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Ophthalmological findings in children and adolescents with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder


Purpose:Although ADHD, one of the most common neuropsychiatric disorders in children, and visual impairments both are known to be caused by genetic factors and frequently seen together; studies regarding vision problems in children and adolescents with ADHD are limited. The aim of this study is to determine whether there are any differences in terms of refractive errors and some other ophthalmological findings between children and adolescents with ADHD and healthy controls.

Method:Children and adolescents aged 8-16 years (n=64) with ADHD diagnosis (untreated and had no chronic medical disorder) and a control group of healthy children and adolescents of the same age (n=60) were included in the study. Patients were examined in the Ophthalmology Department of Ahi Evran University Research and Training Hospital for the refractive errors, presence of wearing glasses, presence of allergic conjunctivitis and intraocular pressure.

Results:The groups were similar in terms of age and gender. The rate of refractive errors was 18.75% and 6.66% in the ADHD group and the control group, respectively. The rate of the presence of Allergic Conjunctivitis was 62.5% in ADHD group while 28.3% in the control group. Patients with ADHD had significantly higher rates of refractive errors and presence of allergic conjunctivitis. When the use of eyeglasses was examined; the rate of wearing glasses in the control group was 75%, whereas it was 66.6% in the ADHD group. When the groups were evaluated in terms of intraocular pressure; mean intraocular pressure was 14.57±1.57 mmhg in the ADHD group and 15.15±2.23 mmhg in the control group. There were no significant differences in terms of the use of eyeglasses (p=0.755) and intraocular pressure (p=0.095) between the groups. Although the need for eyeglasses, the rate of not wearing glasses was higher in ADHD patients compared to controls, but this difference was not statistically significant. It was found that the refractive errors for boys increased compared to girls when children and adolescents with ADHD were divided into two groups according to gender. This difference according to gender was nearly statistically significant (p=0.061). The difference regarding presence of allergic conjunctivitis was not observed between boys and girls.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the need for eyeglasses in children and adolescents with ADHD was increased compared to healthy counterparts. Therefore, it is important to refer children and adolescents admitted to the Child Psychiatry Clinic with attention deficit complaints to the specialist for ophthalmologic examination for possible refractive errors.


neuropsychiatric disorders, hyperactivity disorder, neurotransmitter system, visual impairments, ocular disorders, pediatric patients, neurodevelopmental disorders, neuropsychiatric diseases, proinflammatory mediators, chronic medical illness, neurological illness, allergic conjunctivitis