Meares-Irlen Syndrome also known as visual stress or Scotopic sensitivity is a condition which affects approximately 15% of the population to varying degrees and can result in visual symptoms that we can all relate to.
This includes the following:
These symptoms are very similar to Dyslexia but the two are different. Visual stress is a processing problem of visual information in a part of the brain called the visual cortex. In Dyslexia it is problem with comprehension of words in the language area of the brain.
Typically, in visual stress, a page of words can create a harsh visual stimulus to look at in some individuals simply due to the number of letters in a small space. As a result it is thought the visual cortex becomes over-stimulated, creating some or all of the symptoms described.
The effects can be mild or severe and if untreated can lead to significant learning difficulties which can otherwise be avoided including:
If these symptoms sound familiar to you or anyone in your family, help is available. It is most commonly picked up in childhood as parents and teachers may observe problems and learning difficulties while observing pupils and assessing reading ability.
At Berry’s we can investigate these symptoms with use of a computer software program called readeze. It uses a selection of 12 different coloured filters placed over a page of words when reading. The colour is selected by the individual through an elimination process and the effect of the colour is assessed on the rate of reading and improvement in performance.
The results can sometimes be remarkable. In some instances reading age can increase several years in a matter of weeks.
For some people it doesn’t, there is no guarantee symptoms will improve for everyone. The effect of colour has been studied by observing brain activity whilst reading with colour and without. The brain patterns in visual stress shows that coloured filters have a calming effect on the visual cortex and helps reduce the hyper-stimulation previously mentioned. It is this calming effect that allows the words to become stable, reducing errors and increasing speed of reading. Even better, the test is straight forward for most people and not stressful. This test is not just confined to children, we see just as many adults benefitting from the test also.
Following an assessment, coloured filters are supplied for you to use and assess the benefits. After a trial period we will contact you to see if the colour is working. If there is a positive benefit, we can discuss taking things to the next level.
This involves testing for the colour to go in spectacle lenses, with your prescription if required. This is far more practical, especially in the classroom environment.
The coloured filter rests on the page that you are reading, this is great for reading, but is only good for this function.
The coloured spectacles means you can also write on the page as well as read, you can also look at a computer screen or smart board and still receive the same benefits without the limitations of the filter alone. Much more practical.
These are specialist tinted lenses and cost £150.00. This is why we ensure the filter is having a benefit before the expense of the lens option.
The lenses are coloured, so you can tell they are tinted. Some people do not mind this and wear the spectacles all of the time. Some people prefer to wear them as needed or have a back up pair of clear lenses and swap between them depending on the task or situation.
We use the Readeze system for a reason. There are other systems available, but the lens cost can be significantly more. The Readeze tints are not too dark and easily tolerated, some systems result in very dark tinted lenses which stand out more and not practical in some lighting situations.Enquire