Visual Difficulties

visual-boyIf you/your child is experiencing reading difficulties including following text, gets headaches when reading, jiggles in their seat when trying to focus on text or complains that the words move around they may have a form of visual stress, sometimes referred to as ‘visual dyslexia’, Scotopic Sensitivity or Meares-Irlen Syndrome. The first step is to visit an optometrist to check vision, including convergence and divergence.

It is important to be aware that this is a separate condition from dyslexia, and any treatment of visual difficulties is not treatment for dyslexia. However some dyslexics find it easier to read text that is on coloured backgrounds rather than white. Black text on a white background may seem to glare or even flash, making it difficult to focus on the words and causing fatigue. In more extreme cases words can seem to float around the page and become distorted.

If you are affected in this way, it is worth being assessed by an optometrist who can advise on treatments which may include coloured glasses, vision therapy, etc.

Some people find it helpful to read with a coloured sheet of transparent plastic (overlay) over a white page or a coloured background on a computer screen, while others find it makes no difference.  The theory behind this is that white light is made up of different colours moving at different frequencies, which can cause confusion when the brain receives that information. The coloured lenses filter out the problem light frequencies.

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