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If You Find Difficulty Reading - READ THIS!

If You Find Difficulty Reading - READ THIS!

As you'll know, Hughes Syndrome shares quite a few symptoms with other conditions. While reading the posts on this site, I have my radar switched on for people with reading difficulties, as it crops up quite a lot. I'm coming to a few conclusions as to how people may be helped.

Would you help me to possibly help others? Which of the following symptoms do you suffer with, if any? Please use the numbers if it helps.

1. Misreading words.

2. Skipping words and lines.

3. Slow reading rate.

4. Confusing letters and words that look similar.

5. Putting words in the wrong order.

6. Needing to reread for information.

7. Poor comprehension.

8. Losing place.

9. Needing to take frequent breaks from the page.

10. Avoiding reading.

11. Needing to read in dim light.

12. Problems copying from a board especially the interactive whiteboard.

13. General reluctance to read.

Thanks for replying to this. Specific techniques and coping strategies may follow soon if there's a demand and you want to try some of the tested ideas. (Other people's, not mine!)

Best, John.

20 Replies

6, 8, 9, 10

My trouble reading is due to words blurring and moving around the page (dizziness). If I blink, it clears momentarily, but it feels like it takes a ton of energy to concentrate. I get frustrated, skim for facts, and eventually give up.


Hi, thought you might be interested in a few tips for this. Can you avoid bright white paper? If not, try tinted glasses. Experiment with fonts - are some easier than others? If you work out what is worse for you (for me small plain capital letters on forms are impossible- comic style fonts that mimic handwriting are best) at least you can relax a little when you see something easier and make sure you make extra time for harder stuff. For some reason (I have theories but there long) I find chewing gum or toffee helps. It doesn't stop things swimming, but it will reduce tension - especially if you clench your teeth trying to consent rate. Also, its NOT childish to use your finger to keep your place, its sensible if it stops you getting tired. Good luck


Great ideas, Alison! I didn't know most of those tricks. I'm going to try the tinted glasses and the gum asap!


1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,

I even misread the cartoon the first time around!


6 and occasionally 2

Considering I work in kindergarten, I'm always embarrassed when one of my students reads a word that I inadvertently skipped!


Hi Laserlight,

Thank you for a very important question. I answer 10 perhaps.

Before warfarin 2 years ago I could not read at all. I saw double after 10 seconds for ex. After warfarin it was amazing. I could read!!.

But i get tired a bit. I prefer listen to CD-litterature. But still an amazing difference.

It is more difficult to write especially my Swedish language. But that is another question.



All of them except 12,13

I am a teacher who knows a lot about how we read etc but it is miserable when I find myself having to use my finger to track along the page just like my five year old pupils had to. :) I have worked with dyslexic children and many of my problems are similar to their problems yet I know I am not dyslexic. I was undiagnosed for many years and I think Hughes has just chipped away at a lot of my cognitive abilities.



6,7,8,9 and 10.

My problems began last year after stroke like symptoms. I couldn't speak at all for 6 days and, among other symptoms, was my inability to read after having been an avid reader. I tried large print books but still really struggled and only read one book in 6 months. I just use my laptop now to look at websites and I also play games on there which is definitely helping me.



I had a stroke last August and since then I have not read a book or a journal article, I can read magazines and things that don't need a lot of effort/thought - I am a university lecturer so it is a nightmare. I have found that I can do audiobooks and it is just like reading, I don't know why it is easier but it is. Work has now got me lots of software and gadgets to read stuff to me and also that I can speak to and it will type it for me, so I can think in my head and say it and I don't have to concentrate on how it has to look so much. It feels that my visual processing is just not right - not sure if it is the APS or the stroke but I think it is most likely a mixture of both.


Hello John,

For me the numbers are 3,6,9,10 and 13.

Love the cartoon! We wait for your conclusions.....

Many thanks,



Dyslexia is just an umbrella word that describes lots of learning difficulties, be they verbal, visual or auditory. My son had an auditory sequential memory deficit which basically meant that he could not remember long sequences of auditory input. If I wanted him to remember things I had to tell him things in short sharp bursts. His brain could not process the information because when you hear information it sets off images like a movie in your head which helps you to remember the sequences. After a certain number his brain would stop doing it where as in a normal person it would keep going. People who have these disabilities will either learn to compensate by working around it or they will have to be taught strategies for helping them do so.

This link is actually quite interesting because it explains so much more about what has been discovered since he was diagnosed 30 odd years ago. I always believed that his cause was due to his traumatic birth, as he almost died and was deprived of oxygen for too long. But now knowing what I do with my health and the possible connections with ADHD which he also had, its interesting to read here about genetic research and the finding of cortical malformations given that I have been found to have grey matter heterotopia in my MRI scan.

Also this paragraph says a lot about people with our condition so its no surprise that many of us have issues with different kinds of Dyslexia:

The acquired postnatal onset or intensi?cation of dyslexic reading and non-reading symptoms and related cerebellar-vestibular neurological and electronystagmographic diagnostic signs have been reported following acquired vestibular-based impairments triggered by ear and sinus infections, mononucleosis, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, spinning and zero gravity as well as whiplash and post concussion states.



6 7,10,13 I used to love reading but now cannot concentrate for very long so am reluctant to read as I get frustrated as I enjoyed it so much.


Hey John,

For me it's 1, 4, 6, 8, & 9...as I read all the time, (one of my favorite past times), of late I have notice that I am having problems with the preceding symptoms. At first, I blamed my glasses, but it doesn't happen all the time and it seems to be happening more often. I do have an appointment scheduled with an opthamologist, (I'm diabetic), with hopes of getting to the bottom of this problem. Keep us posted as to your findings.




1, 6, and 9 (I think as I have forgotten the list by the time I got to the end of the page!) For optimum reading I find using my kindle a godsend - however hard I try I cannot cope with large amounts of text on a page, especially with small print which most modern paperbacks are guilty of. I also find audio books wonderful. I listen to one that is easy to follow and another one where I listen to it and follow the text. I am nuts on crime fiction and so usually have one on the go on my kindle. But I do so miss reading more complex books - I have some fascinating non-fiction and biographies in my library but I know that it is unlikely that I will ever get through any of them.

I do read too fast though and think I always did. Just found myself reading a good thriller and then halfway through realised I had read it before, but couldn't remember whodunnit!



As requested, 6, 8, 9 & 10.

Since the headaches reached a peak, I avoided reading altogether. However, more recently they have gotten mostly under control but I still strugle to read my Kindle with words jumping snd jiggling around on the page. I guess the mild Sjogrens could be an issue as eyes dry easily.


My repost:

My first retention problem came in college. At the time I just assumed I kept getting mono over and over and over again. But with (according to my jumbled memory -- it would cost me $90. to get the records) I had a positive ANA so I do believe I had lupus. The semester I took 19th Century British novels was very, very difficult. I got all those Dickens and Eliot characters all mixed up and had to cart around legal pads with notes to try and keep track of who was married to whom, and so on.

Then after the strokes which lead to my Hughes diagnosis I had trouble getting my eyes to track from one line to another. To this day this has left me with a useful tell that my INR is too low -- if while singing hymns in church I go from verse 2 on one line to verse 1 or 3 on another that means my blood is too thick!

And the numbers? Most recently, when INR is low: 1. 2. 3. 8.

College "mono:". 3. 6. 7.

( By the end of 2nd grade I was fastest reader in class. But it took me a while to learn to cope with a mini dyslexia. Initially it was 4 and 5. I only include them because my tendency to confuse opposites--particularly opposite directions -- has stayed with me all my life.).


I also have problems reading. Not because I can't but because when I look at the page it's as if the words disappear and I have to really squint to see the words therefore causing me a headache. I have to read back everything 4-5 times before I get what it says. And sometimes it's like the words are jumping around. So this is all normal for APS??




Last updated: 2013-05-23 12:36 GMT+1

You may by interested in the trends shown in this blog so far. The numbers in brackets are the number of people who have flagged-up that particular issue as a challenge for them.

1. Misreading words. (5)

2. Skipping words and lines. (3)

3. Slow reading rate. (4)

4. Confusing letters and words that look similar. (3)

5. Putting words in the wrong order. (2)

6. Needing to reread for information. (12)

7. Poor comprehension. (5)

8. Losing place. (5)

9. Needing to take frequent breaks from the page. (7)

10. Avoiding reading. (8)

11. Needing to read in dim light. (0)

12. Problems copying from a board especially the interactive whiteboard. (1)

13. General reluctance to read. (4)

New follow-on blog available now:





6, 7 and 8

I have trouble hanging on to information, it just flows in and out of my brain without sticking. Not just while reading, I also cannot follow a movie. Sometimes I cannot follow a conversation.


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