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Reading Problems Toowoomba | Reading Problems Highfields


 Reading can be difficult for many reasons. Our optometrists assess the reading skills of children and adults from the visual side. That is the mechanics of getting words from the pages to the brain.

 Learning to Read

Learning to read requires acquiring the skill of putting two eyes on one word and then moving them to the next word efficiently (this is called tracking). Most adults do not remember learning this. They certainly were not born with this ability. In the same way babies are not born with the ability to control their arms and legs. Everyone has to learn how to see, to be able to read.

 For some people the process of tracking is more difficult. Individuals may loose their place on the page; find it hard to stay on the line and often loose their place. This makes comprehension difficult. When a task is difficult the individual will tire more quickly and often give up. Good reading takes practice, giving up means that reading skills are not developed. It can be very frustrating when an individual’s eyes cannot keep up with their brain.

 Our optometrists measure the tracking skills of patients and compare the results to age norms. Strategies are then devised in order to improve the patient’s tracking. One strategy is to prescribe lenses, which make reading easier by taking some of the pressure off the muscles of the eyes. Another is the use of “reading rulers” which help to keep the eyes on the correct line. There are many more strategies that can be employed depending on the individual patient’s needs. When the patient is able to read more, their reading skills improve. An important part of the process is to re test the patient’s reading progress, allowing our optometrists to evaluate if the strategies used are working or if adjustments need to be made.

 In addition we offer vision-training  programs that help develop the visual skills required for reading. Please ask our optometrists for advice on this.

 For many children, a teacher and parent’s observations are particularly useful when assessing a child’s visual abilities. To assist with this, parents can download this form and ask their child’s teacher to complete it, before attending an optometrist appointment.



The word dyslexia comes from the Greek language and means trouble with words.

When a person has trouble with dyslexia they have difficulties with decoding words, letters, sounds and symbols, making spelling and reading hard. Dyslexia occurs on a continuum from mild to severe so no two people with dyslexia are the same. Individuals with dyslexia have the ability to learn, there is no intellectual impairment, they just need to do it in a different way.

Causes and Indicators of Dyslexia

The Australian Dyslexia Association has a great deal of information on the causes and indicators of dyslexia.

Dyslexia Optometrist Help

It is important to realise that dyslexia is not a disease, so there is no cure. Our optometrists do not test for, or diagnose dyslexia. Rather, they aim to make the mechanics of reading easier for any patient struggling with reading. They work on the muscles of the visual system. This may be by using lenses to take some of the load off the eye muscles, or by providing training to help develop coordination and control of these muscles. In some cases they may use combination of both strategies.

 Please make an appointment to see one of our optometrists to gain a better understanding of how we can help.

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