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Vision therapy reduces ADHD symptoms
Many children with convergence insufficiency and other binocular vision disorders display symptoms identical to ADHD. Since ADHD is a diagnosis of exclusion (meaning everything else needs to be ruled out), it’s important to look for anything that could be causing the troubles. For example, does the child drink 5 cups of coffee before school, as it may be the caffeine, not true ADHD that is at the root of the problem.
The important part to remember is that if there are NO VISION problems, then vision therapy WILL NOT be effective. This is where many studies and reviews have struggled, as they will try to treat anyone with symptoms, rather than identified vision conditions. This is akin to giving chemotherapy to everyone displaying the symptoms of cancer, but without any confirmed diagnosis of cancer. You’ll help some, but the percentage will be much smaller than if the treatment is only given to those with cancer.
Abstract. [Purpose] To determine whether the improvement of vergence movements by vision therapy can decrease the K-ARS scores of symptomatic ADHD children. [Methods] Eighty-one out of 1,123 children surveyed using the K-ARS, a parents’-reported questionnaire, led to 16 of these 81 children being showed scores of ≥19, and measurement of binocular function diagnosed as having convergence insufficiency. The 16 children were divided equally into a control group and a vision therapy group. [Results] After vision therapy for 12 weeks, near point convergence (4.38±0.69 cm) significantly neared compared to the near point convergence before vision therapy (11.50±2.28 cm), and both the break point (32.38±2.53 Δ) and recovery point (19.75±2.11 Δ) of near positive fusional vergence significantly improved compared to their values before vision therapy (15.88±2.64 Δ, 6.38±6.70 Δ, respectively). Near exophoria after vision therapy (7.81±2.00 Δ BI) significantly decreased compared to its value before vision therapy (12.00±1.16 Δ BI). The K-ARS scores referring to symptomatic ADHD significantly decreased after vision therapy (17.13±2.84) compared to before vision therapy (23.25±1.49). [Conclusions] Convergence insufficiency symptoms are closely related to symptoms screened for ADHD, and vision therapy to improve vergence movements is an effective method of decreasing the K-ARS scores.