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  • Home Blog Is your Child Suffering from Streff Syndrome
  • Have you noticed that your child is complaining of blurred vision near or at a distance, sensitivity to light, double vision or increased clumsiness due to objects not being noticed in a person’s side vision.

    The cause may be caused by Streff Syndrome.

    The symptoms of Streff syndrome are not necessarily vision specific. The condition is often picked up by parents and teachers who begin to notice a sudden reduction in attention and focus during academic tasks, children may begin to struggle at school, and there may be an increase in the amount of mistakes made on homework.

    What is Streff Syndrome?

    Streff Syndrome, or non malingering syndrome, has been described as a functional vision problem. It often involves reduced or blurred distance and near vision, poor eye teaming amd eye movement capabilities, visual field loss and a reduction in focusing.

    This condition is not an anomaly with the eyes physiology, rather it has been described as psychogenic in nature. This means that rather than the issue being related to the eye and the visual system, it is closely related to the brain and the way the vision is processed within it. As such it is considered a form of amblyopia that is involuntary and pschogenic in nature.

    Anxiety and stress can affect vision in all persons. In children this may present as Streff Syndrome.

    It is generally described as a functional vision problem or psychogenic in nature. It often involves reduced or blurred distance and near vision, poor eye co-ordination and eye movement capabilities, a reduction in visual field and a reduction in focussing.

    The symptoms of Streff syndrome are not necessarily vision specific. The condition is often picked up by parents and teachers who begin to notice a sudden reduction in attention and focus during academic tasks, children may begin to struggle at school, and there may be an increase in the amount of mistakes made on homework.

    What are the causes of Streff Syndrome?

    An increase in a person’s level of stress, whether it is due to bullying, stress from study, anxiety, or other factors can have an impact on a person’s vision, causing Streff Syndrome. The visual system while still active is no longer controlled by a person. Focusing becomes difficult, a tunnel vision effect in a person’s field of view arises, and it becomes hard for the pupils to function adequately during different light conditions.

    The issue is closely related to the brain and the way the vision is processed within it and it is very important to investigate changes in children’s behaviour or ability at school and ensure their vision is not involved.

    The Most Likely People to Show Streff Syndrome

    • Prepubescent or early pubescent ages 10 – 14
    • The condition occurs more commonly in females

    What We Can You Do

    The first and most important step in the resolution of Streff syndrome is to identify the stress causing the problem, and take the necessary steps required to help resolve it. This may be in the form of getting school counsellors and parents involved, or by addressing a bullying issue at school.

    As the condition is self-limiting, and resolves when the stress is reduced, there is no quick cure to rid children of the visual problems. There are however management options available to help alleviate the symptoms in the short term while waiting for spontaneous recovery.

    These include:

    • low plus eyewear, in the form of reading glasses or multifocals
    • vision therapy to help increase peripheral awareness in cases of patient with reduced fields of vision.
    • vision  therapy to help increase focusing and eye movement skills

    If you have noticed anything that may be cause for concern make sure you book your child in to get a full comprehensive eye exam with us right away.

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