In 2014 we were the first in the area to provide Intuitive Colorimetric testing. This pioneering technique is used in the diagnosis and treatment of visual stress, which is also known as Mears-Irlen syndrome.
Visual stress refers to reading difficulties, light sensitivity and headaches caused by visual patterns. It can cause the perception of distortion in printed words and of rapid fatigue when reading. The severity of these symptoms is of course variable and can happen even if vision is normal in every other respect. Approximately 5% of people experience severe visual stress and 20% to a lesser degree.
WHAT IS VISUAL STRESS?
Visual stress refers to reading difficulties, light sensitivity and headaches from exposure to disturbing visual patterns. It can be responsible for print distortion and rapid fatigue when reading.
Visual Stress can cause children, and adults, to underachieve in learning situations.
SYMPTOMS OF VISUAL STRESS AND WHO IT CAN AFFECT
Reluctant to read. The person genuinely does not find reading a pleasurable activity.
Constantly having to re-read a line of text in order to be able to understand it.
Patterns can appear between the words on the page.
Headaches and migraines.
Halos of colour around the words and letters.
Visual stress in NOT dyslexia
The people with the following examples may have visual stress:
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)
HOW WE CAN HELP
Here at J Davies Opticians we provide a number of tests that can aid those who may display symptoms of visual stress by using colour.
An individual may display symptoms of visual stress but some can also be symptoms of other eye conditions. Therefore, it is important to do an eye test to rule out other possible causes or required spectacle prescription.
What is it?
This enables the examiner to find a suited coloured filter for the individual which will make reading more comfortable when placed over a piece of text.
What do you do if your overlays help?
If overlays are found to have an increased positive effect on reading, individual can use the overlays on a more regular basis for a number of weeks and also have the option of having tinted spectacles made for long term use.
How long does the test take?
Overlay test takes approximately 30 minutes.
What is it?
The intuitive colorimeter is an optical instrument that shines coloured light on a page of text and allows the user to vary the light with three controls, one for colour (hue), one for strength of colour (saturation) and one for brightness.
How it works?
Once the best combination colour has been determined the colorimeter findings are logged into a computer program to ascertain the precision tinted glasses for reading. Children often describe the tint for spectacles as “magical”.
How long does this test take?
As the colorimetry test is more advanced in finding the precise tint, this test takes approximately 40 minutes.
IS VISUAL STRESS AND DYSLEXIA THE SAME?
No. Both conditions cause difficulties with reading but people with dyslexia may not suffer from visual stress, and people with visual stress may not suffer from dyslexia. However, some people can have both conditions. It is important that visual stress is detected because other learning difficulties will then be easier to cope with.
Please note: Blurring, sore eyes, headaches and glare are also symptoms of other eye conditions, It is important to ensure you arrange a full sight test to rule out other possible causes.