Dyslexia. Discover Causes, Treatment & Supplements

Updated: 11/20/23

Do you know someone who struggles with dyslexia? If so, you may be all too familiar with the frustration that comes from trying to make sense of what can seem like a jumbled mess on paper. Dyslexia is more complex than just difficulty reading or writing; it’s a lifelong learning disorder that affects how individuals comprehend language-based tasks such as spelling and math. With recent advancements in research, there has been an increase in knowledge about the causes of dyslexia as well as various diagnosis methods and treatment options now available. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about this common condition: from its causes and diagnosis tools to available treatments and supplements that might provide support along your journey towards understanding it.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that can affect ability with reading. People with dyslexia usually have trouble reading at a fast pace and also tend to make mistakes. Besides reading, they might also have trouble with spelling, writing, math and understanding comprehension. Dyslexia means that the person has trouble connecting the letter they view with the sounds these letters make, leading them to struggle with reading, writing and spelling.

Experts and doctors believe that about 15-20 percent of the total population experience this disorder. In most cases, about 17 percent of people may show symptoms of reading troubles. The sad part is that children with dyslexia don’t outgrow this condition. They tend to have trouble with spelling, are slow readers and also mix up words. Some are diagnosed early while others understand they are dyslexic in their adulthood.

Kids generally don’t have any trouble with their vision and are usually as smart as the next person. However, they might have to put in more effort at school since it takes them longer to read, write, spell and do math.

There are different tests and diagnosis available for children and adults. It is quite easy to determine if one is dyslexic. Those having this disorder can use specific teaching approaches and strategies to help manage and build their skills.

Types of Dyslexia

Phonological Dyslexia

Phonological dyslexia is the most common form of dyslexia. People with this type of dyslexia have difficulty breaking down words into smaller units of sound, or phonemes. They struggle to recognize the sounds that make up spoken and written words. People with phonological dyslexia often have trouble sounding out words when they read, and their spelling is often inaccurate.

Surface Dyslexia

Surface dyslexia is characterized by difficulty in recognizing whole words, particularly irregular words that do not follow typical spelling patterns. People with surface dyslexia struggle to recognize sight words, and their reading is often laborious and slow. They may have trouble remembering words they have learned because they are only able to recognize words that they can sound out.

Rapid Naming Dyslexia

Rapid naming dyslexia is characterized by difficulty in quickly and accurately naming objects, colors, or letters. People with this type of dyslexia struggle with quick word retrieval, and may often substitute words or use filler words when speaking or writing. This can make their communication confusing or difficult to understand.

Double Deficit Dyslexia

Double deficit dyslexia is characterized by both phonological and rapid naming deficits. People with this type of dyslexia struggle with both breaking words into sounds and recognizing whole words. This can make reading and writing particularly challenging, and they may need a lot of support to develop their skills.

Attentional Dyslexia

Attentional dyslexia is characterized by difficulty in sustaining attention while reading. People with attentional dyslexia may find themselves reading the same sentence over and over again because they struggle to maintain focus. They may also have problems with comprehension, as they find it harder to keep track of what they are reading.

Visual Dyslexia

Visual dyslexia is characterized by difficulty in recognizing visual symbols, such as letters or numbers. People with visual dyslexia may see letters or numbers in reverse or upside down. They may also find it difficult to copy information accurately, and their handwriting may be hard to read.

Auditory Dyslexia

Auditory dyslexia is characterized by difficulty in processing auditory information, particularly in distinguishing between similar sounds. People with auditory dyslexia may struggle to distinguish between ‘b’ and ‘p’ or ‘m’ and ‘n’. This can make reading and spelling particularly difficult, as they may not be able to hear the sounds that make up the words.

Other Learning Disabilities With Dyslexia


Dysgraphia is a learning disorder that affects an individual’s writing abilities. It can impact their handwriting, spelling, and the ability to organize and express thoughts on paper. Dysgraphia makes it difficult to express one’s self in writing, and it can be frustrating for individuals. Often, individuals with dysgraphia may have a hard time formulating ideas and expressing them coherently, which can lead to difficulty in reading and comprehension. It is important to note that not all individuals with dyslexia have dysgraphia, but it is common to see the two disorders overlap.


Dyscalculia is a learning disability that affects an individual’s mathematical abilities. It involves difficulty in understanding and manipulating numbers, as well as performing mathematical calculations. Individuals with dyscalculia may have difficulty with basic mathematical concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They might also struggle with more advanced math concepts like geometry, algebra, and calculus. Individuals with dyslexia and dyscalculia may struggle in their math classes because the two learning disabilities intersect.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a disorder that can affect an individual’s attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It often co-occurs with dyslexia and can make learning and focusing more challenging. Individuals with ADHD can have difficulty sitting still, paying attention, and staying engaged in tasks. They may also struggle with impulse control, making it difficult to inhibit inappropriate behaviors. Students with dyslexia and ADHD may find it challenging to concentrate and read for an extended time period.

Auditory Processing Disorder

Auditory processing disorder is a condition that affects the brain’s ability to process and interpret auditory information. Individuals with this learning disability may struggle to differentiate between sounds, identify the direction of a sound, or comprehend language. This can have a significant impact on reading and communication skills. In some cases, individuals with dyslexia may also have auditory processing disorder, making it even more challenging to engage in tasks that require a strong command of both language and reading.

Visual Processing Disorder

Visual processing disorder is a condition that affects the brain’s ability to interpret visual information. Individuals with this disorder may struggle with aspects of visual perception such as shape, color, and depth perception. It can have a significant impact on reading and comprehension skills. For example, individuals with dyslexia and visual processing disorder may struggle to distinguish between letters or words that look similar.

Symptoms of Dyslexia

Dyslexia usually varies from person to person. The symptoms and signs of dyslexia can differ widely between different age groups.

Difficulty Reading and Writing

One of the most prominent symptoms of dyslexia is difficulty in reading and writing. Individuals with dyslexia often have difficulty processing written information, letters, and sounds. This can often lead to difficulty with reading, writing, or spelling. If you have trouble reading books or remembering spellings, you may consider getting evaluated for dyslexia.

Reduced Fluency in Speech

While dyslexia is primarily known for its impact on reading and writing ability, it can also lead to reduced fluency in speech. Individuals experiencing dyslexia may struggle to express themselves comprehensively or coherently when speaking. You may find yourself pausing or stuttering when trying to communicate your thoughts in conversations and feel frustrated when you are unable to.

Difficulty with Sequencing

Sequencing refers to the organization of information in a particular order. Individuals with dyslexia often have trouble sequencing numbers, letters, or ideas. This can often translate into difficulty following instructions, remembering directions, or putting together sequential information. For instance, when asking someone to recite the months of the year, individuals with dyslexia may find it challenging to recite them in the right order.

Problems with Concentration

Concentration is essential to any cognitive process, and it isn’t uncommon for individuals with dyslexia to suffer from concentration issues. These concentration issues often manifest in the form of slow reading speeds, missing out on information even when listening actively, or having trouble identifying the gaps in their writing. Individuals with dyslexia may have difficulty retaining attention, and hence, they may constantly feel like they are struggling to catch up.

Trouble Remembering Details

Another common symptom is having trouble remembering details. This can manifest in many ways, including difficulty hearing and remembering directions, remembering names, and labeling parts of objects. This could mean that your friend with dyslexia might forget where something was placed, or not remember events in sequence, impacting their organizational skills and long-term memory.

Challenges with Mathematics

Dyslexia is also associated with difficulty understanding mathematical concepts. For instance, individuals with dyslexia have a hard time working out simple arithmetic, comprehending word problems, and memorizing basic math facts. This disability can lead to math avoidance, low grades in math, and even long-term math phobia.

Social Anxiety

As a result of the challenges in communication that individuals with dyslexia face, they often feel anxious or self-conscious when expressing themselves in social situations. This leads to social anxiety and often hampers their social interactions. This is why identifying dyslexia can be a crucial step in providing the necessary support to help individuals face their daily challenges.

Difficulty with Time Management and Planning

Finally, dyslexia can affect a person’s sense of time. People with dyslexia may struggle with organization and planning tasks, ending in overwhelming missed deadlines, and poor planning of time-sensitive events. Making and sticking to schedules can be challenging, and people with dyslexia may require extra support to stay focused and productive.

Signs of Dyslexia

Causes of Dyslexia

Although the exact cause of dyslexia is not known, experts believe that genes and heredity can be one possible cause.


Research shows that dyslexia is often passed down through families. A person with dyslexia has a higher chance of having a sibling or parent who also has it. It means that genetics play a significant role in the likelihood of developing dyslexia.

Brain Biology

Dyslexia is a condition that occurs in the brain. It is a neurological disorder or brain disorder, which means that there are differences in the way the brain processes information. The brains of people with dyslexia look and work differently from those without it.

Environmental Factors

Research indicates that environmental factors can also influence dyslexia. For example, exposure to toxins or pollutants during pregnancy or early childhood could increase the risk of developing the condition.

Brain Anatomy

Altered connections in the brain can lead to the development of dyslexia. People with dyslexia have different patterns of their brain when compared to those without dyslexia. Changes in the area of the brain responsible for phonological processing have been associated with the development of dyslexia.

Childhood Experiences

Some experts say that certain childhood experiences, such as stress or trauma, can impact the development of dyslexia. Such events could affect brain development and interrupt the learning process.

When Does Dyslexia Develop?

Dyslexia is a neurological condition that affects the brain’s ability to read, write, spell and sometimes speak. It is a common myth that dyslexia is a visual problem that affects the eyes; however, research has shown that the problem is actually with language processing in the brain. While the exact causes of dyslexia are not fully understandable, researchers believe that it may have a genetic component.

It’s also vital to note that dyslexia can develop at any age. While it is usually a diagnosis during childhood, many adults continue to struggle with this condition and may only receive a diagnosis later in life. Parents must keep an eye out for any signs of dyslexia in their children, including delayed speech and language, difficulty following instructions, trouble recognizing letters and sounds, and a slow reading pace.

How Dyslexia is Diagnosed

There is no one single test that can diagnose dyslexia and confirm the same. Many factors need a consideration before dyslexia can receive a diagnosis with certainty. However, there are some tests that could play a role in effectively diagnosing this disorder.

Developmental History

The first step in diagnosing dyslexia is to collect information about the individual’s developmental history. This includes information about their family history, educational history, and any concerns related to their reading, writing, and language skills. This information helps the professional to understand the individual’s learning environment and any challenges that they may have faced during their development.

Cognitive Assessment

Standardize tests assess an individual’s cognitive abilities, including their verbal and nonverbal reasoning, memory, and processing speed. These assessments conducts to identify any cognitive deficits that could be contributing to the individual’s reading difficulties.

Academic Assessment

To evaluate the individual’s reading, writing, and spelling skills, standardize tests are in use. These academic assessments enable the professional to identify the specific areas of difficulty and determine the presence of any reading-related deficits.

Language Assessment

The professional may also assess the individual’s oral language skills, including their phonological awareness, vocabulary, and comprehension. The language assessment helps to identify any language-related deficits that could be contributing to the individual’s reading difficulties.


Observations of the individual’s behavior and performance in educational settings may be conducted to gather additional information about their reading and language skills. These observations provide a more in-depth understanding of the individual’s learning environment and any challenges that they may be facing.

Other Relevant Assessments

Depending on the individual’s specific challenges and needs, additional assessments related to visual processing, auditory processing, attention, and other relevant areas may be included in the diagnostic process. These assessments provide a comprehensive understanding of the individual’s learning abilities and help the professional to develop a more personalized treatment plan.

How Dyslexia is Treated

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects reading and spelling skills. It is by a difference in the way the brain processes information. Over 10% of the world’s population is affected by dyslexia, and it can cause a person to experience difficulties in learning and self-esteem. Fortunately, there are treatment options readily available for dyslexia.

Multisensory Structured Language Education

Multisensory structured language education (MSLE) is an evidence approach that uses all of the senses to teach reading, writing, and spelling. Students learn to associate sounds with letters and words in a hands-on, interactive way. Through a series of repeated exercises and drills, students practice reading and spelling until they become automatic. This method shows to improve reading fluency, comprehension, and spelling accuracy in dyslexic children and can be a powerful tool for learners struggling with dyslexia.

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology such as text-to-speech software, audio recordings, and speech recognition tools can help dyslexic individuals read and write more fluidly. These technologies allow individuals to read along with text while listening to an audio recording, which can help reinforce phonemic awareness and increase comprehension. In addition, speech recognition tools allow individuals to dictate their writing, reducing the frustration and anxiety associated with writing difficulties. Many universities and employers offer assistive technology, and individuals can also access free or low-cost online resources.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an approach that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behavior in order to improve emotional and mental well-being. For dyslexic individuals, CBT can help reduce anxiety and stress associated with reading and writing difficulties. CBT sessions can also help individuals develop coping mechanisms and build self-esteem, which can boost confidence and motivation in learning. This therapy shows to be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in dyslexic individuals.

Visual Treatment

Visual treatments such as colored overlays and lenses can help individuals with dyslexia improve reading speed and accuracy. Research has shown that certain colors can help reduce visual disturbances that affect reading ability and comprehension. Some individuals may also benefit from wearing colored lenses, which can help alleviate headaches and eye strain caused by reading. These treatments are not appropriate for all dyslexic individuals and should receive an evaluation by a qualified professional.


Exercise can have a positive impact on mental and physical health, and research has shown that it can also improve reading ability in dyslexic individuals. It increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which can help improve cognitive function and reduce symptoms of ADHD, which often co-occur with dyslexia. In addition, exercise can improve mood and self-esteem, which can have a positive effect on learning and academic performance.


Learning games for dyslexia treatment has proven to be effective. These games have a unique advantage over traditional treatment options, as they encourage the brain’s development of neuronal circuits and develop multi-sensory learning strategies. They enable players to engage in the learning process and get immediate feedback, which enhances motivation and self-confidence.

There are several games that could help with dyslexia treatment. A few options are:

These games incorporate features such as individualized learning paths, level progression, and monitoring of progress. This aspect ensures that players receive personalized and adaptive support throughout their learning journey, making them optimal for dyslexia treatment.

Managing Dyslexia

Although there is no proper cure for dyslexia, a child or adult can benefit greatly from special support. This includes special educational techniques and early treatment for the same.

Accessing Professional Support

Once you have identified the symptoms, the next step is to seek professional support. The good news is that dyslexia is a recognized condition, and there are many resources available to help you manage it effectively. Educational psychologists, specially trained teachers, and speech and language therapists are some of the professionals that can help you improve your reading, spelling, and writing skills.

Embracing Modern Technologies

Technology has revolutionized the way we learn and communicate. There are several applications (apps) and programs available that can help individuals with dyslexia manage the condition. Text-to-speech and dictation software, dyslexia-friendly fonts, and website readers are some of the options available that improve reading speed, accuracy, and comprehension.

Developing Self-Confidence

Dyslexia can damage self-esteem and confidence levels. Often, people with dyslexia are unaware of their intelligence levels because their academic performance is not reflective of their abilities. Criticism and negative feedback can also compound the problem. It is, therefore, important to adopt a positive mindset and focus on your strengths. Engaging in creative activities such as drawing, painting, or music can help you build self-esteem and confidence.

Developing Reading Habits

Reading is an excellent way to improve language and vocabulary skills. However, reading can be a challenge for people with dyslexia. It is important to create a reading plan that works for you and stick to it. You can start by reading short stories and gradually work your way up the genres. Audiobooks, well-known cartoons, and video games can help you improve your language skills without the stress of reading.

Can Dyslexia be Outgrown?

Dyslexia is not something that can outgrow or receive a cure. It is a lifelong neurological condition that affects the way individuals process language and information. It can manifest in various ways, such as difficulty in reading, writing, spelling, and even speaking. Although it can vary from individual to individual, dyslexia is chronic and can affect a person throughout their entire life.

Can Dyslexia Develop Later in Life?

The answer to the question of whether dyslexia can develop later in life is “Yes.” While it is uncommon, one can acquire dyslexia as an adult due to a brain injury, stroke, or disease. The term is “acquired dyslexia” or “developmental dyslexia”, and it is different from dyslexia that arises in childhood. Developmental dyslexia is due to genetic and neurobiological factors, while acquired dyslexia results from brain damage. Developmental dyslexia is a lifelong condition, whereas acquired dyslexia has a sudden onset and may be temporary.

Supplements for Dyslexia

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that play a key role in brain function. They are common in fish, nuts, and seeds. Studies suggest that omega-3 supplements can help improve reading skills in children with dyslexia. It works by reducing inflammation in the brain and improving brain function.


Zinc is an essential mineral that is important for a healthy immune system. However, it shows to help improve reading speed and accuracy in children with dyslexia. This mineral helps to activate brain cells that are responsible for reading by regulating neurotransmitters, which are the chemical signals that pass messages between brain cells. Zinc supplements can be found on our website.


Magnesium is a mineral that plays an important role in many bodily functions, including the function of the brain and nervous system. It helps to regulate the activity of the N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, which is responsible for learning and memory. Magnesium supplements have been shown to improve reading speed, accuracy, and comprehension in children with dyslexia. 

Vitamin B6 and B12

Vitamin B6 and B12 are important for brain function and can help improve reading skills in people with dyslexia. The B vitamins help to regulate the production of neurotransmitters, which have an involvement in the transmission of information between brain cells. A deficiency in these vitamins can impair brain function, leading to poor reading skills.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is an herb that has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments. It is common to improve memory and brain function, making it an effective supplement for dyslexia. Studies have suggested that ginkgo biloba supplements can improve reading skills in people with dyslexia by increasing blood flow to the brain and improving brain function.

The Bottom Line

Dyslexia is a common condition affecting many individuals today. While it is often receives a diagnosis during childhood, it can also develop later in life. It’s essential to keep an eye out for any signs of dyslexia, and early intervention is key. With proper diagnosis and treatment, individuals with dyslexia can overcome language difficulties and lead fulfilling lives. Let’s work to debunk the myths surrounding dyslexia and ensure that everyone gets the support they need.

Dyslexia is a lifelong condition that cannot outgrow or receive a cure. It’s a neurological disorder that affects an individual’s language processing skills, including reading, writing, speaking, and even thinking. However, it’s essential to understand that with proper evaluation, diagnosis, and ongoing support, dyslexia is manageable. With early interventions and support treatments such as apps and reading software, dyslexic individuals can lead fulfilling lives and achieve success across various fields. Therefore, instead of believing the myth of outgrowing dyslexia, we must create awareness and support those affected by it to lead fulfilling, successful, and happy lives.

While there is no cure for dyslexia, supplements can be a helpful tool in managing the symptoms and improving overall cognitive function. Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, and ginkgo biloba are all supplements worth considering if you or a loved one is dealing with dyslexia. As always, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen, to ensure that it’s safe and effective for you. By unlocking the power of supplements, you can take control of your dyslexia and improve your quality of life.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

Author: James D