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Can't Read Books without Getting Dizzy

Discussion in 'Neurological/Neuro-sensory' started by Marcato15, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. Marcato15


    I've come down with what seems to be CFS, starting about 4 months ago. Docs have run every test they can and can't find anything and are concerned it is quite possible CFS as my symptoms match up quite a bit. I've been able to work through a number of triggers to prevent certain symptoms, but one area I can't get any relief in is being able to read a book. The only text I can read is text that is both larger than a standard book size, as well as spaced out quite liberally. I've converted my computer to Large Print mode blowing up the text size, zooming in on most things and even flipping the colors on my display so white web pages are black, just so I can read them.

    However, not everything can be read on a computer, especially the books my 1& 3 year olds wants me to read. I found these articles - - - that seems to explain a lot of the symptoms I'm having. It seems to be an issue with focusing on small objects which is what is required to read a book. I'm just wondering how common this symptoms is in those who have been diagnosed with CFS, and more importantly if anyone has found relief for this symptom. Already been to an eye doctor and he asked why I came in because my vision was perfect (at least according to his tests).
  2. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

    Hello and welcome. Let's hope it's not ME, but if it is, unfortunately rest is of the utmost importance. Pushing through is actually detrimental to your health with this illness.

    When I can't read, it means I have overdone it and need to rest. If you have ME/CFS (I personnally don't like to use the term CFS), then you really need to be in tune with yourself and accept that resting is the way to get better. I haven't found any way to improve this problem other than resting and doing less.

    Sometimes I can't read because my brain just can't take it, too much effort and like you I get dizzy (less now, because I don't do very much and mainly rest) and lots of times I have blurred vision. This one is very annoying.

    Sorry I can't help more but I wish you the best.
  3. Can't help except to say this is why I read on a Kindle now, I'm an avid book reader, but fine print sends the headaches up :(
    and my miniature painting was even worse, blew it up into migraine as that's such fine work

    I'd strongly suggest getting a Kindle, especially a Kindle Fire (as it has web/media ability and a large screen)
    keep the Fire for bedroom or one specific safe spot where it's not likely to get damaged and normal Kindle elsewhere (like most guys I like reading in the W.C. not a place you want to drop a Kindle Fire! :p )

    I keep the cover off the kindle Fire in bedroom so it's lighter and thus less strain to hold, the normal kindle paperwhite is very small/light easy to hold
    Both can magnify text size and you can try different fonts

    Most people with M.E. are very sensitive to bright lights, kindle isn't bright enough to set it off for most folk but try darkened rooms, half shut blinds etc
    note this light sensitivity is common to quite a few neurological problems (sometimes secondary to another illness), so even if it turns out you don't have M.E. it's worth noting this problem

    hope this helps you :)
    justy likes this.
  4. Tyto alba

    Tyto alba

    Have you ever tried speed reading assistance software e.g.
    I have difficulties tracking objects, and often struggle with written text. The app I've linked to allows you to focus on one spot (if you try it you'll see what I mean), eliminating the need to continually scan.
    Click new or hit 'n' key to paste your own text. The controls are fairly self explanatory (you might want to slow the text rate down etc).
  5. Marcato15


    Thanks. I've been able to figure out ways to read stuff on the computer, but its physical books that I can't get around. I can only read 1 paragraph before getting very lightheaded/dizzy. The feeling usually stays even after I stop reading. I've given up reading physical books, which is quite sad, but not the end of the world.
  6. arewenearlythereyet


    Hi and welcome. I have the same problem with traditional books in terms of constantly losing my place when I'm foggy. I realised that I was doing most of my reading at the end of the day which is when I was my worst. I managed to improve the fog quite a bit with b12 and folate supplements but mainly I now use a kindle oasis (it's one of the lightest so doesn't strain your hand when reading with one hand. It also has page turning buttons, since one of my other problems with books and swiping e readers is I can't turn the pages easily due to numb fingers. I do read bedtime story to my 8 year old most nights with a traditional book (and a rubber thimble) but this is a bit of an ordeal and sometimes my wife has to take over when I'm wasted. I pretty much gave up reading for about 3 years since it was too tricky. My kindle has really allowed me to read again so I have got over the loss of having a physical book now and only use them for my son. He's got used to me reading only a few pages now. If he wants more, mum takes over. On a good day I do voices and everything. Perhaps find the best time of day for you to read real books when you have the best possible chance if you miss them. I'm thinking of doing " weekend special" readings with my son during the day. I'm thinking 11am would be the best time to give him a whole chapter?
  7. I d appreciate the issues :(
    Have big collection of books and I have several novels or series I re-read every year as favourites, Lord of the Rings, The Misplaced Legion, "In Death" series, Casca (some of them), World War 2.1, Hiero's Journey and others
    the books, the artwork/covers, just a joy, well liked friends as it were
    and then not being able to enjoy them *sucks*

    like my art, fishing and many other things I had to give up on them, I fought and got very angry over such loss for logn time, still am angry but you have to put it aside, it just makes things worse for you as stress of any form, emotional, mental tasks, exercise, injury or worst of all, infections, flare the M.E.

    I know my mum had some magnifying things she used for reading, and there's one that sort of sits around your neck like a necklace with a large pane of magnifying plastic, so it's all light and lets you look down through it at a book in your lap and magnifies that a LOT
    perhaps that would help you still read real books? :)

    quick google search:


  8. Apple

    Apple Senior Member

    Hi @Marcato15 I have a similar problem. Reading, and also watching tv seems to make me very dizzy and spacey. I've thought that this was just lack of brain energy, but I also have slight balance issues and when researching, I came across a page on vestibular disorders that can cause eye problems such as dizziness from reading and movement around you. I don't have the energy to find the page, but might be worth looking into! Good luck.
  9. raghav

    raghav Senior Member

    Hi @Marcato15 I also had this problem around 1995. My neurologist at that time put me through VEP (Visually evoked Potential )Test. If both optic nerves are healthy it will be roughly 100 milliseconds in both. I had 100 ms in one eye and 120 in another. They suspected Multiple Sclerosis. I was temporarily put on Alprazolam 0.25 mg thrice a day to temporarily ease the discomfort. After 6 months they repeated the test and it was 100 milliseconds in both eyes. So it was not MS. But Ayurveda considers this a gut issue. Do you get these symptoms in the morning or evening. Do you have constipation or get burning sensation in the food pipe when you read a book for more than say half an hour. Then do you feel like lying down. Does your heart beat faster before you lie down. In allopathy it is most likely due to epigastric discomfort. Is this symptom more in yellow light or white light (flourescent light) I am throwing so many questions at you. sorry for that. I would suggest you consult a gastro and ask him to prescribe a gut propulsid (Mozapride + Methylpolysiloxane) for 15 days. Most probably you may have hypomotility of the intestines. It is part of dysautonomia. Don't self medicate. If the symptoms go away it is fine. If they don't go away ask your neurologist to conduct an EEG, if it had not been done before. Do you get burning sensation or photosensitivity as soon as you start eating. Do you eyes feel like there is a pressure built up behing them while continuing to eat. . Like it is kind of feeling like your eyes are going to pop out any moment. Do you get a blocking sensation in both ears. Does your symptoms relieve immediately on passing stools. I might sound too intrusive. But these are the questions a good allopath should ask a patient pointedly. Unfortunately they don't. Any ayurveda doctor will ask you these questions irrespective of the disorder you may have. That is the way diagnosis should start. Ayurveda considers your body as an appendage to your gut and not the other way round. Do you get photosensitivity if you wear your belt tight especially while or immediately after you eat food. Don't loose heart. Take care.
  10. Keela Too

    Keela Too Sally Burch

    I stopped being able to read books a while ago. I started using Listening Books first, and then switched to Audible as the downloading was easier and there was a huge selection of books available. I could probably read again now, but I've got really hooked on the audio ones.

    It does take a bit of time to switch your brain to coping to audio books however, so start with some thing light and easy. :)

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