Visual Stress Clinic

What to expect in our Visual Stress Clinic

Our visual stress clinic aims to understand the underlying cause of your visual stress. A variety of tests are conducted:

  • Full and comprehensive eye examination including a vision assessment and refraction to rule out simple refractive problems as the underlying cause. In this case prescription spectacles may be prescribed.
  • Oculomotor balance, binocular function and ocular dominance assessment to rule out orthoptic causes which require eye exercises to help improve eye co-ordination
  • Internal and external ocular health examination
  • Retinal imaging
  • Colour vision assessment
  • Wilkins reading rate assessment
  • Coloured overlay assessment

What is Meares-Irlen Syndrome?

Mears-Irlen Syndrome is a form of visual stress which can lead to difficulties with detailed tasks such as reading. The condition is not fully understood but affects around 50% of dyslexics and is often found in epileptics, migraine suffers, individuals with MS and ME and many other conditions. Mears-Irlen Syndrome like dyslexia cannot, as yet be cured but can be treated and managed.

What are the symptoms of Mears – Irlen Syndrome?

Symptoms can vary hugely from person to person. Some individuals suffer with severe symptoms after only a minute of reading, in others the symptoms take longer to develop and are not as severe. Most related symptoms create barriers to reading and understanding. Symptoms can include:

Resulting from reading:

  • Poor comprehension
  • Skipping words or lines
  • Slow and hesitant reading
  • Losing place on page
  • Eye strain

Words may appear to:

  • Jump off the page
  • Move around
  • Spin
  • Appear double
  • Appear blurred

Other symptoms may include:

  • Trouble judging distances
  • Clumsiness and accident prone
  • Difficulty catching small balls

Treatment of Mears-Irlen Syndrome

Treatments vary from person to person depending on the severity of the condition. Treatment for Mears-Irlen Syndrome is not a cure for dyslexia but may help improve reading ability.

Treatment involves the use of colour in the form of coloured overlays and tinted spectacles lenses and simple eye exercises aimed at improving the eyes co-ordination.

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