What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia refers to difficulty with reading. According to the Webster’s dictionary, the meaning of dyslexia is a disturbance of the ability to read. That’s it! Some people can’t read at all, that’s called alexia. If reading is labored, it is sometimes called dyslexia.
Many times the cause of a reading disability is a vision problem. The person may have normal eyesight and no difficulty reading an eye chart. However, that person may not have accurate tracking, focusing or eye teaming and that interferes with the ability to master reading. Often the appropriate spectacle prescription may greatly improve reading performance.
The visual skills necessary to read well are learned as we develop. Sometimes it is necessary to do active vision therapy to help the person master the visual skills needed to read well.
Teachers or psychologists may use the term reading disability instead of dyslexia. Parents often ask if we test for dyslexia. A test for “dyslexia” merely points out that there is a reading problem. What we need to make sure is that there is not a vision problem that is impeding the person's ability to learn to read.
Often therapeutic spectacles can greatly improve reading performance. We routinely see children and adults who are struggling with reading. Their eyesight is fine (20/20), but they need spectacles to improve their focusing, tracking, and eye teaming. A pair of glasses that help a person see far away (such as the board) may be interfering with their reading performance, and sometimes causing headaches and dizzyness when used at near.
In addition to therapeutic spectacles, we often recommend a vision therapy program. This program can help the person master these visual skills.