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The eye is only one part of vision. There are numerous neural pathways in the brain which play an important part in what we see and interpret. If there is interference with these pathways, the individual will experience difficulty with learning and other visually related tasks.

How are visual problems of scotopic sensitivity treated?

Research has shown that approximately 95% of those with Irlen Syndrome/Scotopic Sensitivity (IS/SS) can be helped after careful identification and diagnosis. These individuals respond functionally to specific wave lengths of light. Research has shown that different coloured filters could disrupt cellular functioning of the cell similar to those in the retina. For the individual with Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, full spectral light produces over stimulation of the retinal receptors, which, in turn, causes problems seeing.

What are Irlen lenses?

Irlen lenses are spectrally modified to meet an individual's specific need. There are hundreds of possible variations, and it is only through an intensive diagnostic process that the correct prescription can be determined. Selectively reducing specific wavelengths of light reduces or eliminates interference in the visual pathways in the brain producing sharper, clearer, and more stable vision. Most sunglasses only reduce the intensity of light without eliminating specific wavelengths within the spectrum.

Do Irlen lenses Work? YES!

Experience and research over the years with this approach show that 90% of those suffering from Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome usually experience the following:

  • Gains in reading comprehension
  • Increase in attention span
  • Increase in reading speed
  • Better depth perception
  • Reduced eye strain symptoms
  • Reduced headaches
  • Better night vision

As with any treatment, it is imperative that individuals are re-evaluated on a continual basis. Slight changes in the visual system produce changes in adaptation to the spectral modification. This means that an individual's initial prescription may not continue to be beneficial, and a re-evaluation and new prescriptions may be necessary to maintain effectiveness.


Last modified on November 21, 2021


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AAIC - Australasian Association Irlen Consultants