• Is ADHD common in people with optic nerve hypoplasia?


    Question:

    My son is 9 years old and has optic nerve hypoplasia (or ONH, when the nerve fibers in the back of the eye are underdeveloped). This past two to three years we have noticed changes in behavior, which seems to be getting worse by the day. Our general practitioner has suggested he get assessed for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and I was wondering if behavioral problems, like ADHD, were common in people with ONH? He is totally blind in left eye and wears glasses for myopia (or nearsightedness) in right eye.

     


    Answer:

    Optic nerve hypoplasia may occur in one or both eyes. It sounds as if your son has only one eye involved which is fortunate. A child with poor vision could have ADHD or could have visual problems that might appear to be ADHD or behavior problems because it is hard to pay attention in school. Make sure that the myopia is well corrected and he is able to wear his glasses. If one eye is indeed normal I do not believe behavioral problems would be of increased likelihood, but certainly can happen unrelated to the ONH.