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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...


Do you find reading slow, frustrating or even painful?

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.

Ask the Expert

"Visual stress can affect up to 50% of children and adults with dyslexia and whether they have dyslexia or not, it interferes with the visual process of reading and writing. If letters and symbols move around or shimmer on a page, it is difficult to read and write effectively.

It is vital that such individuals are identified by a specially trained optometrist who can assess and advise on the most appropriate form of treatment. Giving the right kind of help to someone in this situation will make a huge difference to their life".

- Dr Liz Ferguson, Dyslexia North East

Read about some of our Visual Stress patients

  • Read Mabel's story in the Journal and Chronicle or read here

    Read Mabel's story in the Journal and Chronicle or read here
    PDF Download

  • Read Josh's story in the Evening Chronicle or read here

    Read Josh's story in the Evening Chronicle or read here
    PDF Download

  • Read Tom O's story

    Read Tom O's story
    PDF Download

  • Read Tom R's story here

    Read Tom R's story here
    PDF Download

  • Read Gemma's story here

    Read Gemma's story here
    PDF Download

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!

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


Service Price
Visual Stress Assessment £250.00 (approx. 2 hours over 2 or 3 visits)
Additional appointments for treatment of binocular vision and visual stress problems £40.00 (approx. 25 min appointment)
Precision tinted spectacle lenses from £180.00 per pair
Frames from £19.95
Annual review £48
Support package £48 - a single payment at the end of your visual stress assessment covers one years' access to:
  • follow on advice and review appointments
  • liason with school or employer
  • annual review (normal cost £48)
Visual Stress

Download documents

PDF Download Visual Stress FAQs

PDF Download Visual Stress Symptoms Checklist

Come and see us at our Gosforth opticians

Conveniently located for Jesmond, Kenton, Tyne Valley, Wideopen and Ponteland. Free on-street parking.

Arrange an appointment today