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Symptoms of Visual Stress / Irlen Syndrome

Do You Suffer From Visual Stress?

Do you think you could be suffering from visual stress, also known as Irlen Syndrome? As it cannot be corrected with normal prescription glasses, it can be difficult to know if you’re experiencing the effects of the syndrome.

Often the symptoms of visual stress are noticed during childhood, but it can affect people throughout any stage of their lives.

So, to help you identify some of the indicators of visual stress, we’ve put together a rundown of some of the symptoms. However, bear in mind they can vary from person to person.

visual stress symptoms


Moving Text

When reading, you may find that text moves around the page, jumps around or even disappears. It can also appear to swirl around and blur, making it incredibly difficult to focus on the text.

Letters Morphing

Another symptom in addition to text moving around is the morphing of text. Text can change size or shape and you may experience letters getting darker or fading away.

White Background Becomes the Focus

This symptom involves the reader seeing ‘white rivers’ or ‘worms’ winding throughout the words of a page. This is due to the focus being on the background over the black text.

Random Colours Appearing

You may experience rings or blobs of colour surrounding text on a page.

Physical Discomfort

Sufferers may find they get tired quickly when reading and get headaches or migraines. They may also experience sore, watering eyes that are visibly red.

Aside from the symptoms that occur when reading text, someone that experiences visual stress may find they also have these more generalised symptoms:

Sensitivity to Bright Light

Those who suffer from visual stress can find bright lights, fluorescent lights in particular, extremely uncomfortable to be around. This extends to bright, reflective surfaces, interactive whiteboards and any other high contrast surfaces.

Distorted Depth Perception and Spatial Awareness

If you have visual stress, you may find it difficult to judge distances and space around you.

Treating Visual Stress

If you think you may be experiencing the symptoms of visual stress, book an appointment at your local Eyesite branch today so we can help you with the appropriate treatment.