Optometry

Eye care professionals

Opticians, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, Neuro-ophthalmologists, and Vision therapy specialists are all involved in the detection, prevention and treatment of eye diseases and disorders. Visual stress often presents as a vision issue and has symptoms that are similar to other eye disease and disorders. 

 

Opticalm is committed to helping eye care professionals to identify and provide solutions to their clients who suffer from visual stress.

   

To accomplish this, we offer the detailed content of this website, learning opportunities, screening tools, and solutions that you can provide your patients directly or by referring to our clinic.

 

We also have information on how you can modify the visual environment of your clinic to accommodate for individuals with visual stress and related visual and perceptual difficulties.   

For your patients and clients 

 

Common vision symptoms caused by visual stress: 

 

  •  Sensitivities to fluorescent lights, computer screens and the glare of white paper or whiteboards lead to a preference for low light/sunglasses indoors, avoiding reading and difficulty in class and working on computers. 

  • Sensitivity to patterns in text and the environment leading to perception problems: words or letters move, flash, blur or shimmer causing difficulties with reading, tracking, attention and balance. 

 

Testing for visual stress:  

 

  • When patients report visual discomfort, reading difficulties, perceptual distortions, or vision issues that go unresolved with detailed optometric intervention, it is important to check for the presence of visual stress

 

  • Contact us to:

    • Learn more about visual stress and to start referring patients

    • Set up visual stress testing in your practice - contact us for more information

    • Train your team about visual stress, its symptoms and solutions

    • See below for more information...

 

Prescribing assistive tools and technologies:  

 

Once colours are selected, there are many assistive tools and technologies that can be provided to patients and clients on-site, or if you don’t wish to stock the items, refer them to the online Opticalm store. While certain coloured tools may improve reading from paper or the computer screen, the optimal colour of these tools cannot be used as a guide for lens colour as it is not going to be the optimal colour for lenses. Formal studies by optometry researchers and extensive experience at the Opticalm Clinic, consistently show that overlay colour does not indicate lens colour. Human physiology is such that the colours required when "looking through" are very different than what is required to "look at."  Incorrectly tinted lenses can lead to more problems than initially diagnosed.  

 

Precision tinting is necessary for optimal effect, and the tint needs to be determined using a much higher number of options than that available with paper or overlays. This is because the visual system is adapted to white light when using paper or an overlay, but the visual system is adapted to coloured light when tested using the Intuitive Colorimeter and subsequently wearing tinted lenses. Testing for precision coloured filter lenses using a very high number of options is recommended. 

 

Referring for precision tinted lenses: 

 

Opticalm works with and receives referrals from specialists in:

  • Optometry

  • Neurology

  • Rehabilitation

  • Psychology

  • General Medicine

 

These specialists see patients with conditions that are often co-morbid with Visual Stress:

  • Migraines

  • Epilepsy

  • Autism

  • Post-Concussion Syndrome

  • ADHD

  • Dyslexia

  • Vestibular disorders

  • Visual tracking difficulties, etc

 

These patients present with symptoms typical of their primary condition but that could also be attributed to visual stress. When visual stress is suspected, and the pre-referral questions indicate a strong likelihood that colour filters might help, we ask that a referral form is completed and submitted to our clinic.  Contact us for the soft copy or referral pad or click here to submit the referral online. 

 

We perform an assessment using the Intuitive Colorimeter Medical device that uses a full range of colours (100,000) to achieve optimum relief from symptoms. 

 

While we do accept clients without a referral, we will always contact their primary eye care professional to ensure their vision has been appropriately tested and that they are wearing their most recent prescription.  

 

As part of our fulfillment service, our optician provides advice to clients on the best frame option for their lenses.  We sell fitover frames and custom or stock clip ons for clients to wear their precision tinted lenses over their existing prescription glasses. If no prescription is required, or they would prefer a combination tint and prescription, we ask our clients to purchase their ophthalmic frames from their local eye care professional.  If the client is undergoing vision therapy, we consult with their neuro-optometrist and follow their recommendation. 

 

For your Clinics 

 

Understanding the light and pattern sensitivities experienced by individuals with visual stress makes it easier to ‘see’ how the visual environment may be difficult for some clients: 

  • Glare from lights, frames or displays may be too overwhelming for some clients. This may lead to difficulties in focusing on the task of selecting a frame or working through their eye examination.

  • Creating a calm and inviting space within your practice is important, especially for clients with brain injuries, learning difficulties or other conditions that coexist with visual stress.

  • It is essential to eliminate key triggers to visual stress such as stripes, patterns, glare and fluorescent lighting. 

Opticalm offers leading-edge lighting solutions for both residential and commercial spaces. Contact us for a consultation or visit our store

 

For your Employees  

 

Most times, patients present with symptoms that can be addressed with traditional treatments. However, many have a collection of conditions where one treatment may only partially improve symptoms. Too often, visual stress is overlooked as a contributor to symptoms, even though is present in almost 20% of the population (to some degree) and more concentrated in individuals with learning difficulties and neurological conditions affecting the visual system. Contact us to book a training session for yourself and your employees or visit our events page for upcoming sessions. Training can be provided at your practice or at the Opticalm Visual Stress Clinic in Kanata, Ontario. 

 

Other resources for Eye Care professionals: 

 

The following Continuing Education materials are published by UK education bodies and are valuable for educational purposes.   

 

CET Published by Optometry Today: 

  • Vision and Reading Difficulties, a 5-part series that provided information on Specific Learning Difficulties and Vision, Optometric Correlates of Reading Difficulties, Colour Filters: how and why they work, and the Clinical Protocol for testing.  

  • Visual Factors in Specific Learning Difficulties 

  • Visual Factors in Autism Spectrum Disorders  

  • Pattern Glare, its impact, and how practitioners can assist their patients. 

 

Additional General Optometry Council approved CET publications: 

  • Reading and Dyslexia, a 5-part series published by Optician Magazine 

  • Visual Stress and dyslexia for the practicing optometrist published by Optometry in Practice 

Opticalm Visual Stress Clinic

160 Terence Matthews Cres., Suite G1, Main Floor

Kanata ON K2M 0B2

Tel: 613-294-6437

Fax: 613-254-9206

By appointment only

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