What is visual stress?
Visual stress describes a variety of symptoms and discomfort people experience while reading. This can include blurring and fading in the text, skipping words and lines, and headaches and eye strain. Visual stress is quite common and can make reading difficult and unpleasant. It is believed to be caused by an overstimulation of the eye due to the high-contrast visual information on the page and this is why coloured lenses and overlays can help to reduce visual stress.
How can color help with visual stress?
For many people, colour has been the key to helping manage their visual stress. Through coloured overlays and tinted lenses, the visual information presented by the page is altered in such a way that the eye can more easily process it. Different colours work for different people, so it’s necessary to assess which colour works best for you to discover the best way to manage your visual stress.
What happens in a coloured overlay assessment?
A coloured overlay assessment is how we see if colour can help you manage your visual stress. The assessment is carried out by a qualified optometrist using a test that is shown to be accurate in finding which colour is most helpful for you. During the assessment, tests will first be done to make sure your symptoms are not being caused by another condition. Then, a reading test is done using different coloured overlays so your optometrist can see how colour affects your reading ability. At the end of the assessment, your optometrist will offer you a recommendation about how best to manage your symptoms using colour.
Precision tinted lenses
Other than overlays, the main way of managing visual stress with colour is through precision-tinted lenses. These colour lenses are specially designed to provide relief from visual stress using a colour that will be determined during your assessment. The convenience of precision tinted lenses as opposed to overlays is that you can use them even when the text is not on a page in front of you. You can talk with your optometrist about the best way to manage your visual stress and they may well recommend this effective and convenient option.