A resource to centralise information about the screening, assessment and provision of coloured lens glasses in England.

Views of Experts

The following experts have kindly provided their views for the website via Roger Hall the Champion of the ‘Community of Interest’.

From Sue Soan, Principal Lecturer at Canterbury,Christ Church University:

“Colour is an important factor in many areas of day to day living, helping us to understand and engage with our environment. It is therefore not surprising that colour is a factor in the way the human brain processes visual information. As an education specialist in special educational needs I have experienced, in the classroom, the impact that colour lenses and filters can have on the ability of children and young people to see and process written text. For many children the use of colour can literally be ‘life changing’, improving their ability to read and write and thus on their self – esteem, self worth and enjoyment of learning as well. The use of a universal screening tool in primary schools, resulting in appropriate intervention, in my opinion, could therefore prevent underachievement and the frequently corresponding lack of motivation and engagement in learning, for children with visual stress.”

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From Bruce Evans, Director of Research, Institute of Optometry:

He has over 200 publications including both text books and research and clinical papers. He is also is an examiner for the College of Optometrists, and is Visiting Professor to the Optometry Department at City University and Visiting Professor in Clinical Optometry to London South Bank University. For more details of Prof Evans’ research and lecturing please click on: http://homepage.virgin.net/bruce.evans/

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From Carole Vince, Head Orthoptist, Royal United Hospitals Bath:

“”The recent Rose Report acknowledges that Visual Stress may occur alongside dyslexia and recommends children are seen by an NHS Professional. Coloured overlays or coloured lenses do help some children with reading difficulties. The British Irish Orthoptic Society believes any child with a suspected visual problem should have specialist Orthoptic assessment to ensure there are no other visual problems.”

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From Annie Britton, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology, University College London:

“A group of coloured lens distributors, and those sceptical about the claims of this group, agreed the wording of nine questions to be asked of children to explore the prevalence of symptoms thought likely to make reading harder.  The coloured lens makers claim all nine symptoms can be helped by their lenses.

The opinion of the team at UCL was sought because the team has asked questions of the public for over forty years, and relies on answers to simple questions.  They are in a strong position to judge the validity of two prevalence surveys carried out.  Their conclusion confirms previous work, and provides good reason to explore the truth of claims that coloured lenses can ameliorate, or remove, the symptoms experienced by many of these children.

An expensive Randomised Controlled Trial is suggested as the best vehicle to test coloured lens makers claims, but has not yet been agreed (October 2012).

The coloured lens distributors are agreed that the first four symptom questions are particularly important : –
1.  Do the letters or words go fuzzy or blurry?
2.  Do the letters or words move?
3.  Do you see the letters or words twice, such as side by side or on top
of each other – ‘double vision’?
4.  Do you get headaches when you read?”

Letter to Roger Hall from Nigel Harrison 27th March 2013

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