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The Surprising Reason For Your Child’s Short Attention Span


Studies show that around 1 in 5 children with undiagnosed vision problems struggle with reading. These individuals will have to exert much more energy to get their eyes to focus on the words. This can be highly demoralising, especially when they compare themselves to others who are able to read effortlessly. Because of this, they lose the motivation to understand what they just read and become frustrated.


Children with vision problems tend to be unable to keep up with the rest of their peers, and gradually, they start to lose the ability to pay attention. Is it any surprise that they are often misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorders and are unable to receive the treatment they actually need?


Behaviour issues vs vision problems


People rarely make the connection between a child's short attention span and eye health. Oftentimes, attention deficit disorders and vision issues in children manifest in similar symptoms, i.e. trouble concentrating, behavioural issues, etcetera.


This can lead to children being misdiagnosed and wrong treatment being prescribed. Additionally, once children with vision issues are misdiagnosed with disorders like ADHD, they are not likely to get checked for eye conditions.


There is a misconception that reading an eye chart well means you have perfect vision – this is untrue. Myriad visual skills divorced from visual clarity are necessary for paying better attention in class and they should all be checked for before determining the challenges your child is facing.


Symptoms: vision issues vs ADHD


A child's lack of visual skills can result in restlessness, distractibility, behavioural issues, and low self-esteem. These are also recurrent themes in children who have ADHD. Here is a list of symptoms that can be attributed to vision issues:


- Shorter attention span

- Listening and comprehension issues

- Distractibility

- Disorderly behaviour

- Inability to focus (especially when reading or other near visual tasks)

- Time management issues

- Making careless mistakes

- Inability to read

- Tendency to fidget

- Good understanding of the material; poor performance in tests

- Tendency to close one eye when reading

- Tendency to skip over words when reading


Make sure that your child is subjected to a general eye check-up if they are experiencing these symptoms.


In comparison, here is a list of symptoms that can be attributed to ADHD:


- Shorter attention span

- Listening and comprehension issues

- Distractibility

- Disorderly behaviour

- Inability to focus on anything

- Time management issues

- Making careless mistakes

- Inability to remain seated

- Tendency to fidget

- Interruptive and impatient

- Tendency to blurt out answers

- Inability to multitask


How can you be sure your child is experiencing vision issues?


When children are diagnosed with an attention deficit disorder, they should also visit an optometrist to check their eye health comprehensively. This includes eye coordination, tracking, focusing, and visual perception.


Children with attention issues are also almost thrice as likely to suffer from convergence insufficiency, which is when their eyes are unable to work in tandem to focus on nearby things. This is hugely detrimental to their ability to read and write. Fortunately, this condition is highly treatable with early intervention and appropriate therapy.


Conclusion


While both attention deficit disorders and vision issues like convergence insufficiency can be very difficult for your child to contend with, they are manageable. It's, thus, vital for parents to know the difference and to intervene early. For a comprehensive general eye check-up in Singapore, visit us at The Eyes Inc., your one-stop solution for all vision-related necessities. Contact us today and find out more!

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