According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S. cannot read. This means that 14 percent of the population cannot read. In honor of National Literacy Day that was on November 1st, Vision for Life is encouraging all individuals, both children and adults alike, to seek a complete vision evaluation if they experience difficulty reading.
When reading, you must utilize 17 visual skills for optimal performance. These skills include focusing, eye tracking, aiming the eyes together and visual perception. Basic eye exams test an individual’s 20/20 distance vision; however, they fail to test the other 16 vision skills required to read properly. This is why vision deficiencies that are hindering a person’s ability to read often go unnoticed. Some common signs and symptoms of vision problems in a person include: not being able to read, not liking to read, headaches and/or fatigue while attempting to read, frequent rubbing of the eyes while reading, as well as trouble remaining focused and following the lines of the page.
At Vision for Life, we can perform a complete vision evaluation, which will assess all of the 17 skills needed to read. During our evaluation, we can accurately detect and diagnose these vision deficiencies that can cause a person to not be able to read properly:
- Convergence insufficiency (inability to aim the eyes together to read)
- Spatial awareness issues (letter and word reversals while reading, which is often misdiagnosed as dyslexia)
- Amblyopia or lazy eye (decreased eyesight due to abnormal visual development)
- Strabismus (wandering or crossing eyes, which send conflicting visual images to the brain)
After we have diagnosed the vision problem, we can then develop an individualized vision therapy program for the patient. Whether the patient is a child or an adult, we can successfully perform age-appropriate exercises that will enhance his or her reading performance, making reading easier and more enjoyable. We have achieved successful results through our vision therapy program and our patients actually enjoy it, as it is fun and entertaining for children, as well as challenging for adults.
Reading is a crucial skillset that is utilized daily. It challenges our minds and imaginations, while increasing our vocabulary, experiences and understanding of the world we live in. It has been reported that 1 out of every 4 children will grow up in the U.S. not being able to read. As a society, we cannot allow this alarming statistic to go unnoticed. As parents, we must take an active role in teaching our children to read and encouraging them to read throughout their lives. If you notice that your child has trouble reading age-appropriate books, call us today at 618-288-1489 or contact us here to schedule a vision evaluation. Also, if you know an adult that struggles to read, encourage him or her to contact us for a complete vision assessment. Together, we can put an end to illiteracy.