Recently there was a person on the local New York City news talking about vision exercises and ADHD. They stated that most children with ADHD are misdiagnosed and can be cured with vision exercises. Now, I do think there’s a place for vision therapy for children with ADHD, but it definitely isn’t a cure-all. Many children and adults are misdiagnosed with ADHD or ADD simply because their binocular system was never tested.
However, there are equally as many people that truly have both ADHD/ADD and binocular vision dysfunction (BVD). This is a very important distinction. Even though one group is misdiagnosed and the other is diagnosed correctly, patients in both these groups can have BVD. A full comprehensive binocular vision examination is so essential for patients in both of these groups, yet it is often overlooked.
How ADHD Medications Can Affect Vision
We also know that the medications used to treat these conditions can affect the visual system, sometimes causing people to have difficulty maintaining focus, tracking from one line to another and keeping both eyes focused on the same point in space. Appropriate prismatic correction can help with all of these difficulties. While vision therapy can take months and be very expensive, with Dr. Feinberg’s technique of prismatic correction, our patients generally see results very quickly.
Tests Before Meds
It’s extremely troubling that so many of these children fall through the cracks simply because they haven’t been evaluated properly. In a world that’s becoming increasingly focused on visual, computer-based learning, children who don’t have a stable visual system are at a huge disadvantage. Despite how hard they work to learn, children with undiagnosed BVD are often impulsive, disorganized, inattentive and easily overwhelmed due to their visual problems. This is why, before going along with a diagnosis of ADHD and agreeing to medicate their child, parents should first have their child tested to see if they have binocular vision dysfunction.
The Importance of a Neurovisual Examination
Please spread the word: BVD is rarely found during a routine eye exam. You must take your child to a neurovisual optometrist who has the appropriate training and equipment to diagnosis this condition. If, after the comprehensive exam, it’s determined that BVD is present, one of the doctors at the Neuro Visual Center of New York will prescribe specialized prismatic lenses. Chances are that before you know it, you child’s attitude toward school will have completely turned around, and they’ll be reading and learning with ease right along with their friends and classmates!
For more information on the differences between vision therapy and treatment with aligning prismatic lenses, give us a call today at (516) 224-4888.