You’ve almost certainly heard of ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. But did you know that many symptoms of ADHD overlap with those of Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD)?
It’s estimated that up to 50% of patients who’ve been diagnosed with ADHD have a vision deficit that makes it more challenging for them to read and learn. Often, the culprit is an undiagnosed misalignment of the eyes.
Sometimes BVD occurs in tandem with ADHD, but other times it’s mistaken for it.
So, how do you know if you or your child has either condition? Although it can be tricky to tell, an optometrist who has experience diagnosing and treating BVD can easily determine this.
What are the Symptoms of ADHD?
In order to diagnose an adult with ADHD, they must present 5 or more of the following symptoms:
- Often doesn’t seem to pay attention when directly spoken to
- Has difficulty holding attention when completing tasks
- Easily distracted
- Often forgetful
- Has difficulty with organization
- Often fidgets with hands or feet
- Feels restless or exhausts others with their excess energy
- Talks excessively
- Often interrupts others mid-conversation
- Has difficulty waiting their turn
What Is BVD?
Binocular vision dysfunction is a misalignment of the eyes, either horizontally or vertically. This misalignment prevents the eyes from working together in a synchronized, healthy manner.
To compensate for the misalignment, the extraocular muscles work overtime to try and correct the problem, which often leads to eye strain, headaches,dizziness and double vision.
Other symptoms of BVD that many people with ADHD experience:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Frequent mood swings
- Avoiding visually-demanding tasks that require extended attention
- Poor reading comprehension
- Poor reading skills or frequently losing one’s place mid-sentence
How We Can Treat Your BVD
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, visit for a functional visual evaluation to rule out BVD as an underlying cause or contributor.
If binocular vision dysfunction is found, we can help.
The most effective way to treat BVD is with prism glasses that are made specifically for your individual condition. Patients often report immediate relief when first wearing the glasses.
Our practice serves patients from Mascoutah, Belleville, O'Fallon, and Edwardsville, Illinois and surrounding communities.
Q: How do prism glasses work?
- A: Prism glasses contain micro-prisms that bend incoming light in a way that compensates for the eyes’ misalignment. They ensure that the light focuses on the same location on each retina, bypassing the eyes’ incorrect positioning.
Q: How long does it take to get used to wearing prism glasses?
- A: Although some patients report instant relief, it can take others up to 2 or 3 days. Your optometrist will optimize the fit of your glasses to ensure the shortest adjustment period possible.