The majority of patients we see in our clinic seek our services because of reading problems.  There are many reasons why children and adults struggle with reading, and having a visual dysfunction can be a major one.  In order to best understand why vision problems can affect reading, it’s worthwhile to break down the beginning stages of the reading process.


In order to read fluently, the reader has to achieve the following:
  • The reader has to keep their head still and look at the correct spot on the page (if they aim the eyes even the slightest bit off the target, they may misread the word.)
  • The reader has to focus their eyes for the correct read ing distance (if they focus their eyes incorrectly, the print becomes blurry)
  • The reader has to aim both eyes at the same spot on the page (if the eyes are misaligned even slightly, the print can look double or appear to float around)
  • The reader should also be able perform these tasks without conscious effort, eyestrain or headaches. 
Difficulties with these four steps always cause reading challenges and they are almost always  due to visual dysfunctions.  If these are the only problems a reader has, it can hold them back tremendously.  If the student also has attention problems and/or dyslexia, these visual dysfunctions will make the dyslexia or ADD appear more severe.
Some of the signs of vision problems that interfere with reading are found below.
  • Behavior problems in school
  • Loses place when reading
  • Uses finger to keep place when reading
  • Skips and omits small words when reading
  • Confuses or miscalls small words
  • Transposes words like was for saw and on for no
  • Slow reader with low reading comprehension
  • Unable to read for long periods
  • Slow copying speed/Homework takes a long time
  • Problems with attention, concentrating or daydreaming
  • Distorted posture when reading or writing
  • Coordination is average
  • Not achieving to potential