February 15, 2013
Is Medication the Only Option? Non-Drug Treatments for ADHD Symptoms
Carole R. Burns, O.D., F.C.O.V.D.The Solution Center, Westerville Ohio
-- An Ohio vision therapy practice offers non-drug treatment for children with symptoms of ADHD. Many parents are concerned about side effects of medication. Symptoms of ADHD can be caused by many conditions. --
WESTERVILLE, OH, February 15, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Many parents of children with hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and attention issues are finding themselves faced with the decision of medicating their children. According to a 2012 study by the FDA, prescriptions for ADHD medications increased 46% from 2002 to 2010. However, many parents are uncomfortable giving a child medication that can have serious side effects.
Side effects of widely prescribed ADHD medications include:
- Upset stomach
- Increased blood pressure
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
- Insomnia (sleeplessness)
- Mood changes
Children with certain underlying medical disorders such as those with heart problems or seizure disorders are typically not prescribed stimulant ADHD medications.
Is it ADHD?
Because there is not a definitive medical test to diagnose ADHD, questionnaires describing the child's behavior are often used to determine if the child has ADHD. To further confuse the matter, these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions including, lack of sleep (or poor quality sleep), food and environmental allergies/sensitivities, sensory issues, lack of exercise, undiagnosed vision issues, and even just being young for one's grade in school.
What About Non-Drug Treatment for ADHD Symptoms?
Families are increasingly turning to non-drug treatments for ADHD and symptoms of ADHD. During the school day, most information is taken in visually. Because of this, a dysfunctional visual system can result in sensory issues, inattentiveness, impulsive behavior, dislike of reading, poor organization or diminished executive function skills, and many other issues that are associated with ADHD/ADD. Correcting a visual disorder through vision therapy, has been found to help manage the symptoms of ADHD, and for many children, it may eliminate the need for medication.
Children who have undiagnosed vision problems such as accommodation dysfunctions (focusing the eyes) or poor eye teaming (convergence insufficiency or convergence excess) often seem inattentive in an academic environment. Many parents are surprised to learn that a child can have these vision issues and still pass a school vision screening or a vision screening in the pediatrician's office. This is because these conditions are typically not tested for at these screenings.
Vision Therapy and ADHD
The Solution Center, an office of developmental pediatric optometrists and vision therapists in Westerville, Ohio provides vision therapy for children with vision problems that produce ADHD related symptoms. Vision therapy is used to correct symptoms of ADHD in weekly or twice-weekly sessions.
Getting Help in Central Ohio
According to Dr. Carole Burns, O.D., F.C.O.V.D. of The Solution Center, "five of the nine symptoms used to diagnose ADHD are the identical symptoms caused by a vision problem which affects as many as 1 in 10 children. This vision problem, called convergence insufficiency, negatively affects a child's ability to achieve in school, and it is easily treated and cured with vision therapy. We routinely have patients who are helped with vision therapy and their parents are very relieved to learn that we can achieve this without giving their child medication."
Finding a Non-Drug Treatment Option Near You
The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) provides an online directory of developmental optometrists who provide evaluations for visual disorders. If your child is experiencing symptoms associated with ADHD and you would like to investigate all possible causes before turning to medication, visit COVD's website at http://www.covd.org to find a doctor near you.
The Solution Center, a practice which includes developmental optometrists and vision therapists, provides vision therapy and vision and learning evaluations to children in the central Ohio area. Visit http://www.visioncenter4kids.com or call our office at (614) 410-5018 located 937 Polaris Woods Boulevard, Suite B, Westerville, OH 43082.
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