double vision. Convergence excess is when the eyes have a strong tendency to turn in during reading other near work. Symptoms are the same as convergence insufficiency. In both cases it is important for parents and educators to know even though the eyes are turning in or out it is not visible to the untrained eye. It’s important to be familiar with the symptoms. Most routine eye exams and screenings do not detect these problems.

More dramatic forms of eye teaming problems are called strabismus, which is when an eye can actually be seen drifting or wandering at times.

This is what an eye teaming problem may look like while reading: