An estimated 6.4 million children are diagnosed with ADHD in the United States every year, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have their disorder identified early. Some patients aren’t diagnosed with ADHD until adulthood despite living with the symptoms since their youth. Children and adults living with undiagnosed or untreated ADHD are likely to have trouble concentrating, paying close attention to detail, and following through with tasks, and they may experience a variety of other symptoms that make everyday functions difficult.
Interestingly enough, many of the symptoms found in patients with ADHD are also found in those with ocular problems. A report by the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT) Study Group found that 16% of the convergence insufficiency study group was classified as having ADHD, compared to 6% in the normal vision group.
If you have ADHD, you’re more likely to experience vision problems that make focusing on objects in space difficult or nearly impossible. These convergence insufficiency issues can, in turn, exacerbate ADHD symptoms, causing the two conditions to build upon each other in a cycle that negatively impacts your daily life. It’s important for those who have difficulty focusing to determine whether or not vision problems play a role.
Eye Focusing Problems in Adults and Children
Those who have trouble focusing their eyes while working at a computer, reading, or performing other up-close tasks may have one of the following vision disorders commonly associated with ADHD.
This visual disorder describes the eyes’ inability to work together to focus on objects in space. People with CI also tend to have eye teaming problems, which prevent the eyes from giving feedback to the brain simultaneously. If you can’t concentrate, feel fatigued while reading or at the computer, or squint and strain your eyes often, you may be one of the more than 20 million U.S. residents affected by CI.
Accommodative dysfunction, another visual disorder common in children and adults with ADHD, prevents the individual from adjusting their eyes’ lenses quickly enough to keep objects around them in focus as they move from task to task. If you have difficulty focusing your eyes and experience blurry vision, headaches, and migraines, you might have accommodative dysfunction.
Treating Eye Focusing Problems in Patients with ADHD
Our certified vision therapists and developmental optometrists have extensive experience treating patients with ADHD, convergence insufficiency, and accommodative dysfunction. While we can’t cure ADHD, we can address some of the related visual disorders.
Our vision therapy programs include accommodative dysfunction and convergence insufficiency treatments that help patients regain their visual strength by teaching their brain and eyes to work together in harmony. Most of our treatment plans are built around a visual exercise regimen tailored to the individual patient, and they may involve the use of specialized lenses that help correct eye dysfunction. Our team has extensive experience working with both children and adults.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD but haven’t had a thorough vision screening, schedule a complimentary consultation today to make sure your visual system is functioning properly. During a consultation, a vision therapist will gather important information to determine what kind of treatment plan is best for you. By addressing your eye focusing and teaming problems with a vision therapist, you’ll take the first step to seeing more clearly and focusing to the best of your abilities.
The content of this blog has been reviewed for accuracy by
Briana Larson, OD, FCOVD, FAAO, FNORA-Executive Director