Can optometric vision training help people with ADHD?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Optometric vision training, which focuses on improving visual problems, has not been shown to offer benefits for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and its symptoms. This approach involves such visual concerns as faulty eye movements, sensitivity of the eyes to certain light frequencies, and focus problems, all of which cause reading disorders. While treatment programs can vary, they may include eye exercises and educational and perceptual training.

As for ADHD, a statement was released explaining that there is “no systematic data on optometric training for ADHD despite its widespread use.” In 1972, a joint statement highly critical of this approach was issued by multiple organizations. These included the American Academy of Pediatrics, the then-American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, and the American Association of Ophthalmology.

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