Irlen Syndrome, also known as Scotopic Sensitivity System (SSS) is a visual perceptual problem. It is not an optical problem. It is a problem with how the nervous system encodes and decodes visual information. Academic and work performance, behaviour, attention, ability to sit still and concentration can all be affected.Individuals with Irlen syndrome see the printed page differently. Many do not realize their page is different. Irlen syndrome prevents many people from reading effectively and efficiently.
Until recently it has baffled educators and medical scientists because it has been undetected by standard visual and educational tests. Irlen has a patented treatment method using specially formulated colored overlays, or spectral filters, worn as glasses or contact lenses, to reduce or eliminate perception difficulties.
Now there is much research showing why. Read more.
See a three dimensional scan of the brain (PDF, 1.34MB) having Irlen Syndrome, compared to a brain without Irlen Syndrome
Some of the symptoms of Irlen syndrome include:
Research now shows that Irlen syndrome can help:
Individuals with Irlen syndrome may:
Some have one symptom and some have many.
It is important to realize that this syndrome is a perceptual dysfunction rather than a vision problem. Irlen Syndrome, like any reading problem, can occur with someone who wears prescription glasses or even with someone who does not need them. Those who do not need corrective lenses will wear non-prescription filters with their specifically prescribed Irlen spectral color in them.
For those suffering from this syndrome, one or more of the colors that are part of the visual spectrum effect the speed and consistency of how the brain is able to interpret, not only the printed page, but everything around them.
Studies show that Irlen Syndrome affects to some degree approximately 12-15% of the general population, or over 17 million people in the U.S. In the population of those with learning problems, the incidence is about 45%.