Visual Stress

A week or so ago I went and had some tests done for visual stress. I didn't know I was visually stressed, but when i'd been having my disabled student assessment it was suggested that I come back and have my eyes tested to see if there was a problem. I'm really short sighted and find it hard reading from a screen, and it's been a struggle reading all the texts for the MA- i'd put that down to the fact that doing an MA is bound to be hard and it wasn't surprising that reading big blocks of text was giving me headaches or sending me to sleep.

I  knew that some people with dyslexia find coloured lenses helpful, but I really had no idea that it would work on me too. I had a variety of tests done- starting off with just reading nonsense words to see what my words per minute rate was, then trying again with coloured films over the text. Once we'd worked out what colour worked best for me it turned out that my reading rate went up from 109words a minute to 160words a minute. I can't explain how it happened, it made no sense to me, but even as I was reading it I felt that it was less of a strain to take the words in, I read faster and easier, just with the addition of a sheet of orange plastic.

After some more tests in the magic machine the hue and saturation were narrowed down and I tried the reading again- this time with lenses in a frame- my reading speed went up to 190 words a minute! So simply by having a certain hue and saturation I was able to almost (sort of) double my reading speed. It was a really weird sensation and I can't wait to get the proper glasses back from the place in America where they are made- looks like i'm going to have to wait over 2 months for my orange lenses with purple frames (chosen on the basis that nothing will make orange look good, might as well look horrible)

And this ties in with my research how? Well it might go part way to explaining why I'm finding it so hard to take in the reading, and also it fits in nicely with my fascination for science and collections of things- I was very taken with the collection of lenses in a box, all neatly arranged by colour, just like crayons or felt pens.


  1. Wow. I didn´t know that. But it is good to know as my sons is having some test done and may have Dyslexia.

  2. hi Kerstin, it was fascinating- I sat with my mouth wide open in shock and surprise most of the time. It was a very strange experience becoming aware that it was getting easier to read- i've never really had a problem reading, always been pretty good at it and have always read a lot, but this made things so much calmer.


Hi, i'm interested to hear what you think, thanks for your comments- i'll try and respond to them here in the blog.