Thursday, November 17, 2011

Is there correlation between ADD/ADHD and vision problems?

When meeting with parents or guardians or our patients, this is what we hear when they are discuss thier child and ADD/ADHD:

"You think you are doing the right thing when you are putting your child through all these tests and trying to figure out what's wrong with them. You ask yourself questions like, 'Why isn’t he doing well in school?...He's a smart kid...I know he can do it...Is he lazy?' It's so quick and easy to slap the ADD or ADHD label on the child and medicate them. Where this might work for some children, we never really saw a result."
Does this situation sound familiar to what you and your child have gone through? If so, let me help you understand how symptoms for ADD/ADHD and vision problems are often the same.

Below is a chart that better helps your visualize the similarities.

                                  *DSM IV – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
                                              **American Optometric Association

Due to these similarities, some children with vision problems are mislabeled as having ADHD. COVD states:

A recent study by researchers at the Children's Eye Center, University of San Diego, uncovered a relationship between a common vision disorder, convergence insufficiency, and ADHD. The study "showed that children with convergence insufficiency are three times as likely to be diagnosed  with ADHD than children without the disorder."

Dr. Granet of the Children's Eye Center commented, "We don't know if convergence insufficiency makes ADHD worse or if convergence insufficiency is misdiagnosed as ADHD.  What we do know is that more research must be done on this subject and that patients diagnosed with ADHD should also be evaluated for convergence insufficiency and treated accordingly."
What can we learn from this? Before we mislabel our children, they should be evaluated for convergence insufficiency and treated accordingly. If this article relates to you, don't hesitate to call our office to find out more information and set up an appointment: 615-386-3036.

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