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ADD and Vision Therapy

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Have you or your child experienced the following symptoms when reading?

  • Short attention span
  • Must read and re-read material to understand it well
  • Get sleepy when reading
  • Covers one eye while reading or exhibits odd postures at desk
  • Frustration, restlessness, low self-esteem

Often a visual disorder known as convergence insufficiency is misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD. Convergence insufficiency is a condition in which the two eyes do not work well together as a team. Many of the behaviors a person with convergence insufficiency exhibits are the same as one with ADD or ADHD. Thus a common misdiagnosis is made.

How could my child be misdiagnosed?

Children may test with perfect 20/20 vision on a routine eye examination and still be suffering from convergence insufficiency or other binocular vision disorders. Children with convergence insufficiency tend to lose focus, avoid reading and writing, get frustrated, angry, and seem restless like they cannot pay attention to the work in front of them. This almost matches symptoms for those with ADD/ADHD. They may even get headaches or have double vision.

Ask yourself: Does your family fight over homework every night?

In 2005, Dr. David Granet, a professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, studied 266 patients with convergence insufficiency, and 10% also had an ADD/ADHD diagnosis. He also studied 1,700 hospital records of ADD/ADHD kids and found a 16% convergence insufficiency rate. This is 3 times the national average.

We recommend a comprehensive eye exam for you or your child if any of the aforementioned symptoms or behaviors are present. The earlier a visual disorder is diagnosed the easier it is to correct through vision therapy.

For more information or to schedule and appointment call the Heartland Eye Consultants office at (402) 493-6500.

Written by Dr. Holly Ternus

Dr. Holly Ternus is originally from Torrington, Wyoming, and graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in biological sciences. She graduated with Honors from The New England College of Optometry and completed internships with Honors at South Boston Community Health Center with an emphasis in glaucoma and narrow-angle glaucoma, Togus Veterans Affairs Medical Center with an emphasis in ocular disease, Lifetime Eyecare in Houston fitting specialty contact lenses, and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

Dr. Ternus practiced with ophthalmology in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, specializing in ocular disease, dry eye disease, and emergency care. She then transitioned into primary care, fitting specialty contacts for keratoconus, post-RK, corneal ectasia, and irregular corneas.

Dr. Ternus is an active member of the Nebraska Optometric Association, American Optometry Association, and American Academy of Optometry. She received her fellowship with the American Academy of Optometry in 2018 and is a graduate of the Nebraska Optometric Association’s Leadership Institute. She also received her fellowship in the Scleral Lens Education Society and is the first in Nebraska to have completed this honor.

Outside of work, Dr. Ternus enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 children, snowboarding, skiing, water sports, watching Husker football, and everything that involves being outdoors.

More Articles By Dr. Holly Ternus

Vision Therapy

Vision therapy is an effective, non-surgical, doctor-supervised treatment that retrains the brain and eyes to work together more efficiently. Rather than compensate for vision problems, vision therapy aims to treat and correct the visual system itself.

Discover how we can help you or your child overcome vision problems such as strabismus and amblyopia, and build a greater sense of confidence. Take our vision therapy quiz today!

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Success Stories

Success Stories


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Our Location

We’re located just off Nicholas Street across from Westroads Mall. If you have trouble finding us, please give us a call at 402-493-6500.

Our Address

  • 9900 Nicholas St, Suite #250
  • Omaha, NE 68114

Contact Us

Hours of Operation

  • Monday: 8:15 AM 5:15 PM
  • Tuesday: 9:00 AM 5:15 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:15 AM 5:15 PM
  • Thursday: 8:15 AM 5:15 PM
  • Friday: 8:15 AM 5:15 PM
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed
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