Irlen Syndrome

Irlen syndrome is a disorder that affects the perception of seeing in your brain. It affects the way in which the brain perceives visual information causing distortion of words, images and environment. It may cause various behavioral as well as physical problems in children. Irlen syndrome is also called as Asfedia or visual stress. Using colored overlay sheets and tinted glasses can help the person to overcome the intensity of problem.

Symptoms :

The range of symptoms is not the same for all persons. Often, the symptoms can be detected during childhood and may continue for the rest of their life. Children with Irlen syndrome may have eye strain, headache (moderate to severe), fatigue and problems with perception of depth. Some children may not be able to read in fluorescent lights and can feel discomfort while observing busy patterns of light.

For them the text on the board or paper appears to move or shake making them unable to read. They may have problems in seeing things in extreme bright conditions or dark. In rare cases, they may develop epileptic seizures related to pattern glare.

Causes :

Exact cause of Irlen syndrome is not known but it is caused due to the way in which the brain perceives visual fields. Wrong signals in the brain causes distorted images or pictures of objects in the brain causing this problem.

Diagnosis :

Often, Irlen syndrome is not diagnosed properly since it is not an obvious issue to be identified and treated. And they think that particular distortions of environment are the same for all. This problem cannot be detected by routine visual examination.

Treatment :

For effective treatment, early detection of the problem is necessary. Many times, children grow up without knowing that they have Irlen syndrome. Irlen syndrome is not related to optical problem in any manner. It develops due to the way in which your brain perceives the visual environment.

The affected child would be screened by specific test for colors. From this assessment, the intensity of the problem can be detected. Treatment is available in the form of wearing tinted lenses or colored overlay sheets prescribed by the doctors. By early intervention, the symptoms of the problem can be corrected and the child can achieve better in academics.

Facts about Irlen Syndrome :

  • As believed by many people, Irlen syndrome is not a visual problem but it is about the way in which the brain perceives certain visual fields.
  • Irlen syndrome is not dyslexia but this disorder also causes reading difficulty.
  • The symptoms of Irlen syndrome can be managed by wearing tinted glasses and by choosing appropriate colors suited for you.
  • The sooner the problem is identified and treated the better would be the outcome.

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