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Exam season is upon us and at this already stressful time, no extra complications are required. Students who are revising may have started to show signs of visual discomfort or stress while reading by exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms:

-    Headaches, sore eyes, watering or red eyes
-    Rubbing their eyes
-    A dislike of bright lights (photophobia)
-    Constantly wanting to move the position of the text while reading
-    Fatigue after only one or two pages of close work
-    Print looking blurred, as if it’s moving, flickering or fading
-    Patterns appearing in the print or colours around the letters
-    Doubling of words

The text that you read on a daily basis is usually black letters on a white or off-white background. Often it is the contrast between the black text and the white page that is too harsh and unintentionally overstimulates the part of the brain responsible for processing data gathered through the eyes – the visual cortex. This overstimulation is what some people experience as visual stress.
A visit to the opticians can help diagnose and relieve these issues. During a full eye examination, if a patient has been suffering from headaches or reading difficulties, a simple screening test will demonstrate whether a Coloured Overlay Assessment will help to improve the speed and accuracy of reading.

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If the patient responds positively to the coloured overlay after a few weeks of use then the optician would recommend that Intuitive Colorimetry is used to identify the exact coloured tint that may be required for spectacles. To do this a screening test would be conducted using a special colorimetry machine which works through many options and varying intensities of colour with the patient.
Visual stress shouldn’t hold you back in life.  Many students benefit from the use of a coloured overlay and have shown significant improvements in reading speed. Glasses with coloured lenses have additional advantages in so much as they can be also used for blackboard work and writing. They are often more practical and accurate for use in the classroom or work environment and have helped thousands of individuals to overcome their reading difficulties.
For further information on visual stress, colorimetry or to make an appointment please call Edmonds and Slatter’s Blaby practice on 0116 2777733.

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