Visual Stress or Meares-Irlen Syndrome

Do you lose your place when you read, or find reading challenging for your eyes or focus?

If you do, you may suffer from visual stress, 1 in 5 people do.

Visual Stress (also known as Meares-Irlen syndrome) is a visual sensitivity triggered by certain patterns (normally black-white stripes eg text or stripy shirts); sufferers can have any of the following symptoms

These symptoms can occur despite having 'perfect' sight and vary in intensity in individuals. Approximately 5% of the population are severely affected by visual stress and 20% to a lesser degree. This means that up to 1 in 5 people are not necessarily reaching their potential when reading or working with computer screens.

Research at Essex University has shown that Precision Tints can have an instrumental role in improving reading skills, reducing screen glare, generally improving visual comfort, reducing headache and tension, improving concentration and efficiency in those prone to visual stress.

Visual Stress or Meares-Irlen Syndrome Coloured Tints

Vision and Migraine                    

Many migraine sufferers have difficulty with glare and flicker. Examples include using a computer screen, supermarket lights, reading.

Where the migraines have this visual-perceptual element, wearing  a precision tint, specific to the individual, can have a dramatic effect on that person's quality of life.

One client made the following comment when collecting her precision tinted spectacles (NB she did not require a spectacle prescription to 'see better');

"It feels like my eyeballs are 'calm' for the first time in a long time"

Visual Stress and Presicion Tint assessment (colorimetry) is a specialist area of optometry and  is available at Patrick and Menzies.

 ref   Wilkins, Patel, Evans    Cephalagia 22  711-719 (2002)  Tinted spectacles and Visually Sensitive Migraine


An intuitive colorimeter is used to vary Hue (shade), Saturation (depth), Contrast and UV filtration.

It takes 20-30 minutes to determine your exact tint from over 100,000 possible combinations. Whilst this may sound daunting, it is a fairly straightforward process in our expert hands.

Colour is available is several forms;

For an assessment please mention your interest in colorimetry/precision tints to reception so that we can book your appointment with the appropriate specialist optometrist.