I survived a stroke in 2009 which affected my right side. My speech has returned to near normal but my reading is poor. Namely my ability to read black text on white. I can fluently read light text on a darker background. I am unable to find any explanation for this. Do any others have this difficulty?

It's fascinating, so many stroke survivors have so many different difficulties. I wonder if it's some kind of colour-blindness? We're going to City University London this week where there will be speech and language therapists - I will try to remember to ask them.
If you're able to get to London you might be interested in their CommuniCATE project, it's about using technology to help aphasia - one of the strands is using technology to help with reading, I guess in your case it would be about software that can change any written piece into the right colour? It might be interesting if that's your cup of tea!
I'll get back to you after Friday if they come up with anything, or you can tweet @CityLCS if you want to ask them directly.

Hi Paula. Many thanks for the info. It did take my speech therapist an lot of time to realise what my problem is but could not give it a name. For web pages or messages such as this I simply have to highlight the text And I have a kindle which allows me to have white text on a black background. Many thanks for taking the time to respond.

Hello Richy,

Some people find that visual difficulties relate to contrast between bright white and black. Have you tried plain yellow glasses? You could test this by just turning down the cyan and red on your screen when looking at a black-on-white text.


Further to my earlier message. The suggestion comes from a book about how the brain works, "A User's Guide to the Brain" by John Ratey, Abacus. It is one of several books lent to me (and never returned) by a relative after my wife's stroke, and very helpful in explaining some of the bizarre things that happen when bits of the brain slow down or stop communicating with each other. The chapter in Ratey is called "Perception". The colour filter idea comes from "Irlen" lenses, and there are several sources of information on the Net. The example in Ratey's book had trouble with words and letters "shimmering" or refusing to stand in order when he tried to read them. He just tried various coloured sunglasses in a chemist shop, and noted an improvement, before he went to the trouble and expense of using an ophthalmologist and getting Irlen tests and filter colours. Irlen claims to be able to sort many different vision problems, so many that as an ignoramus on the subject I am a bit sceptical, but the filters do work for some people.


Hello Hugh. Many thanks for the information and your time. I think that I have probably researched and tried all possible solutions to my particular problem. That said, I will search for the book that you mention. I am lucky to be in a much better situation than lots of other stroke survivors.
I wish both you and your wife well.



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