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Visual Dyslexia

Do you struggle when reading?

Approximately 20% of the population suffer discomfort when looking at a page of words. This condition is known as Meares-Irlen syndrome or Visual Stress. In many cases the discomfort can be reduced by changing the background to a certain colour. The colour needed is individual to every person. There are many varying symptoms, including:

  • eye fatigue

  • words jumping or moving on the page

  • the words looking too close together

  • lack of concentration

  • slow reading speed

  • sensitivity to bright lights

The condition affects about 50% of dyslexics, as well as epileptics, migraine sufferers, people with ME and MS, and others. Like dyslexia, it is not curable but can be treated, and significant improvements can be made. For dyslexics, Meares –Irlen can often be the cause of reading difficulty.


We offer assessments on your rate of reading followed by an initial colour preference test and then a repeated rate of reading test using your chosen colour. If this shows an acceptable improvement then a filter of this colour is given to you to try in your own environment.

This is called a coloured overlay and is a piece of the appropriately coloured acetate. There are also reading guides available in a similar format but these have a small corridor of the correct colour with a darker stripe above and below. This makes it much easier to keep your place when reading. We then ask you to use this for a couple of months to ensure that it is showing a continued improvement to your reading comfort and ability.


If we find this is successful then we can also offer an assessment for the colour required in tinted spectacles. People can find that an overlay is quite clumsy and limited in its use, as you can only use it to view things you are reading from the book or paper in front of you. We are able to supply tinted glasses or clip-ons so that you can view much more of the world in the best possible way for you. The clip-ons are designed to clip on most glasses frames and mean that you do not need to have 2 pairs of glasses, these can just be clipped on your normal glasses, if worn. For those at school, it will help with board work, overhead projectors, when writing pieces of work and computer screens. The colour needed for tinted glasses may be slightly different to that required for an overlay, as you are viewing the whole world in this colour, not just the white piece of paper you are reading from.  Therefore we do another assessment to ascertain which colour is best for this use.

For those using a computer a lot, we are also able to supply a screen tint. This tints the whole screen to your preferred colour.

If you require further information please contact us.

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