Friday, September 01, 2006

Re-learning How To Read

The past few years reading has become a problem for me. I am 43 years old and I have come to the time in life when my vision for reading has weakened. This happens to most people I'm told by my other friends in their 40s. I suppose so. For me, I went down hard though. I work with my eyes at a computer all day. And yes, enjoy coming home and using the computer to blog and surf the web despite the fact that I use a computer all day at work. My right eye has always been a little weaker than my left. I actually see things a little darker out of that eye. In a class room in grade school, while day dreaming I would look at the ceiling and notice that if I closed one eye and then the other, back and forth, the ceiling was two slightly different colors. Over a year ago my brain started turning off my right eye. I could see out of it okay, but normally I would just ignore the input from the eye. This slowed down my reading. I went to the eye doctor. He gave me bifocals and I tried hard to use them. It did not work. I got nauseated. I would fight the glasses by switching back and forth. I started taking my own steps to deal with the problem.

  1. I went and bought just reading glasses from a pharmacy. I have been reading with them for about a year now.
  2. I had to slow down my reading a lot. If I skim something, I focus on reading the table of contents and chapter headings. I used to be able to reading across the past rather quickly, taking in every few words and letting my mind fill in the missed parts. No MORE. Slowing down was very important.
  3. I bought better lighting. My wife got me a lamp that sits beside the couch. I find the easiest place to read is by natural sunlight and a fluorescent light.
But the past few weeks, I have actually started enjoying reading again. I think of it as how someone who has been in an accident sometimes needs to learn how to walk again, I needed to learn to read again. My right eye is now being used by my brain again. (It is still a little fuzzy though.) There is an article about a pastor who is a voracious reader, Mark Minnic, at SharperIron. He reminds me of what my wife said about her reading. Someone asked how she found time to read. I don't think she is the originator of this but it fits. She finds time to read the same way an alcoholic finds time to drink. I hope I'm back on the track to being addicted to reading.
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