Did you know that having your eyes tested can reveal if you have symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)? ADHD is a set of symptoms that include trouble with focus, being overactive, and not being able to control behavior.
ADHD is a condition that has multiple symptoms and can affect any age, though commonly it affects children. There is difficulty with visual processing which include symptoms of doubling of letters, reversal of letters, and words and lines of print jumping, diminishing or altogether disappearing .
It is estimated that one in five people have some sort of ADHD……that is 20% of the literate population.
Proper visual function can be assessed through a thorough eye exam. During the exam, visual complaints, focusing, and processing can be assessed to rule out ADHD.
Eye examinations are a crucial part of the diagnosis of ADHD, and when glasses are prescribed, prescribing the correct type of lens is vital. Many patients benefit from an anti-glare/anti-reflective or AR treatment on their lenses. This cuts unnecessary light from entering the eye, making visual processing easier.
In some cases, it is discovered that the person has a non ocular visual processing problem. This simply means that their eyes have little or nothing to do with their symptoms of ADHD. This gives valuable information to the health care provider that is managing the patient and suggests they need more non ocular testing for a compete diagnosis.
ADHD is very common, and the great news is there are many treatment options. Many resources for help abide on the internet or through health care channels.
Having an eye exam should be one of the first items on the checklist if you are suspicious about ADHD because valuable information on visual processing can be ascertained.
For more resources see these websites:
National Institute of Mental Health, www.nimh.nih.gov/
American Optometric Association, AOA.org
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