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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Irlen Syndrome the cause of all Learning Difficulties?

    No, Irlen Syndrome is an underlying issue which can contribute to reading and learning difficulties.

  • How can I tell if my child has Irlen Syndrome?

    A simple assessment at an Irlen Clinic or with a qualified Irlen Screener is the only way to have an accurate diagnosis. There are a selection of Irlen self tests on this website to assist you in identifying if you or your child have signs & symptoms of Irlen Syndrome.

  • Is Irlen Syndrome Dyslexia?

    Irlen Syndrome can cause similar symptoms to Dyslexia and is sometimes referred to as visual processing dyslexia. It often co-exists with Dyslexia.

  • Do all people with Irlen Syndrome have learning difficulties?

    No. Some people with this condition may not have learning difficulties but can have problems with light sensitivity, brightness, glare, headaches, migraines, eye strain and fatigue.

  • Can Irlen Syndrome cause problems with depth perception?

    Yes. Irlen Syndrome may cause difficulties with depth perception, judging distance and clumsiness.

  • What health issues can be caused by Irlen Syndrome?

    Irlen Syndrome can contribute to issues with: Headaches, Migraines, Anxiety, Sensory Processing Disorder, Epilepsy, ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Bi-Polar Disorder, Depression and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

  • Is Irlen Syndrome the result of poor vision?

    No, Irlen Syndrome is not an optometric issue but a difficulty with visual perception, and how the brain processes what the eyes see. Before a person visits an Irlen Clinic it is recommended they have their eyes checked with an optometrist. An Irlen assessment will assess the brain and an optometrist assessment will assess the eyes.

  • Do people with Irlen Syndrome have lower intelligence than non-sufferers?

    No, they do not have lower intelligence.

  • Can Irlen Syndrome coexist with vision problems?

    Yes.

  • How do Irlen Spectral Filters help with reading problems?

    Irlen Spectral Filters can eliminate or significantly reduce glare on a page, and the distortions or distractions which may occur with the print. They allow people to keep their position when reading, improve word recognition, increase reading fluency, allow for better comprehension and improve concentration. They can reduce eyestrain and fatigue making reading more comfortable.

  • Can Irlen Syndrome cause headaches or migraines?

    Yes, Irlen Syndrome can cause headaches and migraines.

  • Can Irlen Syndrome be related to epilepsy?

    Yes, research has demonstrated that Irlen Spectral Filters can assist people with photosensitive Epilepsy.

  • Can Irlen Spectral Filters help people with ADD/ADHD?

    Yes. Research demonstrates Irlen Syndrome affects 33% of people with ADD/ADHD. Having Irlen Syndrome can contribute to lack of concentration, reading avoidance, behaviour problems and disinterest or poor attitude to learning. Other difficulties can include: distracting others, low self esteem, frustration, withdrawal in the learning environment and lack of motivation.

  • How do Irlen Spectral Filters work?

    Irlen Spectral Filters work by filtering out the specific colour in the light spectrum that an individual is particularly sensitive to. This has a calming effect on the brain and increases a person's ability to process visual information clearly.

  • Are blue lenses the best colour for everyone?

    No. Every person's colour is different. An Irlen assessment will determine the precise colour/s required to assist each individual's perceptual issues.

  • Do Irlen Spectral Filters teach children to read?

    No. They assist by eliminating or reducing visual distractions and distortions on the page when a person is reading. The Irlen Spectral Filters do not replace the need for reading instruction and remediation. Once a child can see the words clearly without discomfort or distortions, they can begin to learn to read.

  • Has there been research on Irlen Syndrome?

    Yes. Irlen Syndrome and the effectiveness of Irlen colored overlays and Irlen Spectral Filter Lenses has been the subject of over 100 research studies encompassing the disciplines of education, psychology, and medicine.

  • How does someone get assessed for Irlen Syndrome?

    An Irlen Assessment is a two-step process:

    1. The first testing session can be carried out by either a certified Irlen Diagnostician or an Irlen Screener. This initial assessment determines whether a person has Irlen Syndrome, how severe the problem is and whether they can be helped with Irlen coloured overlays. The correct coloured overlay is determined at this time.

    2. The second testing session can only be carried out by a certified Irlen Diagnostician. The second assessment is only for individuals who show moderate to significant improvement with coloured overlays. In this session, the aim is to determine the precise wave lengths of light causing a person's perceptual problems, by using a limitless number of colour filter combinations. The precise colour is then prescribed to be worn as glasses or contact lenses.
  • Who can diagnose Irlen Syndrome?

    Certified Irlen Diagnosticians and Irlen Screeners are trained to assess people for Irlen Syndrome. Optometrists, behavioural optometrists and eye specialists cannot test for this condition. They are trained to assess vision and not perception.

  • Why do you need to have a vision check before an Irlen Assessment?

    An optometric check is recommended before having an Irlen Assessment. The optometrist will assess a person's eyes to determine if any optical issues are present. An Irlen Assessment will assess how the brain processes what the eyes are seeing. A person can have an optometric problem as well as a perceptual problem. Optometric glasses will not remove the symptoms of Irlen Syndrome and Irlen Lenses will not correct an optometric problem.