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  • Luke Baker
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Irlen Syndrome is a specific type of perceptual problem that can affect reading, academic and work performance

Myths & Facts

Q: Is Irlen Syndrome a learning or reading difficulty?
A: No. Irlen Syndrome is not a learning or reading difficulty. It can affect the way people “see” words on the page and can cause physical symptoms which make it difficult to sustain reading or to take in what they are reading. People who are good readers can still have Irlen Syndrome.

Q: Is Irlen Syndrome is another word for dyslexia?
A: No. Dyslexia is a language processing problem which makes it difficult for people to access text. Irlen Syndrome is a perceptual processing problem which make it difficult for people to access print. These are two different problems. However, they can co-exist.

Q: Why must I have my eyes tested by an Optometrist?
A: Before being assessed for Irlen Syndrome, it is essential that any vision problems are treated. If prescription glasses are needed, they can be tinted provided they are tintable plastic.

Q: Can Irlen Syndrome be treated with tinted glasses bought from anywhere?
A: No. This is a misconception. Irlen® Filters are available only from Irlen Centres, where there are trained and licensed diagnosticians. They have experience and knowledge in the field of perceptual difficulties and their effects. All Irlen Centres are affiliated with the Irlen Institute and there are over 90 Centres worldwide. Every person with Irlen Syndrome has individual needs that cannot be addressed with a “one size fits all” approach.

Q: Why must the colours be so precise?
A: Each person has their own symptoms and colour needs. Research has shown the following:

  • the colours must be precise for each individual.
  • colours which might look similar will not work.
  • inappropriate colours will not treat the problem and may cause other problems.
  • the appropriate colours cannot be determined from the overlay colours.

Q: How will the colours look in glasses?
A: Irlen filter colours vary from person to person because of their individual colour needs. However they have an attractive appearance. The colours are generally subtle and pleasing. You can choose frames that look good with your particular colours.

Q: Can I have contact lenses tinted?
A: Yes. If you dislike the idea of wearing glasses or do a lot of sports, then contact lenses can be tinted. The whole lens can be tinted if the colour is compatible with your eye colour. Alternatively, the pupil area alone can be tinted so that the colour is not apparent.

Q: Do Irlen® Filters make everything a different colour?
A: No. Although the lenses are coloured, they do not colour the page or the environment.

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