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Vision care

Meares Irlen & Visual Stress

Visual stress and the Meares-Irlen Syndrome (Scotopic Sensitivity)

Visual stress is also known as the “Meares-Irlen” syndrome and the condition generally refers to reading difficulties, light sensitivity and headaches from exposure to disturbing visual patterns or print distortion.

Many children and adults suffer from visual discomfort when reading. This can affect reading fluency, concentration and comprehension and can cause rapid fatigue. This Visual Stress can cause symptoms such as movement of print, rivers of white running through the print and headaches/eyestrain. Visual stress is found to exist in many conditions including:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Photosensitive Migraine
  • Photosensitive Epilepsy
  • Autism
  • AD(H)D

Assessments are carried out in three stages. Firstly we use software to screen for a colour preference and then if there is a positive statistical result we will then move onto using the Wilkins ‘Intuitive Colorimeter’.

The Colorimeter was developed by Professor Arnold Wilkins and the Medical Research Council and is fully supported by research studies and peer reviewed controlled trials. It is used to logically and sequentially explore the colour space and to find the optimal ‘precision tint’ for the relief of perceptual distortions.

The instrument independently changes the 3 parameters of colour, i.e.hue, saturation and brightness whilst the eyes are colour adapted. The resulting precision tinted lenses are available as either spectacle lenses or soft contact lenses.