Visual Stress

What is Visual Stress?

Dyslexia is believed to be one of the most common learning difficulties although many dyslexics are very bright and tend to be better at skills including creative thinking, visual awareness, problem solving and verbal communication. Visual Stress ( also known as Visual Dyslexia or Irlen Syndrome) is not the same as dyslexia but is more common in those who are dyslexic. It is thought that it affects up to 65% of dyslexics.

Visual Stress & Schoolvision

Visual Stress occurs when a white background appear to interfere with lines of black print and causes difficulties with visual processing of the reading content. Also,a stability of the binocular vision at near distance plays an important role in our ability to read accurately and fluently. Visual Stress examination takes about an hour and includes a full eye test, Schoolvision binocular vision assessment and Colorimerty. If appropriate, corrective spectacles and precision tints are prescribed.

Optometrist Mrs Olha Lac, who specialises in Schoolvision/Visual Stress assessments, said : “Our tratment program has made a positive impact on many children that are struggling at school due to vision-associated learning difficulties. Not only are we seeing children make fantastic progress with their school work, but it has also in some cases improved co-ordination, balance and most importantly, confidence”.

Visual Stress assessment is tailored to assist those with dyslexia or known reading problems. It is not a diagnosis of Dyslexia. A diagnosis requires further investigation from an educational psychologist.

What does the assessment involve?

A visual assessment usually takes about one hour. Initial reading speed is measured and a specially tailored eye examination is carried out. Specific test are then undertaken measuring binocular vision, tracking and focusing ability and colour sensitivity using INTUITIVE COLORIMETER or Eye Bright test. Reading speed is measured at the end of the assessment and appropriate spectacles prescribed Not everyone can be helped by these techniques, or may not have the visual maturity to be helped at the time of assessment. Advice will be given following the appointment.

Who can it help?

Our treatment is suitable for children (and adults) who are already diagnosed as dyslexic or who find reading difficult; often reporting that letters ‘jump’, ‘jumble’ or that they lose their place on the page easily.

How often do I need to be checked?

Following the initial assessment, if spectacles have been prescribed, a follow-up check is recommended after approximately 3 weeks.
Subsequent follow ups are at 3 monthly intervals, with a sight test every 6 months. The usual treatment programme lasts approximately 18 months although some may require continuing, but less frequent, support.