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Meares-Irlen Syndrome

What is Irlen Syndrome?

Irlen Syndrome (also referred to at times as Meares-Irlen Syndrome, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, and Visual Stress) is a perceptual processing disorder. It is not an optical problem. It is a problem with the brain’s ability to process visual information. This problem tends to run in families and is not currently identified by other standardised educational or medical tests. reference irlen.com.

Irlen Syndrome can affect many different areas, including:

  • Academic and work performance
  • Behavior
  • Attention
  • Ability to sit still
  • Concentration

This problem can manifest itself differently for each individual. This problem is not remediable and is often a lifetime barrier to learning and performance. If you suffer from any of the following, Irlen Syndrome might be your problem:

  • Print looks different
  • Environment looks different
  • Slow or inefficient reading
  • Poor comprehension
  • Eye strain
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty with math computation
  • Difficulty copying
  • Difficulty reading music
  • Poor sports performance
  • Poor depth-perception
  • Low motivation
  • Low self-esteem

 Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome

Light Sensitivity:

  • Bothered by glare, fluorescent lights, bright lights, sunlight and sometimes lights at night
  • Some individuals experience physical symptoms and feel tired, sleepy, dizzy, anxious, or irritable. Others experience headaches, mood changes, restlessness or have difficulty staying focused, especially with bright or fluorescent lights.

Reading Problems:

  • Poor comprehension
  • Misreads words
  • Problems tracking from line to line
  • Reads in dim light
  • Skips words or lines
  • Reads slowly or hesitantly
  • Takes breaks
  • Loses place
  • Avoids reading

Discomfort:

  • Strain and fatigue
  • Tired or sleepy
  • Headaches or nausea
  • Fidgety or restless
  • Eyes that hurt or become watery

Attention and Concentration Problems:

  • Problems with concentration when reading and doing academic tasks
  • Often people can appear to have other conditions, such as attention deficit disorder, and are given medication unnecessarily.

Writing Problems:

  • Trouble copying
  • Unequal spacing
  • Unequal letter size
  • Writing up or downhill
  • Inconsistent spelling

Other Characteristics:

  • Strain or fatigue from computer use
  • Difficulty reading music
  • Sloppy, careless maths errors
  • Misaligned numbers in columns
  • Ineffective use of study time
  • Lack of motivation
  • Grades do not reflect the amount of effort

Depth Perception:

  • Clumsiness
  • Difficulty catching balls
  • Difficulty judging distances
  • Additional caution necessary while driving

Distortions:

  • Words on the page lack clarity or stability; i.e., may appear to be blurry, moving, or disappear.

Although Irlen Syndrome is not considered an optical problem, the team here at the Spectacle Shop opticians are always interested in researching optical related information. We feel that the more knowledge we can obtain, the better positioned we are as eye care professionals to help you to keep your eyes healthy.  We believe in looking after the health or your eyes – that is what is important to us, not just selling glasses frames.

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26-10-2015