Open up opportunities for your kids at East of England Co-op Opticians
If you’ve spotted your child moving closer to or further away from the page, rubbing of eyes or blinking more than usual, these are all signs that a child could be struggling from the effects of visual stress.
As many as one in five people in the UK experience visual stress but, for children in particular, will often be completely unaware that they see a page differently to others. Symptoms can include a blurring or movement of print, letters changing shape and size or patterns appearing on the page. Children with visual stress are also likely to experience rapid tiring, headaches and eye strain. The severity of symptoms can vary from person to person.
If any of this sounds familiar then the experts at the East of England Co-op Opticians are here to help. Research has shown that the use of colour can alleviate many of these problems. Through a series of simple tests the Colorimetry experts can identify whether or not colour could help enable your child to read more easily. The assessment will identify which colour is best for an overlay.
What is Colorimetry?
Colorimetry is the use of coloured lenses and overlays to aid those with visual stress or dyslexia.
Visual stress refers to reading difficulties, light sensitivity and headaches from exposure to disturbing visual patterns. It is most common in those living with dyslexia or autism, or those who have had a stroke, a brain injury or suffer with migraines. It can be responsible for print distortion and rapid fatigue when reading. The severity of symptoms can vary from person to person. Symptoms can include:
- movement of print
- blurring of print
- letters changing shape or size
- letters fading or becoming darker
- patterns appearing, sometimes described as ‘worms’ or ‘rivers’ running through print
- illusions of colour - blobs of colour on the page or colours surrounding letters or words
- rapid tiring
- headache or eye strain
Dyslexia is a term used to describe various specific learning difficulties that affect the ability to learn to read and spell correctly. Visual stress is not dyslexia but can be particularly prevalent in individuals with dyslexia.
What does the test involve?
A sight test will help to determine if lenses or eye exercises may help relieve symptoms of visual stress.
A coloured overlay assessment is carried out. If a particular coloured overlay improves speed and accuracy when reading the patient will be asked to trial the overlay for 6 weeks, followed by a review.
If the trial is successful we'll carry out a colorimetry assessment to see if a precision tinted lens can be provided for more versatile use. Lenses are usually a different shade to the overlay and can be tailored depending on the light conditions they'll be most often used in.
Coloured overlays are transparent sheets of coloured plastic in a range of colours that can be laid over a page or book. They can help children to read more fluently by reducing the symptoms of visual stress.
If overlays help reading, patients can progress to a full colorimetric assessment using an instrument called the Intuitive Colorimeter. The assessment finds the exact colour for precision-tinted lenses to suit each individual from a range of colours.
Precision Tinted Lenses
These are a special colorimetric tint on lenses in a pair of glasses. These can be fitted to most frames and are useful if the child also requires lenses to help with other visual needs as they can be made either just coloured or with an optical prescription included.
Whether or not your child is showing signs of visual stress, it’s recommended that children have their first sight test well before they start school, and then regularly throughout their school years.
How can the Co-op help?
Our team of highly-trained specialists is on hand to find out whether or not colorimetry could work for you but our involvement doesn’t just end with the test, we also offer the very best in aftercare to ensure you receive ongoing assessment and support.
This affordable solution can be life-changing, so why wait?