Colour overlays & tinted lenses

Visual Stress is a term used to describe visual discomfort and perceptual distortions in printed text, experienced by some people when reading.

Symptoms may be alleviated or reduced by offering coloured overlays or precision tinted lenses, which may in turn help to improve reading performance and comfort.

The protocol for assessment of Visual Stress (also known as “Irlen’s syndrome”) is a 3-stage process:

(1) Eye examination

(2) Visual Stress screening – overlay & rate of reading assessment.

(3) Intuitive Colorimetry –  for the prescribing of precision tinted lenses.



Overlays are a good tool to initially investigate if colour might help mitigate symptoms but are not usually a long-term solution. Overlays are not as convenient as spectacles as they are not suitable for computer or white board work and the range of colours is limited.

We can perform a coloured overlay test, including rate of reading assessment.


Next steps 

If after 3 months the coloured overlay is still providing benefit, it is recommended that you return to us for an assessment with the Intuitive Colorimeter. This allows a much wider exploration of colour space to ensure that you are benefitting from the most precise tint to achieve optimal results. The precision tint will be prescribed as  spectacle lenses and will include a Cerium Certificate of Authenticity.


Please contact us if you require any further information.