• Caring for the eyes of Mackay since 1952

Intuitive Colorimetry / Visual Stress

Colorimetry Assessment

Colorimetry may result in the prescribing of spectacles with coloured lenses. The colour will be more specific to each individual’s needs, much more precise than the overlay and very often a different colour to the overlay. Coloured lenses are also much more convenient than overlays for board and computer work and writing.

What is Visual Stress?

Visual Stress (Meares-Irlen syndrome) is sensitivity to visual patterns, particularly stripes. In some individuals this condition can cause visual perceptual problems which interfere with reading. The symptoms can occur despite normal vision.

The perceptual problems are due to a hyper-activation of the visual cortex of the brain, particularly in more anterior visual areas, which can be reduced by precise individual colour.

The Wilkins Intuitive Colorimeter

Is a device used to very precisely determine coloured lenses that may be of benefit in cases of migraine, MS, epilepsy and some types of reading difficulty. Patterns of high contrast text can become stressful to look at. This is also known as Meares-Irlen syndrome.

We follow very strict guidelines that have been developed for the use and prescribing of coloured lenses. This follows research done under the auspices of the British medical research council.

We are one of only seven practices in Queensland with access to this equipment, and the only one north of Brisbane.

Sufferers of migraine and epilepsy as well as showing significant improvement in reading speeds for children with learning difficulties.

Symptoms of Visual Stress

  • Movement of the printed text
  • Blurring of print
  • Letters changing shape
  • Patterns in the print (sometimes described as rivers or worms)
  • Halos of colour surrounding letters or words
  • Tiring easily whilst reading
  • Headaches or visual discomfort
  • Red, sore, watery eyes


The Signs of Visual Stress

  • Moves closer to or further away from the book
  • Moves book around on the desk
  • Fidgets continuously
  • Using finger as a marker on the page
  • Skips words or lines
  • Frequently re-reads the same line
  • Rubs eyes or blink frequently when reading
  • Poor comprehension of reading content
  • Frustration and low self-esteem