Have had a few parents of clients lately who demonstrated the fact that visual perception difficulties often go unrecognised.
While testing the first young client the mother was astounded that she was “perceiving” the same distortions as her son. Words moving, lines blurring and the difference between looking at print with and without fluorescent lights.
The parent was a teacher and experienced migraines and headaches daily while in the classroom. She had been on holidays and had been headache free, she returned to school after the break and immediately experienced headaches. Because she had sat through the screening and was now aware of what might be triggering the visual distortions she trialled a cap and sunglasses in class and turned off the fluorescent lights. Immediate relief from her headaches! She was extremely light sensitive but had assumed it was normal. She has now had her tinting session where we were able to deal with the print distortions as well.
In the case of the second young client, her mother commented during the testing, “I thought everyone lost their place when reading!”. She shared that she had struggled with reading and comprehension during her schooling and as an adult avoided reading because of the visual distortions. She assumed that everyone experienced them!!
The third young client demonstrated severe symptoms but his mother commented to me after the sessions that he was “Just making it all up to please you”. She didn’t perceive the visual distortions that her son was dealing with!
The takeaway from all of this is that – if you struggle with visual distortions – it is not normal. The print should not move, blur, swirl, ripple. You should be able to read a line of print and not lose your place when you blink. You should be able to read comfortably for an hour or so!!
As well, it is not “normal” to experience daily migraines and headaches under fluorescent lights or bright lighting. These are indicators of Irlen Syndrome.