In this blog post, we will discuss dyslexia and vision training. Dyslexia, a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting reading and writing skills, has long been a challenge for individuals of all ages.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia, which is the most common learning disability, affects one’s ability to read and write. As such it is not a disability of vision but a disturbance of higher cortical processing in the brain, namely brain word analysis pathways. Dyslectics have difficulties decoding the correct phonemes from the written text when reading as well as correctly spelling the words when writing.
To date, the exact cause for dyslexia remains unknown, although it is clear that the genetic component does play a major part. It is also known that one of the most important risk factors for the development of dyslexia is the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The Link between Dyslexia and Vision
While dyslexia primarily stems from difficulties in phonological processing and language-related areas of the brain, there is growing evidence to suggest a connection between dyslexia and certain visual processing issues. Visual deficits such as poor visual tracking, unstable focus, and difficulties with visual discrimination have been observed in individuals with dyslexia. These challenges can affect their ability to accurately perceive and process written information.
Ocular Problems in Disguise of Dyslexia
Certain ocular conditions such as strabismus, amblyopia, convergence insufficiency, and refractive errors might sometimes mimic the symptoms of true dyslexia, a thorough ophthalmologic examination should be performed before the diagnosis of dyslexia, in order to exclude any underlying potentially treatable conditions.
The treatment of dyslexia is in the hands of a specialized multidisciplinary team. That said the condition is sometimes misdiagnosed and the real problem may lay in vision. It is therefore important not to miss the underlying vision-related conditions that can be effectively addressed by all sorts of different treatments, including vision training.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulties in reading, spelling, and language processing. It is primarily caused by differences in the way the brain processes language, rather than visual problems. While some individuals with dyslexia may also have visual problems, such as poor eye coordination or convergence insufficiency, these visual issues are not the root cause of dyslexia. Therefore, addressing visual problems alone through vision therapy may not significantly improve the reading and language difficulties associated with dyslexia. Often, dyslexia is misdiagnosed; in reality, it is just a vision problem. In this case, vision therapy is, of course, very effective.