Irlen Syndrome


Irlen Syndrome, aka ‘scotopic sensitivity syndrome’ (SSS) is a term often used to describe a general condition where vision is uncomfortable, in particular while reading. You can read more about SSS at the following link:

While there is no question that tinted lenses have an important role to play in a variety of visual needs, there is no evidence to suggest the Irlen assessment and lens ‘treatment’ do anything of significant value. Irlen ‘assessments’ are haphazard and require more opinion and ‘feeling’ about certain colours than actual diagnostic or scientific inquiry.

‘Certified’ Irlen testers have no medical or optometric training and generally cannot explain ‘why’ things work the way they do, nor can they repeat the findings from one testing session to another.

Sadly, in many cases, parents who are looking for a solution to a serious problem are led to spend hundreds, if not thousands, on ‘special lenses’ that are supposedly designed to ‘cure’ whatever is ailing their children, most often a reading problem. Once the money is spent, there is nothing left in the bank for treatment that actually helps. Worse, parents are then jaded when it comes to treatment and view other options sideways.

My advice: Try blue transparencies laid over text for reading as it can help in some cases. Tint in glasses can help with general visual comfort, but will not make a bad reader stronger. Save your money.

For more on Irlen services in Alberta, try: