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Aug 31

ADD/ADHD or Vision Problems?

Many children today are diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and subsequently dosed with medication to help alleviate symptoms. Some symptoms of ADD and ADHD include short attention span, not following through with instructions, avoiding or disliking tasks requiring sustained mental effort, fidgeting, and impulsivity. However, many of these symptoms can also be symptoms of a vision problem. In fact, 15 of the 18 common symptoms of ADD/ ADHD are the SAME as a vision related learning problem.

ADHD & Convergence Insufficiency

ADHD in particular has been linked with an eye disorder called “convergence insufficiency.” Convergence insufficiency happens when the eyes fail to work together as a person attempts to focus on a nearby object. This causes strain, both visually and mentally, as the person works harder to see (and read) well. While this eye disorder is not very common among the general population, it has a higher incidence rate (about three times higher) among children with ADHD. And because its symptoms are close to those of a learning disorder, sometimes children can be misdiagnosed with a learning disorder when they actually have a vision problem.

That’s where vision therapy comes in. For people diagnosed with ADD or ADHD plus convergence insufficiency (or some other visual disorders), as well as those who have the vision disorder without the learning disorder accompanying it, vision therapy techniques can help improve the condition. By treating convergence insufficiency (and some other visual disorders), the eyes and brain don’t have to work as hard to concentrate on reading, writing, math problems, or other close-up work. With convergence insufficiency treated, the underlying learning disorder, if the patient has one, can be more effectively treated.

Set Up a Vision Evaluation

If your child has been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, you suspect he or she may have a learning disorder, or you suspect a vision problem is the cause of some of your child’s learning issues, contact us to set up a vision evaluation and see if vision therapy is right for you. If your child does have a vision problem that is causing difficulty in the classroom, treatment will certainly help with the strain the child is under.

reference for incidence rate of convergence insufficiency: http://myvisiondoc.com/add.htm