Before we go any further lets put a myth to bed straight away… there is no such thing as a ‘Dyslexia eye test’ or an eye examination to diagnose Dyslexia.
The work we do with dyslexic adults and children is based on the work which was performed by Dr Bruce Evans, of the Institute of Optometry in London, and Arnold Wilkins, of the Department of Applied Psychology in Cambridge.
When it comes to investigating potential Dyslexia, it is vitally important that we fully investigate the visual systems performance to ensure that the eyes are not contributing to a reading problem that a patient is experiencing.
Our investigation is divided into 4 stages…
Dyslexia Investigation stage 1: Extended Eye Examination
Stage 1 is a modification of a routine Eye Examination. We always start with this to ensure there are no obvious problems that have been missed in the past and, while Myopia does not appear to be correlated to dyslexia, Astigmatism and Hypermetropia certainly are.
Dyslexia Investigation stage 2: Binocular Vision Assessment
Stage 2 of the assessment is to look in depth at the binocular vision status of the patient. There is definite evidence which shows binocular vision instability may well cause Asthenopia (a general discomfort of vision) which in turn may discourage a child from reading, and thus indirectly contribute to reading difficulties. In addition to this there is a correlation between either the over or under convergence of the eyes when reading, as well as eye movement problems.
Dyslexia Investigation stage 3: Coloured Overlays
Stage 3 is to look at the effect of coloured overlays on a person’s ability to read. The use of colour in either the form of overlays or spectacles is not new. In fact, there is anecdotal evidence going back to the 1930s where children in America were helped by tinted spectacles.
However, it was not until a controlled, double-blind study performed by Bruce Evans and Arnold Wilkins produced hard, scientific data, that it was proved specific colours can help certain patients to read better.
Dyslexia Investigation stage 4: Follow Up Assessment
Stage 4 of the assessment follows approximately 6 weeks to 3 months after Stage 3 and if the patient is still using coloured overlays after this period of time, then we feel they are strong candidates for tinted spectacles. The instrument which we use to assess this is called an intuitive colorimeter and can give up to 120 000 variations of colour to ensure that we get the correct individual tint for the patient.
As this is such a complex and, in some cases, controversial subject, we do have a patient booklet which explains in more detail the principles we follow in the assessments. It is ideally suited for parents and teachers of dyslexic patients, and can be downloaded below.
Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties & Dyslexia
An insight into some of the ways in which optometry maybe able to alleviate visual problems.
Please note the pricing structure has changed as we have expanded the assessments. For the most upto date prices please see the full list on the prices page or contact the practice.
We provide Dyslexia services here at G.T Harvey & Partners, and we also offer comprehensive Vision & Learning services at The Vision Performance Hub in Hexham. Click on the logo below to find out more.