Discovering Vision Therapy Blog

5 Ways a Problem in Reading Might be Caused by Vision Issues

Posted by Greg Mischio

Vision Issues May be Causing Reading Problems

I remember the first time we noticed my daughter was having a problem in reading.  My wife and I, who are both avid readers, were crushed.  We both had preconceived notions of our kids enjoying all the great children’s books.  When we saw that my daughter didn’t like to read, we were despondent.Eventually, we discovered what so many families who have benefitted from vision therapy have learned:  The problem in reading is often caused by a vision issue.  We learned to be on the lookout for the symptoms of a vision issue.

  1. A child may be struggling with the ability to see the letters clearly.  This is one of the most typical vision problems children have, and it’s often detected by typical vision screening tests.  Unfortunately, the next four items often evade most vision tests.
  2. A child may not be able to follow along a line of text.  When a child has problems with eye teaming, their eyes cannot work together in a coordinated fashion to track a line of text across the page.
  3. A child may not be able to skip from one line of text to the next.  In this case, a child may have a problem with his or her functional peripheral vision, which allows a person to see both ends of the line they’re reading.  This makes it difficult to skip down to the next line.
  4. A child may have difficulty picturing things in his or her head.  The inability to visualize something that is being read will hurt a child’s ability to comprehend and remember something.  The more vividly you see something in your mind, the easier it will be to retain the image and the details that accompany it.
  5. A child may experience tired or watery eyes.  A number of vision problems will result in significant eye strain.  This is why our daughter disliked reading; it caused her great discomfort.  It’s not that she disliked reading.  It’s that the physical act caused her eyes to hurt.
It should be noted that items 2–5 often are undetected vision problems that evade a typical vision screening or examination.  Before you can even begin to address the issues, the student should receive a Functional Vision Test to determine precisely what the vision problem might be.



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Topics: Reading Problems