Adults with dyslexia often have difficulty with reading, writing and other academic tasks. The condition is typically caused by a combination of factors, including neurological issues, cognitive processes and environmental influences. While there are many potential causes of dyslexia in adults, research has identified a few primary contributors:

Neurological issues: Adults with dyslexia can often trace their condition to problems in the way their brains process language-related information. This can occur due to developmental differences in the brain or disruptions during childhood development that affect how the brain perceives language.

Cognitive processes: Dyslexia is most often related to problems with language processing, memory and organization. Issues can occur with phonemic awareness, meaning an individual’s ability to hear and manipulate the sounds within a word; auditory processing, meaning an individual’s ability to understand spoken words; or visual processing, meaning an individual’s ability to recognize written words. Problems in any of these areas can contribute to dyslexia in adults.

Environmental influences: In some cases, literacy skills can be hindered by inconsistencies in schooling or repeated exposure to poverty or trauma. Dyslexia may also be linked to weakened vision from constant computer use, health conditions such as genetic syndromes or side effects from medications like antibiotics. All these environmental factors can contribute to reading struggles that may look like dyslexia in adults.