What is visual stress?

Visual stress, or Meares-Irlen Syndrome, is a condition that causes visual distortions and problems with reading.

What are the symptoms?  It can affect many different areas including academic performance, behavior, ability to sit still and concentration.

There are several symptoms associated with visual stress but some of the main ones are: –

  • Headaches when reading
  • Eyestrain, red, tired or watery eyes
  • Getting tired quickly when reading
  • Sensitivity to light, page or screen too bright
  • Words blurring, moving print or seeming like they jump out of the page
  • Using finger to follow lines when reading or losing place, skipping words or lines
  • Writing problems like trouble copying, unequal space or sized letters and off the line

Visual stress is not Dyslexia (we cannot diagnose Dyslexia) but visual stress is more common amongst people with Dyslexia.

If visual stress is identified, coloured overlays or glasses may be used to help alleviate some of the symptoms then this may make other learning difficulties eg dyslexia a little easier to deal with.

Children are often referred to us by an education or learning support specialist after all other avenues have been explored.  This then assures that assessments are not used as an alternative to traditionally accepted solutions but rather as an additional supplement. We do accept adult self-referrals.

A visual stress examination is different to an eye examination.  The eye examination should be done first to rule out any refractive error.

The first step into colorimetry is with the use of coloured overlays. These provide an easy and affordable early indication of any likely benefit.

Once coloured overlays have proven beneficial, a more detailed assessment using the Intuitive Colorimeter is recommended. This utilises the same Rate of Reading Test but builds on the initial overlay result; for example, a light green or dark green overlay sheet, by further defining the precise hue and saturation of colour required. By fine-tuning the colour specifically to the individual, its effectiveness is greatly improved.

The colorimetry assessment produces a unique and highly accurate pure precision tint specification that can be applied to ophthalmic quality spectacle lenses.  the resulting colorimetry spectacles offer a far more convenient solution for long term use, with the added advantage of any prescribed prescription also being incorporated into the lenses.

Do these symptoms sound familiar?

Get in touch and we will do our best to help you

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