Colorimetry webinar to present the latest research in the field

With speakers from around the world, the colorimetry virtual conference will cover developments in the use of coloured filters with visual discomfort

child wearing frames
Cerium Visual Technologies and the University of Essex will host a free virtual conference next month to share the latest research in colorimetry.

The Colour in the prevention of visual discomfort – latest research virtual event will take place on 14 November, from 4pm – 6:30pm. 

Speakers from the UK, US, Canada and Brazil will cover some of the latest research findings around the physiology of colour, the neurological effects of coloured filters, and the differential diagnosis of visual stress.

The conference is open to all, with the company suggesting it is particularly designed for optometrists and orthoptists who use coloured filters in practice.

Kimberley Harrison, managing director of Cerium Visual Technologies, commented: “Cerium Visual Technologies, in partnership with the University of Essex, are delighted to support bringing this latest research to our colorimetry community and the wider industry.

“These fascinating research developments highlight that many more individuals could potentially be helped though the use of precision colour, and it’s important that this research be given a suitable platform so this knowledge can be shared appropriately,” she continued.

Further seminars are planned, including a masterclass in colorimetry, which will deal with the practicalities of how and when to prescribe tints, and how to optimise prescriptions.

OT spoke to Professor Arnold Wilkins, emeritus professor for the University of Essex and the designer of the Intuitive Colorimeter, about the plans for the conference.

What is the main aim of the conference? What do you hope practitioners will take away from the event?

Professor Arnold Wilkins (AW): The main aim is to bring practitioners up to date with developments in the theory underlying precision ophthalmic tints, with the best way of diagnosing visual stress and with the range of conditions that can benefit from tints.

What would you say are the biggest developments in visual stress and coloured filters in recent years?

AW: Visual stress has been shown to be a component of the difficulties experienced in a wide range of neurological conditions including migraine, autism, photosensitive epilepsy, stroke, head injury and possibly cluster headache.

What will be the key message of your session, ‘Use of coloured filters in neurological conditions’?

AW: The key message is that when the visual cortex is rendered hyper excitable by neurological disorders, coloured filters can help reduce the adverse consequences for visual functioning. It is reasonable to suppose that the visual cortex is hyper excitable in all the neurological disorders listed above.

For me, the most exciting development, still in its early stages, is the possibility of using tints to treat the prodrome – warning – in cluster headache. Cluster headache is rare but excruciating. There are early indications that it may, sometimes, be possible to prevent the development of the prodrome into cluster headache. The prospect of a safe non-invasive treatment for this disabling condition is very exciting.

What would be your key advice for understanding visual stress and the use of coloured filters?

AW: The visual world in which we now live is stressful, and our brains have not yet evolved to process them efficiently. We have shown this to be the case, not only as regards the spatial arrangement of contours, but also as regards their chromaticity. We have shown how current typographic practice is suboptimal for efficient vision, and how simple changes can improve matters.

The recognition of the visual stress in current urban living, and of its origins, should mean that we can move towards a visually less stressful environment. Until then, coloured filters are a necessary treatment for individuals who are particularly susceptible.