Smith and Walker (optometrists) Ltd.    Reg No. 961401 England. VAT Reg No 497 7952 64.    Directors R Worfolk, C Green, D Wyndham, L Skaff

Smith and Walker (Optometrists) Ltd.

Dyslexia and Visual Stress - Help with Tinted Lenses and overlays

Black lines of print on a white page can set up ‘visual stress’. Look at the picture below to get the idea – you may find it uncomfortable. Visual stress is thought be a problem that can affect poor readers and individuals with dyslexia.  This pattern glare is sometimes called ‘Scotopic Sensitivity’ or ‘Meares-Irlen’ Syndrome.

Symptoms of visual stress


Words jumping or moving

Headache or discomfort

 with reading

The page looking too bright so that the words are not seen properly

Scientific research has shown that visual stress can be reduced by changing the background colour of a page using a coloured transparent overlay or tinted lenses. Our intuitive colorimeter allows us to modify the hue (colour) and saturation (depth) of the illumination to establish the precise tint that will provide the most clear and comfortable vision. Precision tinted lenses can make print more clear and comfortable on whiteboards, computers and printed pages. We have been supplying precision tinted lenses and overlays since 2005.

N.B. There is debate in the literature about the role that ‘visual stress’ plays in reading difficulties.  Tints and overlays will not always be helpful, although some individuals find that they make a profound difference. A careful eye examination should always be undertaken as a starting point to precisely measure the focus of the eyes and their co-ordination when reading, so that spectacles or eye exercises can be issued if appropriate. Before investing in the time and cost of tinted lenses we always recommend that the impact of an inexpensive tinted overlay should be assessed - many schools will be able to provide this service without charge. Additionally some children will prefer to use an overlay than to wear spectacles which may have quite a vivid tint.

colorimeter section video

30s video snippet about the colorimeter