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Treating ADD/ADHD With Vision Therapy

July 1 2022
Vision Therapy Parents Unite

ADD, ADHD, or a vision problem? If your child has been diagnosed with one of these labels, you may be wondering if it’s a correct diagnosis. It’s a good thing to ask. 

There are more and more alternatives to medication being approved to help kids focus in school without drugs. One such treatment, called vision therapy, can be tailored to meet each child’s unique needs based on their visual learning style — improving cognitive function and academic performance without drugs. 

Read on as a developmental optometrist vision therapy Annapolis, MD discusses vision-related issues that often impact children and adults struggling with ADD/ADHD, and how vision therapy can help.

ADD/ADHD and Vision Problems

A large percentage of the population struggle with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Both are classified as neurobehavioral disorders which affect people in different ways. 

Statistics estimate that approximately 9% of children, ages 4-18 years old have some type of ADD or ADHD. Many families are not aware that vision problems can be a cause of their child’s behavior difficulties. A child with learning problems may be struggling due to an undetected eye disorder.

How Vision Therapy Can Help

When you have ADD/ADHD, it’s not just your brain that needs to be treated—it’s your eyes. That’s because vision problems can cause ADHD symptoms, or make them worse. And when you’re dealing with ADHD symptoms, a little extra help from your eyes can go a long way.

Vision therapy is a treatment for functional vision problems—that is, problems that are not caused by damage to the eye itself but rather by how the brain processes visual information. The most common functional vision problems include:

  • Convergence insufficiency (CI)
  • Accommodative dysfunction (AD)
  • Binocular vision dysfunction (BVD)

These conditions are often misdiagnosed as ADHD or anxiety because they have similar symptoms: difficulty focusing and paying attention in general, difficulty completing tasks, and feeling overwhelmed by too much information at once. These conditions can also manifest themselves in behaviors like constant fidgeting and impulsivity.

Functional vision problems can be treated with exercises that strengthen eye muscles or teach them new skills like depth perception or peripheral awareness.

Ultimately, any child observed to have attention-related problems should receive a developmental vision evaluation prior to being put on any medications. If you have more questions or wish to schedule a consultation for yourself or your child, please don’t hesitate to call us, your local developmental optometrist vision therapy Annapolis, MD today.

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