Visual stress

Visual Stress

Young Eyes Optometrists specialise in the assessment of Visual Stress symptoms in children and adults. Previously known as “Meares-Irlen” syndrome, visual stress refers to reading difficulties, light sensitivity and headaches from exposure to disturbing visual patterns. Visual stress can be the cause of tiredness when reading. Depending on the case, the indications of visual stress will vary. Often these symptoms can occur despite normal vision. Approximately 5% of the population are severely affected by Visual Stress and 20% to a lesser degree.

Most commonly the symptoms are the movement of words, patterns or images on a page. As well as headache or eyestrain. Moving a page at differing distances or missing out on words or lines are also common signs of visual stress.

You can have seamless eyesight and still experience visual stress. To achieve good eyesight, your eyes must work together to ensure you can read the entirety of an eye chart properly. To reduce visual stress, glasses can be worn to correct an irregularity. If visual stress cannot be corrected by the use of glasses, colour may be required to resolve the problem. This may indicate the problem is in the visual cortex of the brain and require proper colour assessment to prescribe treatment. Sheets of coloured plastic may be used as a tool to determine if colour will be beneficial to the patient. If successful, a coloured overlay will help rid visual stress making reading more comfortable.

What happens from here?

The effective colour will be specific for each child. Where colour has been used to help improve visual stress, our optometrists at Young Eyes will further assess your child after a 4-6 week period using our Colorimetry machine. This machine will further fine tune the colour and level of tinting to ensure that your child gets maximum benefit from the tint. The tint in the glasses will be much more precise than the overlays, as many colour combinations are used.