What is Dyslexia and Visual Stress


 What Is Dyslexia and Visual Stress?


Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in the accurate and fluent reading of, spelling and writing of words. It is thought that about 10% of the population are affected to some degree and dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.

People with specific learning difficulties have problems with certain areas of academic achievement, yet often are generally intelligent and do well in other subjects. Literacy difficulties can lead to underachievement with loss of confidence and self-esteem, preventing individuals from reaching their true academic potential.

Visual Stress

Visual Stress is a term used to describe visual discomfort and perceptual distortions in printed text, and is suffered by many people who struggle to read. The condition is estimated to be present in approximately 20 percent of the general population and to exist more significantly in 40 percent of poor readers.

Children who are unaware that they have Visual Stress may come to believe that they must be stupid or slow as they fall below the reading standards of their friends and classmates. This can lead to frustration and lead to disruptive behaviour. It is extremely important that Visual stress is diagnosed as early as possible. Some people experience visual stress when viewing text for long periods.  Some children initially thought to be dyslexic may be suffering from just Visual Stress.

The symptoms vary from person to person, but can include headaches and migraines (especially when working at the computer), eyestrain, and experiencing instability of print when viewing text. Visual Stress can also cause eyestrain and headaches in both adults and children and the non-drug treatment may be effective.

How Colour Helps?

Visual Stress can be reduced by the use of coloured filters: a coloured overlay placed over text or coloured lenses worn in spectacles. The reduction occurs only when the colour is selected to suit the individual. The selection of lenses is best undertaken with the aid of the Intuitive Colorimeter.

Coloured overlays are widely used by teachers in schools. If an overlay proves useful it is likely that Precision Tinted Lenses will also be beneficial. It is important to note that the most effective coloured overlay is unlikely to have the same colour as the optimal precision lenses. The Intuitive Colorimeter offers a selection of more than ten thousand combinations of colours to choose from when prescribing Precision Tinted Lenses.

It is essential that every individual who struggles to read or believes they may suffer from symptoms of Visual Stress, first undergoes a full general vision test. This test is available free of charge at the point of delivery, for all school aged children, under NHS provision.

  1. Full Eye Examination
  2. Overlay Assessment
  3. Colorimetry Assessment