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Love Audiobooks But Hate To Read?

Updated: May 30

As an Optometrist who treats vision disorders which mimic dyslexia and adhd, one of the most common statements I hear patients (or parents of patients) make is that they don't like to read but they like audiobooks.


I don't think I have to convince people that there's many benefits to reading the book over watching the movie. Reading will take more focus and thus train you to focus more. Reading will take more imagination and thus train you to use your imagination. When you 'read the book' vs. 'watch the movie' you'll get a better and deeper grasp as to what the author is trying to say. Movies generally have to be about 2 hours and they can't fit everything in.


But what about audiobooks? Why would someone prefer audiobooks over reading?


It's all the same text and content right?


Yes, but with one medium (audiobooks) you use your ears, and with the other medium (reading) you use the eyes.


If you are a good reader, you'll read at a faster pace than which the speaker can read to you.


So what is happening?


Unless someone chooses audiobooks purely because they can garden do dishes, exercise while listening, there's not a whole lot of reasons why they'd choose to listen to someone read them a book over just reading it themselves.


Unless they have a vision problem impacting how they read.


That's where specialty vision assessments come into play. At our Charron Eye Center, we spend at leas 60-90 minutes evaluating a patient's vision to determine if there are problems which can affect reading.


Problems like the following:

  • Convergence Insufficiency

  • Convergence Excess

  • Accommodative Dysfunction

  • Disorder of Pursuits or Saccadic Eye Movements

  • Visual Perceptual or Vision Processing Dysfunctions


How do these problems affect one's ability to read? They will often slow a reader down, cause headaches, eye strain, blurry vision, fatigue or sleepiness during reading.


falling asleep during reading

What do we do about these problems?


Well of course you could continue with audiobooks but at our clinic, our eye doctor will devise customized treatment using lenses, prisms, and/or vision therapy to help cure the issue so you can read for pleasure without the problem standing in your way.


If you have been labeled as dyslexic, had an IEP for reading/writing back in school or you just want to figure out if there's a vision problem affecting your reading, then get tested!


Follow this link to get evaluated by Dr. Charron at our clinic.


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