Is it ADHD or a problem with the eye?

“I’ve just seen two images of the same person on the TV screen,” my mother complained years ago.

DR. GIFFORD JONES

“I’ve just seen two images of the same person on the TV screen,” my mother complained years ago. She had developed double vision (DV). But what causes DV? And how many children suffering from attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) are being medicated when the trouble is in their eye?

Dr. Patrick Quaid, an expert in double vision, is head of the Guelph Vision Therapy Centre.

He says double vision must be taken seriously as a diagnosis can range from brain tumour, concussion, inflammation of an artery, to simple dysfunction of ocular muscles. Fortunately, when adults notice DV, they know something is wrong that demands quick attention.

But Quaid says children with ADHD often get either a delayed diagnosis or no diagnosis of ocular disorder. Doctors treating a child with ADHD rarely consider arranging for an eye examination to detect ocular malfunction.

The most commonly encountered abnormality is ‘convergence insufficiency’, or difficulty keeping the eyes tuned when reading.

These children have eyes that do not work in unison due to an imbalance of muscle control. Consequently, they see double when reading, frequently lose their place, find reading frustrating and shy away from it, which affects their learning.

Quaid states ironically parents of children with convergence insufficiency may be told their child has 20/20 vision by a regular eye test.

Convergence insufficiency is not rare.

Quaid claims one in 10 people has some sort of eye teaming problem. But what is shocking, and generally unknown, is children affected with ADHD have three times greater risk of convergence insufficiency. All the more reason that these children must see an eye doctor who is cognizant of eye teaming abnormalities.

Quaid adds doctors who are looking for a quick fix often place ADHD children on Ritalin, or some other medication, without arranging for a oculomotor workup.

During an interview, Quaid discussed another pressing problem that concerns many parents, ‘Post-Trauma Vision Syndrome’ (PTVS). Today, brain concussions are becoming a fact of life for children and adults involved in sports.

Moreover, bruised brains can result in neurological and ocular abnormalities despite normal results from MRI and CT scans.

Quaid, ahead of the times, has sage advice for those who intend to engage in contact sports.

Be sure to get a baseline test for binocular vision function before engaging in contact sports. This is important as those who already have binocular vision dysfunction, and may not realize it, will likely suffer even greater eye teaming issues should they suffer a subsequent concussion.

Just how many children in this country are being diagnosed with ADHD when they in fact suffer from subtle forms of double vision is unknown.

The difficulty for parents is that children will usually not complain of problems with eye teaming as they may not be aware of what to report.

This may result in misdiagnosis. Fortunately, the Guelph Vision Therapy Centre is one of the few places that offers a comprehensive approach to ADHD and eye teaming problems. This involves close interaction between eye doctors with experience in binocular vision disorders, psychologists, speech and language pathologists and occupational therapists.

For information, go to www.docgiff.com. To contact him, email info@docgiff.com.

 

Just Posted

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system also takes Indigenous children from their families, communities and nations

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for the G7 Summit, at the airport in Newquay, United Kingdom, Thursday, June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Details on Canada’s vaccine sharing plan coming Sunday, up to 100 million doses

Canada’s high commissioner to the UK says details will come after the G7 summit

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec waves to the crowd during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Newborn daughter’s death inspires MP’s bill on bereavement leave for parents

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec says a day or two off not enough for some grieving parents

Victoria’s 2020 Canada Day celebration will not happen this year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations backs cancelling Canada Day celebration

Statement made after Victoria cancels Canada Day event as a statement of reconciliation

United Nurses of Alberta is slamming Health Minister Tyler Shandro for suggesting staff vacations are causing emergency room problems. (Black Press Media files)
Physicians were suffering burnout and then the pandemic made it worse, UBC study finds

Burnout prevalent among 68 per cent of doctors – likely a reflection of issue globally, says researcher

Most Read