Colour and Visual Stress

Visual stress (also known as Meares Irlen or Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome) is a term used to describe a collection of signs and symptoms linked to visual difficulties with reading that improves with the application of tinted lenses.

Studies have found that up to 20% of people have some degree of visual stress, but that it is more severe in 5% of the population. Visual stress is more common in those with a diagnosis of dyslexia or dyspraxia but can also occur in the rest of the population.

Symptoms described when reading include:

  • Blur or variable vision

  • Letters that move

  • Words doubling

  • Shadowy lines

  • The gaps between words move

  • Shapes or colours on the page

  • Flickering

  • Glare from a white background

I should point out that in some children they report no symptoms at all, only a dislike or difficulty with reading. This is because what they see is normal for them! It is important to look out for signs such as:

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of place when reading

  • Excessive blinking

  • Rubbing eyes

  • Poor concentration

  • Inefficient reading

We use the orthoscopic system for colourimetry which, instead of using filters, uses a combination of LED lights that are calibrated to the same frequencies as the human eye. The software allows fine control over the colours tested which provides for much more rapid and sensitive assessment. The specially developed VDEX tints can provide or in some cases completely alleviate the reading difficulties caused by visual stress.

In addition to those with reading difficulties, we’ve also found VDEX lenses to be of help in variety of other conditions where the visual system is inefficient such as migraine, macular degeneration, dyspraxia and ADHD to name a few.

My experience over the past few years is that about 75% of those with symptoms will improve significantly with a coloured lens. Sometimes however I have found that a therapeutic lens prescribed using neuro-developmental principles is required instead so always recommend a combined assessment.

To discuss whether colourimetry would be appropriate for you or your child, call us on 01342 323463 or fill in the form below to discuss further with Irfaan Adamally.

© 2018 by Jane Murray



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