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- Some children and adults who have difficulty with reading experience visual distortion when viewing a page of print. The letters may appear to move, or blur and the white paper may appear too bright and cause eyestrain or headaches. The resulting visual discomfort and perceptual distortion interferes with reading.
- This condition is called Visual Stress (also known as Meares-Irlen Syndrome and Scotopic sensitivity). Approximately 5% of the population are severely affected by Visual Stress and 20% are affected to a lesser degree. It is considered to be a separate condition to Dyslexia, although a high percentage of people with Dyslexia also suffer from Visual Stress.
- Visual stress can be helped by the use of coloured overlays or spectacle lenses, tinted specifically to meet the individual needs of the patient.
- The effect of the colour is generally to give greater clarity with reading, so improving fluency and efficiency with reduction in headaches and an increase in concentration.
- Alex Gaines has over 15 years experience of treating visual stress. If you suspect you or your child are experiencing symptoms of visual stress, we recommend you book an appointment for an overlay assessment. If the overlay helps, it will be supplied at the end of the appointment. The appointment includes an assessment of your binocular vision and eye tracking, a coloured overlay test and rate of reading test, but not a thorough health check of the eyes. If you have not had a sight test within the last 3 months, please let us know when you book the appointment.
- If the overlay is used for a period of a month or more, and has helped reduce the symptoms, you may wish to have tinted glasses, a more convenient and often more effective solution compared to a coloured overlay.
- In order to determine the tint for glasses, please book a colorimetry appointment. The assessment is carried out using the Intuitive Colorimeter, which is used to select the correct tint for glasses. The results of the assessment can be produced both reliably and accurately in the form of precision tinted lenses, using a unique system specially developed to compliment the Intuitive Colorimeter. With this method of tinting there are over 6,700 different hues available so that any colour determined through the colorimeter can be matched.
- Each patient’s colour requirement is unique and their precision lenses are individually made. Coloured lenses are more convenient to use than an overlay. They can also help more than an overlay because the colour of the lenses can be more accurately specified. The colour of the glasses is often different to the colour of the overlay.