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Visual Stress

As many as 1 in 5 of us experience words fading, blurring or moving on the page. These symptoms together describe a condition known as Visual Stress.

Sufferers often find it hard to concentrate on written work or the computer. They may rub their eyes, experience headaches, or become easily distracted.

Coloured overlays or coloured glasses can often be a big help.

Could you or your child read better with colour?

Many people struggle when reading. This may be due to a condition called Visual Stress. "Visual stress" describes the difficulty, pain or discomfort some people experience when reading. It's a common visual condition, yet many sufferers haven't heard of it or aren't aware that they could get simple, effective treatment.

katherine at Keyes Eyecare
katherine says:

‘It’s a joy to see the difference a pair of coloured lenses can make to our patients pleasure of reading and their comfort as they view the world around them.’


Pricing Summary

Service Cost
Initial visual stress assessment £100
Colorimetry £120
Spectacle frames from £19.95
Precision tinted spectacle lenses from £200 per pair
Additional follow on appointments £40
Annual Review (for existing Keyes Eyecare patients) £60

To find out more about Visual Stress, and how Keyes Eyecare might be able to help you, please get in touch.

Visual Stress Symptoms

Visual discomfort

  • Rubbing eyes a lot
  • Blinking a lot
  • Eye strain
  • Headaches

Print may look unusual

  • Text moves, vibrates or is blurry
  • Words fade or disappear
  • Patterns or colours appear in text
  • Spots of light appear on the page
  • Glare - text of patterns seem bright

You may

  • Find reading difficult
  • Lose your place when reading
  • Have poor concentration
  • Get tired when reading
  • Have difficulty learning to read or write
  • Have a slow reading speed

1 in 5 children have some degree of Visual Stress.

Binocular Instability and reading difficulties

Some difficulties are caused by Binocular Instability.  This occurs when the eyes don't work well together, causing difficulties with vision and reading. With a tailored exercise programme, co-ordination of the eyes can be significantly improved.  See Josh's story in the Evening Chronicle for one patient's example.

We are a Dyslexia specialist optician based in Newcastle upon Tyne

Keyes Eyecare specialises in diagnosing and treating patients with Visual Stress, which is also known as Meares-Irlen Syndrome or Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome.

We use coloured overlays, coloured glasses and eye exercises, which often lead to amazing improvements in reading speed and attention span.  We use a colorimeter to help select the best colour for you.  There are over 100,000 colour combinations!


Stages of Visual Stress investigation


The first step is for you to complete a questionnaire and symptom screening sheet, which you can download below or we can email to you.  You can complete these yourself or we can talk you though the questions over the phone, if you would prefer.


Once you return the completed forms, if we believe that an assessment would be helpful for you, we can arrange an Initial Assessment costing £100.  This involves a detailed face to face assessment of the way that the eyes work together and an online assessment of the effect of coloured filters on your vision and symptoms.  We will be able to tell you at this stage whether you suffer from Visual Stress or not and make recommendations about management, such as coloured overlays.  If eye exercises are needed, a course of eye exercises would typically involve a daily home exercise program over a two to three month period, with review appointments every 3 weeks, costing £40 per appointment.


If, after a period of time, coloured overlays prove successful at reducing your symptoms and helping you in daily life, you may choose to go on to have a Full Visual Stress Assessment and Colorimetry Assessment, at a cost of £120.  This involves a detailed face to face assessment of the way that the eyes work together and investigates the way that visual information is processed in the brain.
Coloured glasses normally give significantly more benefit than overlays.  If coloured glasses are needed then the precision tinted lenses cost £200 for most prescriptions and frames are priced from £19.95, depending on the style chosen.


What should I do next?

To find out more about Visual Stress, and how Keyes Eyecare might be able to help you, please contact Katherine. You can get in touch here.

Happy Customers

It's just absolutely amazing to be able to see Mabel read and to know that a small piece or coloured lens can make such a difference to her life! Thank you so much Andrew...

A happy customer
Regular customer

Come and see us at our Gosforth Opticians

If you are ready to book an appointment, please call us on 0191 284 7361 or book an appointment and we'l'l talk you through the next steps. We're conveniently located for Jesmond, Kenton, Tyne Valley, Wideopen and Ponteland with free on-street parking.
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