“Schoolvision” is a relatively new treatment for reading difficulties for which there is one recognised course and diploma. It was developed following scientifically proven studies of visual performance in sport. In sport, research has shown that binocular vision is directly related to performance in those sports that require precise aiming (shooting) and judging the target position in space (tennis). Similarly in reading, it is important to be able to aim accurately at words with the dominant eye to hold the position in visual space, (i.e. hold steady fixation). The non-dominant eye controls the depth perception and works together with the dominant eye to give stable vision. When the eyes are unable to perform these complimentary tasks, (when the ocular muscles that control binocular vision are unbalanced) then fixation swaps from one eye to the other. As a consequence, print may appear to move, be jumbled or blurry, making the reading process difficult and confused. These are commonly reported symptoms of visual dyslexia.

Light sensitivity can also cause already weak but fairly stable binocular vision to break down Causing patent glare as in Scotopic sensitivity syndrome, also known as ‘Irlens-Mears Syndrome’ or Visual Stress.

Schoolvision” is a visual assessment which can only be undertaken by optometrists.The assessment takes about an hour and includes a full eye examination and a very detailed binocular vision assessment. A specific prescription is determined which corrects both refractive error and muscle deficiency thus stabilising the dominant eye to give more secure and comfortable vision when undertaking close work. The requirement for tint for colour preference, which often further enhances the vision, is then assessed using the Eye Bright Test or Colorimetry, (a scientifically proven method of assessing tint requirement) and incorporated into the glasses.

Tracking is measured using Clinical Eye Tracker- a powerful new tool that detects position of each eye at 60 measurements per second and provides a range of statistics related to the visual performance during reading. Dynamic fixation (the ability to change focus from near to far distance) is also measured for comparison and future monitoring. Throughout the assessment the speed of reading is measured using the CREST test (Comparative Reading Speed Test) so that, very often, the immediate effect of the prescription on the reading speed can be measured.

Once the glasses are prescribed then a one month follow up is carried out to check the progress and readjust the prescription or tint if necessary. The success rate we are currently achieving is just over 80%. A successful candidate is considered to have an increase in reading rate of over 25%,( 150% has been achieved in some cases), accompanied by a positive subject response. The student is then monitored approximately every six months to make any necessary changes to the glasses as the eye muscles get stronger. Often the need for correction is reduced and students are less reliant on the glasses. Please contact me in store at Taylor Biddle Opticians if you require any further information

Olha Lac BSc (Hons) Optometry Dip ScV M.ASvP

Registered Schoolvision practitioner