Do you suspect that you or your child has Dyslexia or ADHD? If so, you aren’t alone. The symptoms that come with these conditions can be highly uncomfortable, can result in avoiding reading altogether and can severely affect school performance and overall development.
But what if the cause of these conditions has everything to do with your vision? Most people do not realize that a slight eye misalignment can cause the same symptoms associated with Dyslexia and ADHD.
In this article, we discuss the connection among ADHD, Dyslexia and vision and the treatment that is available.
Is it your eyes?
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that makes reading and reading comprehension difficult, characterized by difficulties with accurate and fluent word recognition, spelling, and reading decoding. Children and adults who have dyslexia have normal intelligence.
Symptoms of Dyslexia
The symptoms of Dyslexia and vision problems can appear before children start school, when they start school, or even during teen years and adulthood. Symptoms vary slightly depending on age.
Before School Age
- Starting to talk at an age later than expected
- Difficulty learning new words
- Problems speaking or reversing sounds
- Difficulty remembering colors, numbers, and nursery rhymes
Once a Child Starts School
- Difficulty processing and understanding what they read in the classroom
- Trouble seeing and hearing differences in letters and words
- Difficulty finding the correct words to use
- Difficulty spelling
- Taking extended periods of time to read and write
- Not wanting to participate in reading and writing activities
- Difficulty with reading and reading comprehension
- Taking extended periods of time to read and write
- Trouble with spelling
- Avoiding reading altogether
- Having anxiety around reading
What is ADHD?
ADHD, also known as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is a chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Children and adults who have ADHD have normal intelligence.
Symptoms of ADHD
Common symptoms associated with problems with vision and ADHD include:
- Difficulty with reading and writing
- Covering one eye while reading
- Trouble sitting still or focusing during class and homework
- Can only focus for several minutes at a time before becoming distracted
- Performs poorly on tests, despite knowing the material
- Skips lines while reading
- Frequently loses place while reading
- Develops anxiety about school and assignments
- Becomes tired from school and assignments
Could ADHD or Dyslexia and Vision Problems Be Connected?
Yes, ADHD, Dyslexia and vision problems can sometimes be connected in individuals suffering from the symptoms of these conditions. What many people do not realize is that their ADHD or Dyslexia could actually be caused by an issue with their eye misalignment, a condition known as Binocular Vision Dysfunction.
Binocular Vision Dysfunction (also known as BVD) results in image misalignment. This condition is where the two eyes have difficulty working together as a team, allowing the brain to create one clear image. The body attempts to correct this vision misalignment by overusing and severely straining the eye muscles.
When we have normal binocular vision, our eyes and brain create one clear image. But when we have Binocular Vision Dysfunction, our eyes do not work together. This makes it incredibly difficult for our brain to create one clear image. Most cases of BVD are physically subtle – which means just by looking at someone, you might not notice any eye misalignment. In addition, traditional vision alignment tests are not sensitive enough to find these subtle misalignments. In the past, this has made it very difficult to diagnose. But even if the eyes are only a very small amount out of alignment, it can make reading and focusing extremely difficult. In severe cases, people might even develop double vision.
What Causes BVD?
As mentioned, BVD can be caused due to one eye being physically higher than the other, which is usually a very subtle difference. It can also be caused by a nerve or eye muscle abnormality, which is something many people are born with. As people with these abnormalities get older, the eye muscles become even more strained from trying to constantly realign the image they are sending to the brain, which results in the uncomfortable symptoms of BVD.
Stroke, concussion / brain injury, inner ear abnormality/injury, or certain neurological disorders can also cause BVD.
Adults and children of all ages can experience the debilitating effects of BVD. Depending on the age, behaviors and symptoms will vary.
What are the Symptoms of BVD?
The symptoms of BVD can be identical to the symptoms of ADHD and Dyslexia, which is why these disabilities can sometimes be misdiagnosed.
For children ages 4 to 8-years-old, common behaviors and symptoms of Binocular Vision Dysfunction can include:
- Poor handwriting (poor spacing, writing letters too big or small)
- Difficulty reading
- Avoiding activities
- Playing with toys very close to their face
- Sitting close to the TV
- Difficulty identifying shapes, colors and numbers that are age-appropriate
- Difficulty seeing the class board
- Frequently bumping into objects
- Difficulty catching balls
- Stomach aches and headaches at school or away from home
- Light sensitivity
- Covering one eye to see
- Anxiety in public places
- Frequent squinting in order to see
For children ages 9 to 13-years-old, common behaviors and symptoms of Binocular Vision Dysfunction can include:
- Repeatedly bumping into things while walking
- Having difficulty completing homework due to headaches and nausea
- Repeatedly reading the same things over and over / difficulty with reading comprehension
- Sensitivity to bright lights
- Closing one eye to make it easier to see
- Blurred vision when using the computer
- Blurred vision or tired eyes when looking at the blackboard in class
- Verbal skills that are ahead of reading skills
- Frequent blinking
Find out if your 9 to
13-year-old has Binocular Vision Dysfunction
For young adults and adults (ages
14-years-old and older) common behaviors and symptoms of Binocular Vision Dysfunction can include:
- Difficulty reading and learning
- Problems focusing in school and at home
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty with balance / unsteady walking
- Pain in the neck
- Frequent head tilt
- Motion sickness
Find out if you or your young adult has Binocular Vision Dysfunction
Regardless of which age someone is suffering from dyslexia and ADHD and vision problems that are caused by BVD, it’s never too late to receive treatment.
Get Treatment For Dyslexia, ADHD and Vision Problems
When BVD is the cause of Dyslexia and ADHD, treatment is available in the form of specialized aligning lenses. These mico-prism lenses realign the images, allowing the brain to create one clear image, eliminating the body’s struggle to do so. Our micro-prism lenses help to eliminate the symptoms of ADHD, dyslexia and vision difficulties.
When the brain can make one clear image, the constant struggle of the eyes to realign vision can cease. This enables the eye muscles to relax, releasing the tension and providing relief from headaches, clumsiness, difficulty focusing or reading, and any other symptoms.
To determine if you or your child’s Dyslexia and ADHD are a result of BVD, our compassionate doctors at Vision Specialists of Michigan will complete a thorough NeuroVisual Examination to find the extent of you or your child’s vision misalignment. If BVD is suspected to be the cause, a pair of specialized eyeglasses that will help the eyes work as a team for improved vision will be prescribed.
Treatment is simple and immediately effective.
To schedule an appointment, call (248) 258 – 9000 and receive relief.