There is much more to your eye examination at our practice than finding out if you need spectacles or contact lenses. We also carry out a range of tests to assess the health of your eyes. And because everyone’s eyesight is different, we tailor the eye examination to your individual circumstances. This includes a whole range of tests using the most advanced equipment.

Our promise to you…

  • A comprehensive examination of your eyes using the latest technology
  • A full and personal explanation of the results
  • All the time you need for your visit in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere




dyslexia-billericayDyslexia affects approximately 1 in 8 of the population, with four times as many males as females experiencing it.

What is dyslexia?

According to the British Dyslexia Association, dyslexia is an umbrella term covering a range of learning related problems.

So what are the symptoms?

1) Blurring (non-refractive).
2) Movement of the letters and words.
3) ‘Shimmering’ on the page.
4) The words sinking into the white background of the page.
5) Pattern being formed by the spaces between the words and lines, which interfere with reading.

How can dyslexia be managed?

Everyone has a natural transfer for visual information travelling from the eye to the brain (magnocellular pathway). But in the case of dyslexics, the transfer speed is too quick and needs to be slowed down by using coloured lenses (haploscopic filters) of differing wavelengths – to slow the information transfer by differing amounts, depending on that individual’s needs. The haploscopic filters also work to resynchronise the visual information into a format the brain will easily recognise.

It was Professor John Stein of Oxford University Dyslexia Unit that first found that about half of dyslexic individuals would benefit from using coloured lenses – giving clearer text, ease of reading and better word and number recognition.

What management solutions are available?

Whilst there is no single solution to managing dyslexia, the use of special tinted lenses incorporated into glasses or contact lenses has shown to make a huge improvement. It can also help patients who suffer from either Academic Skills Disorder ‘ASD’ (which includes dyslexia and dyspraxia (clumsiness)), colour deficiency and even migraine.

The entire assessment is completely painless – a pair of trial frames are simply placed on the patient’s face. The test for dyslexia is first carried out with no filters in place and ascertaining the ‘words per minute’ score using the Wilkins ‘Rate of Reading’ test. Then the filters are used one by one on the non dominant eye (whilst looking at a reading chart) asking “Is the print clearer and easier to read, with or without the lens?” – until the one is selected which gives the most ‘comfortable’ and ‘relaxed’ view.

The procedure is then repeated for the dominant eye and the ‘Rate of Reading’ test repeated – to see what increase, if any, there is in the ‘words per minute’. The test is then repeated in its entirety without and then with the coloured spectacles to finalise the ‘Rate of Reading’ result. Often the ‘Rate of Reading’ test may not show a marked improvement in the ‘words per minute’ but the individual will notice a significant ‘distortion of the print’ improvement – where “it looks easier to read.”

Once an individual starts to use the filters, they get a permanent improvement as long as they continue to use them in the initial years. They eventually improve their reading skills and can start to do without the special tinted filters as their ability to read improves with education.

Colour Vision Deficiency

For many people suffering from colour deficiency this improvement can be dramatic and life changing: Even the colours they normally identify correctly may seem brighter, richer and more vivid, whilst they may perceive other shades and colours for the first time.

rose-chromagenThe image of the rose was created by a colour-blind individual as a demonstration of how he saw the rose without special tinted filters (right) and with them (left)

Special tinted lenses can realistically be expected to achieve the following:

  1. Improve general colour perception
  2. Make colours brighter and clearer
  3. Allow shades of colour, previously unseen, to be observed
  4. Improve the ability to name colours correctly (especially when assistance is provided in this area e.g. by relatives or friends)
  5. Improved colour vision may also lead to improved safety, for example through earlier identification of hazard warning lights and brake lights on the roads.

Until recently there has been no effective treatment for colour deficiency and sufferers have had to make adjustments in the real world themselves (for example, distinguishing traffic lights by their position on the post rather than by the different colours)

The aim of special tinted lenses for colour vision is to improve colour perception in real world situations – however it is also very likely that scores on colour vision tests will dramatically improve. Colour vision and colour naming in particular, will normally improve rapidly when using special tinted lenses within the first couple of months. With some people, however, the results are more immediate and they are able to pass tests after just a few hours of using special tinted lenses.

The future is Bright

Many famous people were dyslexic, including Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Edison, Napoleon, Churchill and Einstein. A lot of adults today did not realise they were dyslexic until the last few years when it was recognised and talked about – but thankfully help is now at hand at Stratton & Stratton Opticians in Billericay for those with dyslexia and colour vision deficiency.

Common visual problems

Our Optometrists will not only test your vision and, if necessary, prescribe glasses or contact lenses, but will also check closely for any early signs of eye disease or other medical condition.  All visual problems detected will be explained in our Practice but please feel free to explore the most common visual problems that we encounter below.  Animation has been included to aid understanding of the conditions.

Here are some of the most common visual problems

Normally, light is focussed by the cornea and lens to form a sharp image on the retina. Sometimes the eyeball is too long for the shape of the cornea so the light comes to a focus before it reaches the retina. As a result, objects in the distance are blurred although close objects are usually clear. Short-sightedness can be corrected by spectacles or contact lenses. These lenses correct the vision so that distant objects are clear once again.

Normally, light is focussed by the cornea and lens to form a sharp image on the retina. Long-sightedness occurs when the eyeball is slightly too short so that objects are in focus behind the retina at the back of the eye. This may result in blurred vision when looking in the distance and particularly when looking at near objects and reading.
When we are young, we overcome long-sightedness by bulging out the lens in the eye. However, as we get older, the lens gets harder and can no longer bulge out enough. Long-sightedness can be corrected by spectacles or contact lenses.

In a normal eye, light entering the eye is focussed by the cornea and the lens to form a sharp image at the back of the eye on the retina.
Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is slightly "rugby ball shaped" The effect of this is that lines of different orientations come to a focus at different points in the eye. This results in blurred vision when looking in the distance and reading. The degree and angle of astigmatism can vary from eye to eye. If you have astigmatism you may notice that objects of certain orientations look clearer.

To see objects at different distances the eye changes its power - just like a camera lens. In the eye this is achieved by a structure called the crystalline lens. When we are young, the lens is like a sack full of jelly. The lens is attached by very fine fibres to a circular muscle.
When this muscle constricts, the lens bulges out and close objects come into focus. As we get older the lens continues to grow and becomes inflexible and the closest point that we can focus on gradually gets further away. Most people over the age of 45 require glasses for reading.