Visual Stress can contribute to reading difficulties in both children and adults.

Visual stress is due to overstimulation of the visual cortex (the visual processing part of our brains) by certain visual patterns such as lines of black text on a white background.

Symptoms of visual stress include:

  • Letters and words appear as if they are moving
  • Skipping words or lines
  • Blurring of print
  • Re-reading the same line frequently
  • Discomfort when reading
  • Glare from a white page
  • Patterns in the print
  • Moving the reading material around the desk
  • Poor comprehension of reading material


Visual stress largely goes unrecognised in both children and adults. So often we have adults who have never been able to explain why they have struggled with reading tasks throughout their life, and there is a real ‘light bulb’ moment when they see the benefits of treating their visual stress.

Prior to undertaking any formal colorimetry assessment, a full eye examination is carried out to ensure there are no underlying issues such as refractive error, or muscle imbalance between the two eyes.

The colorimetry assessment itself uses a sophisticated machine that measures an individuals response to text that is viewed under varying highly controlled colour light conditions. The coloured tint that best reduces visual stress can then be accurately calculated, and coloured spectacles ordered accordingly.

Colour in the Classroom, an article from


This instrument was developed by Professor Arnold Wilkins and the Medical Research Council and manufactured exclusively by CVT and is fully supported by research studies and peer reviewed controlled trials.

It is used by our Optometrists to logically and sequentially explore colour space to find the optimal Precision Tint for the relief of perceptual distortions in Visual Stress.

The instrument independently changes the 3 parameters of colour, hue, saturation and brightness while the eyes are colour adapted. This will give a final colour which is extremely precise to each individuals needs. The colour will be different for each person and the precision coming from a choice of over 100,000 colour combinations now available. In its most effective form this prescription will be delivered as Cerium Precision Tinted Lenses.

The tint is selected rapidly and efficiently in an examination lasting about 20-30 minutes.

The optimal colour which will benefit each individual can change over time, especially with children. It is therefore very important that the patient visits the specialised Optometrist regularly for re-evaluations.


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