Back to school: What is Visual Stress?

A summer of trying to keep the kids entertained is finally over and it’s back to school and normal routine. Is your child excited or anxious? For those with Visual Stress, it may be the latter, but help is at hand at Visual Eyes Opticians with our Visual Stress test. 

Visual Stress explained 

Visual Stress is not the same as dyslexia. Some dyslexics may have Visual Stress and some individuals with Visual Stress may have dyslexia, but the two are distinct conditions. 

Visual stress occurs in about 20% of people and results in visual discomfort or distortions when reading printed or written text. It makes it harder to focus on text and as a result those with visual stress may develop a dislike for reading. 

visual stress

Signs to spot

Common signs of visual stress in your child may include: 

  • complaints that the text is moving around
  • becoming easily tired when reading
  • complaining more often of headaches or even migraines once school starts
  • using their finger to follow words on the page
  • increased frustration and low self-esteem.

What can you do?

Visual stress is treatable. The first thing to do is bring your child in to see us for a standard eye test where we’ll ask them about any vision problems they may be experiencing. Next comes the visual stress test, also known as a coloured overlays test. 

Close Up Of Student With Dyslexia Using Colored Overlays

We’ll place different coloured overlays on pages of text and ask your child to read some text, comparing how easy or difficult it is for them to read the text using one coloured overlay versus another. Coloured overlays have been shown to relieve visual stress in some individuals. 

This may be enough to resolve your child’s symptoms of visual stress but in some cases a colorimetry assessment can help further. This uses a special machine called an intuitive colorimeter to determine the exact hue and colour density that works best, from which we can create Visual Stress glasses with precision tinted lenses to help alleviate symptoms. The result? Increased confidence at school, increased reading speeds and no more headaches or migraines when reading.

If you’re concerned that your child may be experiencing Visual Stress, get in touch with Visual Eyes Opticians, your opticians in Stanmore, to find out more about how we can help or to book an appointment. Together we can help your child reach their full potential and enjoy reading again.