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.