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Visual Stress
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What is Visual Stress?

Visual Stress is a condition that results in sensitivity to visual patterns, particularly stripes, as well as light sensitivity. This includes excessive light from digital screens, fluorescent lights, car headlights, and outdoor lights.

The symptoms can occur despite normal vision, and in some individuals, this condition can cause visual perceptual problems which interfere with reading.

Visual Stress is estimated to be present in 5-15% of the general population in varying degrees, and up to 40% of poor readers. The symptoms become more apparent when intensive reading is necessary, especially during exam time and as deadlines approach.

Causes & Treatment for Tired Eyes

Recent imaging studies suggest that the symptoms of Visual Stress may be caused by hyperexcitability of the visual cortex in the brain. Suppression of this hyperexcitability allows patients to read comfortably for long periods of time, as well as reducing the frequency and intensity of headaches & migraines.

If you regularly experience eye strain, tired eyes or other symptoms of Visual Stress, we recommend a comprehensive eye examination. Based on the results of this visit, Dr John Musumeci will then schedule a follow up appointment for a Colorimetry Assessment.

A Colorimetry Assessment will investigate whether prescription optical filters will relieve the symptoms associated with eye fatigue and Visual Stress. The assessment involves reading text and viewing digital screens through coloured overlays and through various wavelengths and strengths of light in a controlled visual environment.

Dr John will determine which filter provides the most relief. This can then be incorporated into your spectacles to alleviate your symptoms and improve your overall vision. We can also customise your sunglasses so they provide the best glare protection and visual comfort.

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Signs & Symptoms of Tired Eyes & Visual Stress

  • Movement and blurring of printed text; letters changing size or shape
  • Patterns (rivers or worms) and coloured halos in printed text
  • Headaches, visual discomfort, and tired eyes while reading
  • Red, sore and watery eyes, and eye strain
  • Moving closer or further away from the book or computer screen
  • Using your finger as a marker on the page; skipping words or lines
  • Frequently re-reading the same line
  • Eye rubbing or blinking frequently when reading
  • Poor comprehension when reading
  • Falling asleep when reading or watching TV
  • Inability to wear sunglasses comfortably
  • Problems going up escalators, going into shopping centres, night driving, or watching TV
Prevent Booking
See how colour can help your child see clearer and read & concentrate better
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