Coloured Overlay and Visual Stress Testing

Using coloured overlays and filters we can help alleviate symptoms of Visual Stress.

What Is Visual Stress?

Visual Stress is a general term for a number of conditions that can cause people to struggle with reading due to the way that the brain interprets signals from the eyes – these conditions may be referred to as Visual Dyslexia, Scoptic Sensitivity, Meares-Irlen or Irlen Syndrome.

Visual stress is distinct from Dyslexia although some of the symptoms can be similar and many dyslexia sufferers will also experience visual stress. It is not uncommon for children suffering from visual stress to be suspected of suffering from dyslexia.

The Sufferer Might Complain of:

  • Words appearing to move around on the page.
  • The words appearing blurred or surrounded by halos.
  • Reading causing eye strain or headaches.
  • White paper seeming to be very bright, so words cannot be seen properly.
  • Struggling to keep their place when reading text.

A Parent or Teacher Might Notice:

  • They are often closing their eyes or looking away.
  • Rubbing eyes while reading.
  • Eyes become red or begin watering after a few minutes or reading.
  • Frequently varies reading position and becomes restless.
  • Rapidly becoming tired while reading.
  • Loses place easily, skipping lines or words while reading out loud.
  • Has difficulty tracking across the page, work is poorly laid out.
  • Has difficulty copying text from the board or another book.
  • Tries to avoid reading.

How Airedale Opticians Can Help

If you suspect that you, or your child, might be suffering from or displaying these symptoms, then it is worth investigating this further – the symptoms of Visual Stress can be easily addressed and many have described the effects as ‘life changing’ when their condition is identified and helped.

  • All of our visual stress tests are performed by a qualified optometrist.
  • Visual Stress Tests include a full eye examination – allowing us to check for any pathological causes of the visual complaints.
  • Modern digital testing techniques are used to give the most accurate results.
  • Our testing method allows for a null result – confirming that for some patients no coloured overlay actually helps – rather than forcing them to choose one.
  • For patients who benefit, we provide a free coloured overlay for them to try at home, school or work.
  • A follow-up test is included to monitor progress.
  • We can provide coloured spectacle lenses, including prescription lenses, where required.