Skip to content


Symptoms for ADD/ADHD and vision problems are often the same

The symptoms of ADD/ADHD and vision problems are very similar. In order to determine if a vision problem is causing some or all of these symptoms, a functional vision exam should be performed. When a vision problem is identified, it can be treated with vision therapy, glasses or both. In order to determine which symptoms are attributable to each condition, the vision problem must be eliminated.

What are the similarities between ADD/ADHD and vision issues?

The following chart compares the symptoms of ADD/ADHD with those of vision problems.

Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes X X
Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities X X
Often does not listen when spoken to directly X X
Often does not follow through on instructions or fails to finish work X X
Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities X X
Often loses things X X
Often distracted by extraneous stimuli X X
Often forgetful in daily activities X X
Often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in tasks requiring sustained mental effort X X
Hyperactivity and Impulsivity    
Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat X X
Often has difficulty remaining seated when required to do so X X
Often runs or climbs excessively X  
Often has difficulty playing quietly X  
Often "on the go" X  
Often talks excessively X X
Often blurts out answers to questions before they have been completed X X
Often has difficulty awaiting turn X X
Often interrupts or intrudes on others X X

*DSM IV – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
**American Optometric Association