Eye Information

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People with specific learning difficulties have problems with certain areas of academic performance, yet do well in other subjects and are generally intelligent. The most common type is specific reading difficulty or dyslexia.

Dyslexic children are usually poor at reading and spelling and although intelligent in conversation but have trouble with written language. Many dyslexic people are very successful as they develop other skills to compensate for their problem.

Dyslexia is diagnosed by an educational psychologist who, in addition to other tests, will calculate a person's expected reading age from their IQ and age. The difference between this and the actual reading age as measured with a reading test, gives a measure of the reading difficulty. The term dyslexia is usually reserved for a severe degree of reading difficulty.

The psychologist also checks that the reduction in reading age is not due to any other cause such as inadequate schooling or low intelligence. Psychological assessments can be arranged through schools, or privately through a local Dyslexia Institute.

Problems with sight are not usually a main cause of dyslexia, however some visual problems do occur more often in dyslexic children and these may contribute to the reading difficulty.

This type of visual problem may be missed in a school eye check, so a full eye examination is always recommended. Visual problems may be constant or intermittent, occur at distance ( writing on the board at school or, for adults, road signs in the distance) or when reading or writing in a book. Sometimes dyslexic people notice that words in a book may go blurry, jump around, go smaller/bigger, fade or disappear, or get faint colours round them. Sometimes, double vision may occur, and sore or tired eyes.

  • Holding reading unusually close or far away, closing or covering one eye
  • Frequently rubbing eye(s) or blinking excessively
  • Tilting or moving head when reading or writing
  • Confusing letters or words
  • Reversing letters or words
  • Skipping or omitting words or lines
  • Reading slowly, and tiring easily
  • Poor general coordination
  • Light sensitivity

Initially a full eye examination is carried out to exclude the need for conventional spectacles. It is then necessary to look at the way the eyes work together (binocularly) to see if eye exercises might help - these eye exercises are referred to as orthoptic exercises or vision training.

Although for some children, prescribing spectacles and eye exercises will solve the problem, there are many who have no need for spectacles nor any binocular imbalance, and those who, even after treatment still have the symptoms of visual discomfort. These children should be assessed to see if they would benefit from specific tints which can be prescribed following examination with the Intuitive Colorimeter.