Ever Heard of Convergence Insufficiency – An Eye Disorder

If your child is having behavioral problems at school, before putting him/her on Ritalin asked for the child to be tested for convergence insufficiency – a vision problem.

Sometimes children with vision problems could be misdiagnosed with other diseases. When a child cannot see properly or sees double they can suffer from headaches, dizziness, nausea, irritability, low-self-esteem and other behavioral problems.  When a patient sees double the eyes cannot work together close-up.

Experts believe that about 5 percent of school-age children may be suffering from convergence insufficiency which are attributed to attention disorders

 Dr. David Granet, a professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, said: “Everyone is familiar with A.D.H.D. and A.D.D., but not with eye problems, especially not with convergence insufficiency. But we don’t want to send kids for remedial reading and education efforts if they have an eye problem. This should be part of the protocol for eye doctors.”  In 2005, Dr. Granet studied 266 patients with convergence insufficiency. Nearly 10 percent also had diagnoses of attention deficit or hyperactivity — three times that of the general population. The reverse also proved true: examining the hospital records of 1,700 children with A.D.H.D., Dr. Granet and colleagues found that 16 percent also had convergence insufficiency, three times the normal rate. “When five of the symptoms of A.D.H.D. overlap with C.I.,” he said, “how can you not step back and say, Wait a minute?”  Dr. Eric Borsting, an optometrist and professor at the Southern California College of Optometry who has also studied the links between vision and attention problems, agreed. “We know that kids with C.I. are more likely to have problems like loss of concentration when reading and trouble remembering what they read,” he said. “Doctors should look at it when there’s a history of poor school performance.” 

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