Can Dyslexia Affect Vision?

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Dyslexia is a learning disorder typically arising due to a neurological deficiency in part of brain responsible for decoding different written material. The condition can lead to slower, effortful, and less accurate reading, writing, and spelling performance. 

Dyslexia Affect Vision

Can Dyslexia affect vision? Previously, it was believed to be only a language and visual processing disorder. However, recent studies show it may have multiple physical implications as well.

After the discovery of the link between Dyslexia and sound processing, various studies have also questioned the link between Dyslexia and vision. 

We have a related article for you, you can read Can Dyslexia Make You Depressed?

Below are some of the instances where a link between Dyslexia and Vision problems has been found.

Can Dyslexia affect vision? What is Poor Convergence

Multiple studies investigating the reading behavior of children with Dyslexia found that they have trouble reading with both eyes. Every individual has a binocular vision which is the ability to look at the same text or in the same direction with both eyes. 

While not all, some individuals with Dyslexia may not have this ability. For this reason, they see two different images in each eye while looking in the same direction. This can make one eye look at a different set of words while the other sees another. 

It’s important to get an eye assessment and eye movement test to diagnose the problem early to prevent further vision problems. Many children with Dyslexia also complain that the written material looks blurry or moving to them. This may also be due to poor binocular vision. 

Letter Reversals

One of the most frequent symptoms in all cases of Dyslexia is letter reversals. This is the tendency to mistake one mirrored letter such as “p”, “q”, “b”, or “d” for another. It is also common with mirrored or otherwise visually similar words such as mistaking “saw” for “was” or “hang” for “bang”. 

While most researchers still believe it is due to a deficit in the visual processing abilities of the brain, some still question it. Studies investigating eye movements have found that individuals with Dyslexia have very unstable and excessive eye movements. They also found that dyslexic learners wobble their eyes a lot when reading a text. 

The correlation with Dyslexia makes it clear that there is more to inaccurate and slow reading than just a visual processing deficit in the brain. 

Search for a Definitive Answer

Whenever there is research showing evidence for the correlation between dyslexia and vision problems, another expert refutes that on the other side. Even though conclusive data is still unavailable, it’s best to get a professional assessment. 

Most researchers still agree on one thing; Dyslexia, especially visual Dyslexia, can indirectly cause vision problems. These problems are only temporary and subside when a child stops reading or writing. The problems typically arise due to the strain put on the eyes as the affected individual tries to make sense of the written material. 

Another expert pointed out that the shaky or blurry appearance of text happens simply due to a child focusing too much on one letter or word. Excessive concentration and forcing the eyes to decode the letters can cause increased eye movement, making vision blurry or shaky. 

Some of the vision problems dyslexia may cause indirectly are explained below:

Skipping Words

Due to excessive eye movement, affected learners often lose their place when reading. They may skip a few words or entire sentences if their brain’s and eyes’ ability to cope with their reading speed decreases. It can become a bigger problem when the learner is not given compensatory time due to his condition or due to exhaustion from concentrating too much. 

The problem is not inherent or persistent and can be avoided with intensive teacher support and remedial practices to make eye movement more stable. 

Difficulty Copying

Almost every child affected with Dyslexia has difficulty copying the written material either from the whiteboard or a book. This is a multifaceted problem and happens due to both reading and writing difficulties. 

Both aspects can impact vision as copying requires you to look at the board, find your place, then look back and find your place in the notebook. This entire sequence, compounded by the effortful reading and decoding process, can put a serious strain on the eyes and lead to a blurry or unclear vision. 

Recent Findings

A recent study investigating the link between Dyslexia and Vision problems was conducted on over 5,800 dyslexic and normal children. 

The children were tested for a wide range of vision problems, including blurred vision, double vision, farsightedness, nearsightedness, and lazy eye. The data showed no significant link between Dyslexia and most vision problems. 

Eighty percent of those with Dyslexia had no signs of a vision or eye problem, even for mild cases. 

The study also found that children with Dyslexia had slightly more cases of problems with double vision and depth perception. However, this difference was not linked to Dyslexia and occurred independently. 

Can Vision Therapy Help with Dyslexia?

There is a misconception that Dyslexia can be treated with vision therapy. However, no scientific evidence supports its role in making readability easier in Dyslexic individuals. 

Can Vision Therapy Help with Dyslexia

Vision therapy is an umbrella term used to describe a diverse range of remedial practices that aim to improve visual skills. It is usually conducted by optometrists with the help of eye exercises, compensatory lenses, training glasses, and prisms. 

It is a common term that appears when parents or individuals search for potential treatments for Dyslexia. Multiple “experts” have established an entire industry of visual therapies and claim that they can help cure Dyslexia. 

However, most scientific and health institutions regard it as a practice built around pseudoscience. 

Most physicians, including eye and vision specialists, believe that vision problems do not cause Dyslexia. Moreover, it is also estimated that the two conditions rarely co-occur, and there is a very low number of cases of dyslexic children having physical vision problems. 

Conclusion:

Dyslexia has been a topic of interest for multiple decades and has gained the most scientific attention when it comes to learning difficulties. 

Also, make sure to check out my post on Can Dyslexia Cause ADHD?

Years of research show that Dyslexia cannot cause vision problems directly. It is also unrelated to causing any permanent vision and eye problems such as blurry, shaky, or double vision, which may be caused during reading. 

However, it is still a good idea to seek a professional eye and vision assessment if your child complains about vision problems when reading or writing.

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