Reading Disorder (Dyslexia)

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a reading disability. It is very common. Dyslexia is also called developmental reading disorder.

If you have dyslexia, you have more trouble reading that most people do. The disorder affects your job and other daily activities.

What is the cause?

The exact cause is not known. It is not caused by vision problems. In dyslexia the problem is in the way the brain translates letters and sounds.

Like other learning disorders, it tends to run families. It is more likely if you were born with fetal alcohol syndrome, certain birth defects, or if you were exposed to lead poisoning as a child.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may include

  • Mixing up numbers like 35 and 53 when dialing the telephone
  • Making mistakes writing the date, or mixing up dates and times and missing appointments
  • Having a hard time filling out forms
  • Having a hard time telling left from right
  • Reading word for word and taking longer than other people to read a page of a book
  • Having trouble understanding what you read

How is it diagnosed?

The disorder is usually detected in children early in grade school by parents or teachers.

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history and examine you. You may have tests to check your vision or look for other medical problems. Your provider may refer you to a specialist for testing and treatment.

How is it treated?

Reading disorders are usually treated with one-on-one practice in reading skills. Adults with an untreated reading disorder may have fewer career choices.

How can I help myself?

  • Find out what services are offered through your community to help people with reading problems. Take a class with other adults who have problems reading. Talk about what you are reading and ask questions. This helps you understand what you are reading.
  • Read books or magazines about what interests you, such as sports, art, animals, or science. Read for fun, as well as for practice.
  • Practice reading all kinds of things, such as labels, signs, magazines, Yellow Pages, or web sites.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-11-24
Last reviewed: 2014-11-24
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

Patient Portal

myTuftsMed is our new online patient portal that provides you with access to your medical information in one place. MyTuftsMed can be accessed online or from your mobile device providing a convenient way to manage your health care needs from wherever you are.

With myTuftsMed, you can:

  1. View your health information including your medications, test results, scheduled appointments, medical bills even if you have multiple doctors in different locations.
  2. Make appointments at your convenience, complete pre-visit forms and medical questionnaires and find care or an emergency room.
  3. Connect with a doctor no matter where you are.
  4. Keep track of your children’s and family members’ medical care, view upcoming appointments, book visits and review test results.
  5. Check in on family members who need extra help, all from your private account.


Your privacy is important to us. Learn more about ourwebsite privacy policy. X