Dyslexia and Eyes

Dyslexia – What is it?

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 of specific learning difficulty is specific reading difficulty; and this is often called “Dyslexia”. Children with Dyslexia are usually poor at reading and spelling and may seem intelligent in conversation, but have trouble with written language.

Leonardo da Vinci and Einstein are both thought to have been dyslexic.

Dyslexia can only be diagnosed with certainty by an educational psychologist or a specialist teacher with a current Assessment Practising Certificate. A list of such assessors is available from www.patoss-org or the British Dyslexia Association. They will calculate a person`s expected reading age from their IQ and physical 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 degree of reading difficulty.

The educational psychologist would also ensure that poor reading was not secondary to another problem, such as inadequate schooling or low intelligence. Psychological assessment can be arranged through your school, or privately through a local Dyslexia Institute.

Vision and Dyslexia

Most experts agree that problems with sight are not usually a main source of Dyslexia. Certain visual problems, however, do occur more often in dyslexia. These may, in some cases, contribute to the reading difficulty. These visual problems would not normally be detected in a school eye test.

The most common visual anomolies in dyslexia are a reduced ability to focus close to and poor or unstable co-ordination of the two eyes (binocular instablity). Several tests can detect binocular instability.

These visual problems can cause eyestrain, visual stress, or distortions. This may slow reading and discourage children from prolonged reading.

Not all dyslexic children and dyslexic adults have these visual problems but some have visual anomolies without realising it. People with a mild specific learning difficulty, perhaps not bad enough to be called dyslexia, can also have these visual problems. The visual problems can usually be treated with simple eye exercises. In some cases, spectacles may be prescribed.

Dyslexia and Oldbury & Cruickshank.

At Oldbury and Cruickshank we run a special clinic for the Optometric assessment of people with a specific learning difficulty. An initial eye examination is required which will be charged at our usual rates or covered by NHS allowances.

A further appointment will then be arranged which will include specific additional tests to look for the visual problems associated with dyslexia. The first appointment usually takes about 1 hour, after which a programme of treatment will be devised and the appropriate course of action explained. Follow up appointments will then be arranged according to the course of action.

Unfortunately the cost of these special appointments is not covered by NHS eye examination fees and therefore we do need to charge for the time spent at these visits. Please ask for details of the current costs

If our findings suggest that a person may benefit from colour, then we issue them with a coloured overlay to try at home. If this proves helpful a further appointment can be arranged for testing with our Intuitive Colourimeter. This enables the precise tint for glasses to be accurately determined.

If you would like to discuss the options available to you in more detail, please contact the practice.


newspic_cartoonJean comments on press release “dyslexia not linked to eyesight says study” by Sean Coughlan, educational correspondent.BBC news.

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73 Pickford Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 6JD

Tel: 01625 615 002 

Email: info@ocopticians.co.uk 

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