Read123 is the first application of its kind which easily screens for Visual Stress.
Visual Stress also sometimes known as Meares-Irlen Syndrome or Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome or Visual Dyslexia, is a condition whereby the words or the print cause symptoms such as blurred vision, distorted words, loss of position and tracking when reading. Words can also run into each other and those affected can see colours and strange shapes. Visual Stress sufferers can also complain of watery, tired eyes during reading as well as headaches.
Visual Stress is known to occur alongside Dyslexia with around 40% of Dyslexics affected. However, its not classed as the cause of Dyslexia. Rather, it occurs alongside Dyslexia. Its also prevalent in Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Dyspraxia and even Migraines.
Sounds familiar? Well read on!
The cause of Visual Stress isnt well known but some studies have shown a link with visual cortex hyper-excitability. The sentences on the page on a piece of script act as a grating or striped pattern and in some children can trigger off a reaction in the visual cortex part of the brain which results in a perception problem when reading. This can lead to the symptoms mentioned above.
However, not all those affected by Visual Stress can have symptoms, and herein lies the dilemma. Many school children are slipping through the system because they arent symptomatic and their grades arent suffering. They may get occasional tired eyes or headaches but this is put down to being overworked by parents and teachers. Its these children that need early screening because they are underachieving. Just because a child doesnt complain of a problem, doesnt mean they arent affected. Children rarely complain anyway
Add to this the majority of optometrists and teachers not routinely screening for Visual Stress and you can appreciate the size of the problem.
What does all this mean?
Reading ability is compromised which can affect self motivation and confidence as well as self esteem. This has a knock on effect with Literacy and academic achievement.
Is Visual Stress common?
Traditionally the incidence was thought to be 5% of the school population but recent studies, as well as observations by teachers and our own investigations, shows this to be much higher. Conservative estimates put the figure at 1 in 3 children which means its definitely prevalent in every classroom. Demographics have to be taken into account which could mean some locations would be affected less than others.
What should parents and teachers look out for?
Fidgeting when reading
Rubbing eyes a lot when reading
Complaining of any visual disturbance on the page or computer screen when reading
Using the finger to track words when reading and losing their place
Struggling at school and showing signs of frustration during reading
Slower reading for the age group which could indicate Visual Stress and/or glasses
Getting tired after reading be it short or prolonged periods
Frequent headaches especially around the front of the head, when doing any close work such as reading/computer
Red watery eyes after any close work such as reading/computer
Using one eye as a dominant eye to view objects by tilting or moving the head
More Apps by Maxamundo