“Colour tinted lenses can help your child read more clearly and confidently”

Eye Examination

Every child who displays problems with reading should be referred to an optometrist for a full eye examination. It is recommended that the chosen practice should also specialise in using the Intuitive Colorimeter.

As frustration and low self-esteem can occur in children who are underachieving due to visual stress, early diagnosis of the problem is essential. The longer it takes to identify and remedy visual stress, the greater the loss of confidence.

What is visual stress?

Visual stress (Meares- Irlen Syndrome) is sensitivity to visual patterns, particularly stripes. In some individuals this condition can cause visual perceptual problems, which interfere with reading.

N.B. These symptoms can occur despite normal vision.

What are the symptoms of visual stress?

All or some of the following may be present:

  • Movement of printed text
  • Blurring of print
  • Letters changing shape or size
  • Patterns in the print (sometimes described as rivers or worms)
  • Halos of colour surrounding letters or words
  • Tiring easily whilst reading
  • Headaches or visual discomfort
  • Red, sore, watery eyes

What are the signs of visual stress?

All or some of the following may be demonstrated/ noted:

  • Moving closer to or further away from the book
  • Moving the book around the desk
  • Fidgeting continuously
  • Using finger as a marker on the page
  • Skipping words or lines
  • Frequently re-reading the same line
  • Rubbing eyes or blinking frequently when reading
  • Poor comprehension of reading content
  • Frustration and low self-esteem

The solution

Visual stress can be reduced by the use of coloured filters; a coloured overlay placed over text or coloured lenses worn in spectacles. If a refractive prescription is required (e.g. for long or short sight) this can be incorporated in the coloured lenses. Coloured overlays are widely used by teachers in schools throughout the UK. If an overlay proves useful it is likely that precision tinted lenses can be helpful for writing as well as reading and can also help reduce glare. Precision tinted lenses result in reading that is more fluent and comfortable whilst improvement in both reading rate and accuracy can be significant.

Colorimetry assessment at D.H Thomas

The Colorimetry assessment will take approximately one hour and is carried out by a fully qualified optician. Whilst sitting comfortably you will be asked to look into the Intuitive Colorimeter and shown different colour filters to determine which colour reduces disturbances in the text.

N.B. Young children may wish to bring a favourite book along with them.

On completion of the assessment the optician will interpret the results and spend time with you discussing the next course of action. If a precision tint is found to be beneficial, the optician will then advise you on the suitable frame selection to complement the coloured lenses and perform the necessary measurements for a pair of spectacles to be produced.

Visual stress and Photosensitive Migraine

Migraine attacks have many triggers, including stress, particular foods and hormones. About 40% of migraine attacks may be visually induced by flickering lights, patterns or reading.

Migraine attacks can be helped by precision tinted lenses

Research in the U.S. by a team of neuroscientists, using brain-imaging techniques has shown that a suppression of hyper-excitability in the visual cortex occurs in migraine sufferers when individually selected precision tinted lenses are worn. The lenses used in the study were selected using the Intuitive Colorimeter.

Symptoms associated with neurological conditions such as Autism, MS, ME and Parkinson’s are shown to reduce with the application of precise colour.

We are passionate about the role of Colorimetry in helping alleviate the symptoms of visual stress. Recent results achieved by global medical research into why it works only add to our excitement and enthusiasm. For any further information please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.