Last Updated: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
ST. PETERSBURG — A new approach to solving reading problems for children comes in the form of a lens.
The lenses were developed by a company called Chroma-Gen. The researchers behind the lenses say they have the power to help children with vision-related reading problems like dyslexia.
Dr. Edward Huggett discovered the product while looking for ways to help his patients. He said he was skeptical when he first saw the Chroma-Gen lenses.
“Totally didn’t believe it. Totally skeptical,” he said. “But, I said you know, I’m always looking for something new, something better that might help my patients. So, I investigated it. I got the lenses in the office and tried it. Found out, they actually work.”
The lenses come to eye doctors in a blue case. There are dozens of them, each with a different color. The examination is just like a regular eye exam. The patient is tested with two lenses and asked to say which one looks better.
While the colors of the lenses are subtle, if the patient is concerened about the look they can opt for the contact lens instead of a pair of glasses.
Dr. Huggett said the results are nearly instant.
“When I see parents with what I call the ‘oh wow’ affect, and they hear their child reading better and then the child is saying, ‘I can’t believe what it’s like to read’ and then the mom cries and then I start crying well, that says it all,” he said.
The program is looking for third through eighth grade students to participate in a pilot study. Children accepted into the program will receive a free eye exam, reading assessment, and pair of custom Chroma-Gen eye glasses.
Dr. Huggett wanted to make sure the opportunity came to the Bay area.
“I wanted to do it in my own backyard,” he said. “I want to help the kids in this area here. So I was given that option, so I grabbed it.”
The lenses can correct what we refer to as color-blindness as well as improve math and handwriting skills.
The pilot study will be held at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Dunedin on May 17. They are seeking third through eighth grade students who have vision-related reading problems or who have been diagnosed as dyslexic.
In order to participate in the pilot study, parents must register and fill out a pre-qualifying survey at www.solutionforreadingproblems.com.
Students selected for the pilot study will also be required to come back for a 15-minute follow up exam on June 14. Students should receive their free custom ChromaGen eyeglasses approximately 10 days after the screening on May 17.