Did you know that a child can have 20/20 vision (“perfect vision”) and still experience visual issues? This is because some individuals can see 20/20 through each eye, but the eyes don’t necessarily work well together to create a clear picture. Vision therapy can help improve the muscular systems of the eye for better teaming, tracking and focusing. It can also improve the eye-brain connection so that the child can interpret visual information more effectively. These therapies allow for proper overall visual development and can improve classroom learning.
Children are often not aware that they are experiencing vision challenges since they don’t have a point of reference for optimal functional vision. This makes regular comprehensive eye exams important for children as they approach and advance through classroom learning.
Misdiagnosis of visual challenges is also common, and these visual issues can look similar to the following ADHD symptoms:
- Reading issues
- Poor attention span in school
- Frequent mistakes
- Difficulty doing and completing schoolwork
The best way to determine if these academic challenges are due to visual issues is to see an optometrist who will assess how well the child’s eyes work together. Additionally, some individuals who have ADHD also have vision issues that can compound the ADHD symptoms when not addressed. This makes seeing an eye doctor important to fully understand if vision therapy can assist in alleviating some of the symptoms.
Symptoms that may indicate a need for vision therapy:
- Skips words or lines when reading
- Rubs eyes when reading or doing near work
- Closes one eye with reading or near work
- Holds reading material close to face or tilts head or paper
- Sits close to the TV
- Headaches from reading or homework
- Good word reader, but poor reading comprehension
- Poor handwriting
- Blurred vision when transitioning from far to near vision
- Homework takes a long time or is highly frustrating
- Short attention span for schoolwork or reading
Colorado’s doctors of optometry recommend a comprehensive eye exam if a child is experiencing one or more of these symptoms. Early identification and intervention are key in preventing impact on school performance and student confidence. Vision therapy can also help avoid or improve outcomes of surgical intervention. If you think your child may need vision therapy, call your local optometrist for an appointment today or search for a qualified Colorado optometrist here.