Effects of wearing yellow spectacles on visual skills, reading speed, and visual symptoms in children with reading difficulties

  • Catalina Palomo-ÁlvarezEmail author
  • María C. Puell



Possible beneficial effects of yellow-tinted spectacle lenses on binocular vision, accommodation, oculomotor scanning, reading speed and visual symptoms were assessed in children with reading difficulties.


A longitudinal prospective study was performed in 82 non-dyslexic children with reading difficulties in grades 3–6 (aged 9–11 years) from 11 elementary schools in Madrid (Spain). The children were randomly assigned to two groups: a treatment (n = 46) and a without-treatment group (n = 36). Children in the treatment group wore yellow spectacle lenses with best correction if necessary over 3 months (in school and at home). The tests were first undertaken without the yellow filter. With best spectacle correction in each subject, measurements were made of: distance and near horizontal heterophoria, distance and near horizontal fusional vergence ranges, the accommodative convergence/accommodation (AC/A) ratio, near point of convergence (NPC), stereoacuity, negative relative accommodation (NRA) and positive relative accommodation (PRA), monocular accommodative amplitude (MAA), binocular accommodative facility (BAF), oculomotor scanning, and reading speed (words per minute). The Convergence Insufficiency Symptom Survey (CISS) questionnaire was completed by all children. After the 3-month period, measurements were repeated with the yellow lenses (treatment group) or without the yellow lenses (without-treatment group) but with refractive correction if needed.


Over the 3 months, the two groups showed similar mean changes in the variables used to assess binocular vision, accommodation, oculomotor scanning, and reading speed. However, mean relative changes in convergence insufficiency symptoms differed significantly between the groups (p = 0.01).


No effects of wearing yellow spectacles emerged on binocular vision, accommodation, oculomotor scanning, and reading speed in children with reading difficulties. The yellow filter had no effect even in children with low MAA and BAF. The reduction in visual symptoms observed in children with reading difficulties using the yellow filters was clinically insignificant.


Poor reader school-age children Yellow lenses Binocular vision Accommodation Oculomotor scanning Reading speed Visual symptoms 


Conflicts of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of OptometryComplutense UniversityMadridSpain
  2. 2.E.U.O. Universidad ComplutenseMadridSpain

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