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Dyslexia and Visual Stress

Dyslexia and Visual Stress

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia may be explained as a difficulty that affects the ability to learn to read and spell correctly. Dyslexics find it difficult to process word sounds. Problems are thought to occur from poor development of language associated processing areas of the brain. Links have been postulated to many causes such as premature births, poor early motor development, (missing out the crawling stage), and genetics.

Dyslexia often occurs alongside other learning difficulties but is not linked to intelligence, race or social factors. Often dyslexics are clumsy in sport and some have queried links with contra lateral dominance with left of right eye dominance presented with the opposite dominance in hand and foot.

Latest Government figures in a joint research activity with Xtraordinary People, a charity co-coordinating many dyslexic care groups and charities estimates that 55% of school children failing their SATS exams had development learning difficulties, the most being dyslexia.

In 1300 children tested in a sample aged 7 to 11 over 20 schools 21% showed signs of dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia. Higher percentages were discovered in the lower age groups. Extrapolated this means that over 2 million children could be affected whilst currently only 76,000 children have been identified.

Dyslexia sufferers can be helped in many ways and great success has been reported using coloured filter techniques. Whilst dyslexia is not a function of poor vision, it is of course recommended that all children are fully examined by a local community optometrist. The test is free and many conditions including colour blindness can be detected. Remember the child does not need to be able to recognize letters for a sight test to be successful. Vision screening in children has been diluted following service cutbacks in the past as recognized in the report by The College of Optometrists.

What is visual stress?

This refers to light sensitivity, headaches from exposure to disturbing patterns and may be a trigger for migraines.
Both dyslexia and visual stress may occur despite normal vision.

There are many different theories surrounding dyslexia and visual stress but optometrists have found success in helping those with these problems by using coloured filters and tints. We hope to greatly expand this section in the future with further information and resources. Please contact us if you would like to contribute to the information on the site.

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