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  • Writer's pictureDavid Spicer Optometrists

Can Colour Help With Visual Stress?

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

Visual Stress (Meares-Irlen syndrome) occurs when an individual is sensitive to visual patterns, particularly stripes. This visual discomfort can cause problems when reading and is thought to be due to hyper activation of the visual cortex of the brain.

Visual stress is quite distinct from dyslexia, although those who are dyslexic are more likely to experience visual stress.

Symptoms can include:

  • blurring of print

  • printed text appearing to move, shake or shimmer

  • colours appearing on printed text

  • words/letters breaking into two or appearing double

  • re-reading/skipping lines

  • being sensitive to glare.

colorimery testing for visual stress

Using Colour To Help With Visual Stress

The use of coloured transparent overlays, or precision tinted coloured lenses can help to reduce this hyper activity and therefore visual stress, by providing the eye with a different image to see and the brain with a different image to interpret.

Migraine sufferers who have light induced migraine can also benefit from colorimetry lenses, again due to suppression of hyperactivity in the visual cortex.

Colorimetry Assessments

At David Spicer Optometrists, we can do tests using coloured overlays to assess the effectiveness of colour in reducing visual stress.

We also provide Colorimetry assessments to determine the exact colour and brightness needed in a pair of spectacle lenses to reduce visual stress and improve performance.


If you have any questions about colorimetry or visual stress, please contact a member of our team who will be happy to help.


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