The art of vision......experience the extra time and care we take

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Dyslexia is defined as a diverse group of reading disabilities characterised by the fact that spelling and reading attainment is far below the expected on the basis of the child’s age or IQ. Put more simply, it means a specific difficulty with reading which is not caused by a lack of opportunity to learn.  


Approximately one in ten children are believed to exhibit some signs of the syndrome that is known as Dyslexia.


Some children and adults who have difficulty with reading, experience visual distortion when viewing a page of print: the letters may appear to move, or blur, the white paper may glare and cause eye-strain or headaches.  The resulting visual discomfort and perceptual distortion may interfere with reading.  The distortion is common in people who have vision problems, but it can occur quite independently of any ocular problem in people whose eyesight is otherwise perfect.


Recent research has shown that the distortion can sometimes be reduced or eliminated by wearing tinted spectacles.  The appropriate colour varies from person to person, and to be effective the colour has to be chosen individually and with precision.  Sometimes the colour gives an improvement in reading fluency; sometimes it simply helps a person to read for longer without eye-strain.

People who report apparent distortion or eye-strain should first be examined by an Optometrist to check the health of the eyes.  If the symptoms persist once any optometric problem has been treated, then the wearing of tinted spectacles can be trialled.  It is useful to judge the possible benefits of colour by first using overlays.  These are coloured plastic sheets placed upon a page of text.  A large number of differently coloured overlays should be compared, otherwise the most effective colour may be missed.  If a particular colour reduces distortion and discomfort then an overlay can be given for a trial period to assess its effects.  If the overlay is used consistently and is found to be beneficial, coloured glasses should be considered.  Glasses are simpler to use, and the larger range of colour available with lenses may be helpful in obtaining the best effects.  The most effective colour for

use in overlays is generally not the same as that for use

in spectacles.


The appropriate colour for spectacle lenses is obtained using the Intuitive Colorimeter.  Using this sophisticated specialist device, the effects of very small changes in colour can be assessed under controlled conditions.  A full Colorimeter assessment is available by special appointment at Henry Morgan Opticians.  We do not recommend coloured spectacles for children younger than seven years due to difficulty of assessment.


It is not the role of the Optometrist to classify a patient as dyslexic, but if your child is having reading difficulties a full eye examination is recommended.  If all is well and the problems persist, then we have a full range of coloured overlays to allow assessment on an extended trial basis before the prescribing of any spectacles would be considered.  If you think your child is in difficulty, don’t hesitate to call for

further information.



Dr. Bruce J W Evans  BSc  PhD  MBCO  DCLP

Dyslexia - by Dr B.J.W.Evans