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What Can You Do About Your Child’s Visual Learning Difficulties This School Year?

Is your child apprehensive about going back to school this September? Is it because they’re struggling with their reading? Visual stress may be the cause. Not to be mistaken for dyslexia, visual stress results in visual discomfort when reading and can often put children off reading altogether.

Does Your Child Have It?

There are several signs and symptoms you can look out for, including:

  • Difficulty reading, with complaints of text appearing to move around and/or distracting patterns appearing
  • Tiring quickly when reading
  • Headaches and migraines
  • The need to follow text on the page with their finger
  • Frustration and low self-esteem.

While some children with dyslexia will have visual stress and vice versa, the 2 conditions are distinct and having one does not mean your child will necessarily have the other.

The causes aren’t entirely clear; eye strain is certainly involved but research has shown that the problem stems from differences in the way the brain reacts to visual information and processes it.

While the underlying causes are complex, getting a definitive diagnosis is straightforward with the help of our experienced optometrists and an assessment called colourimetry.

What Is Colorimetry?


Coloured overlays on text are proven to improve reading speed and accuracy of those with reading difficulties. Colorimetry is the science of determining exactly which colour and hue best does this for an individual using a special machine called an intuitive colorimeter.

Steps to Supporting Your Child’s Reading Ability

Before you get to the stage of colorimeter testing at the opticians, it’s important to first rule out any other visual problems that might be the reason why your child is struggling with their reading.

For this, all you need to do is book the best eye test at any of our opticians in Farnham, Pimlico, Dorking and Virginia Water. Once we’ve examined your child’s vision and ruled out other causes, such as astigmatism, shortsightedness or nearsightedness, we can move onto further testing.


We can start with coloured overlays. Using a set of various plastic coloured overlays, we’ll assess whether a particular colour improves your child’s ability to read. This simply involves placing different coloured overlays side by side on pages of text and asking your child to read some text.

If we find that coloured overlays do indeed improve their reading ability, we can then determine whether or not colorimeter testing is needed. If it is appropriate, we’ll use Cerium’s Intuitive Colorimeter to identify the particular colour, hue, brightness and saturation that will help your child with their reading. The test takes just 20 minutes and based on this information, we can then recommend and prescribe Precision Tinted Lenses for glasses, which can also include a prescription for any vision correction that is needed.

Wearing their custom-made Precision Tinted Lenses will alleviate symptoms of visual stress, meaning your child will enjoy reading with more ease and you can see their confidence grow.

Get Set for School


Help your child overcome their reading difficulties in time for school through healthy vision with the help of The Optical Studio. Book your child’s eye appointment at any of our 4 opticians in Farnham, Pimlico, Dorking and Virginia Water today.