Dyslexia & Visual Stress

The issue of reading difficulties being resolved by wearing tinted lenses in glasses was first identified by an Australian psychologist in the early sixties called Helen Irlen.

Only very recent research has proven that this is the case.  What was known as Mears–Irlen Syndrome, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, visual dyslexia has now been re-defined under the common umbrella name of Visual  Stress.

Visual Stress is found to exist in many conditions:

  1. dyslexia
  2. dyspraxia
  3. photo-sensitive migraine
  4. photo-sensitive epilepsy
  5. autism
  6. ADHD

For these patients, pages of print can resemble a stressful visual pattern which causes hyper- excitability of brain cells in the visual path way. Introducing colour or changing the wavelength of the information can slow and calm the response in the brain, allowing normal visual processing  to proceed.

Statistics suggest that 5 per cent of the population can be severely affected and up to 20 per cent can be helped.

For instance the normal observer looking at the grid opposite will find it tiring.

But for these patients simple text can cause the same tiring effect and in severe cases the text is seen to move or swirl.

This is often first noticed when a child learning to read starts to struggle with normal text.  Research continues to develop in this field, questioning both the optimum size of print for children learning to read and the optimum lighting conditions.

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), please contact us.  Our staff will be happy to answer any queries or post information to you.


Useful websites are www.ceriumvistech.co.uk

        www.essex.ac.uk/psychology