What is Colorimetry?

Many children and adults suffer from visual discomfort when reading.  This can affect reading fluency, concentration and comprehension.

A condition which is also known as “Meares-Irlen” syndrome, refers to specific reading difficulties due to light sensitivity (Pattern Glare Sensitivity) when exposed to disturbing visual patterns.  It can be responsible for print distortion and rapid fatigue when reading and the severity of these symptoms can vary from person to person.


Signs and symptoms associated with Pattern Glare Sensitivity include:

  • Movement of the printed text
  • Blurring of print Letters changing size or shape
  • Patterns in the print (sometimes described as rivers or worms)
  • Haloes of colour surrounding words
  • Tiring easily whilst reading
  • Headaches or visual discomfort
  • Red, sore, watery eyes
  • Continual fidgeting
  • Using finger as a marker on the page
  • Skipping words or lines
  • Frequently re-reading the same line
  • Rubbing eyes or blinking frequently while reading
  • Poor comprehension of reading content
  • Frustration and low self-esteem

These symptoms can occur despite normal vision with approximately 5% of the population severely affected by Pattern Glare Sensitivity and 20% to a lesser degree.

Visual Stress is found to exist in many conditions including:

  • Dyslexia
  • Photosensitive migraine
  • Photosensitivity epilepsy
  • ADHD
  • Head injuries
  • Dyspraxia
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Colour has been found to be very beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of Pattern Glare Sensitivity.  It is now generally accepted that some people experience an improvement in reading fluency, and a reduction in distortion of text with the use of an appropriate coloured filter.

About the Intuitive Colorimeter

The Intuitive Colorimeter enables us to independently change the hue, saturation and brightness of colour to sequentially explore an individual’s “colour space” rather than just using a subjective experience of coloured overlays. A final colour is only prescribed when it clearly demonstrates a reduction in visual stress or improvement in visual processing.

Who should have an Intuitive Colorimetry Assessment?

A number of children (and adults) still struggle with reading despite all their visual skills being normal.  In these cases an assessment with the Intuitive Colorimeter may provide an additional aid to developing comfortable reading and vision skills.

Tinted lenses on their own are not going to provide an instant improvement in reading skills which are learned over time, but they will enable the individual to develop these skills more readily.

The optimal colour for each individual may change over time so routine re-assessment is recommended.

Anyone who suffers from regular migraines which are triggered by light may find an assessment worthwhile.  Brain injury and individuals with neurological challenges might also benefit from an assessment.


Dyslexia is a term used to describe various specific learning difficulties that affect the ability to read and spell.  Pattern Glare Sensitivity is not dyslexia but is commonly found in dyslexic individuals.  Once Pattern Glare Sensitivity is alleviated with a precision tint then the symptoms associated with other learning difficulties such as dyslexia are easier to cope with.

Why Colour Works

It is thought that the symptoms associated with Pattern Glare Sensitivity are due to hyper-excitability of neurones in the Visual Cortex.  This means that some of the cells in the part of the brain that deals with processing of visual information work too fast and do not respond in the way they should.

Certain cells in the Visual Cortex are colour sensitive and their pattern of excitation can be changed by placing a colour in front of the eye.  It follows that colour can slow and calm these cells reducing the symptoms of Pattern Glare Sensitivity when looking at a visually stressful pattern.

The colour needed to reduce the hyper-excitability is very precise and individual to each person.

Fees for Intuitive Colorimetry Assessment:

Full Colorimetry Assessment – $ 80

This Fee is not claimable through Medicare or your Health Fund.

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