Tinted glasses for Irlen's syndrome (how much difference do they make?)

(79 Posts)
teamcullen Wed 22-Jul-09 07:38:57

My 7 year old was diagnosed with Irlen's syndrome earlier this year, and was reccomended to use a turquoise overlay to help with his reading. However, I was wondering whether to get him further tested to see if he needs the tinted glasses.

He seems to really have to concentrate when doing his work, so dosent produce much although his teacher says the content is good. However this leaves him exhausted. He is also quite clumsy, forever tripping up and knocking things over.

Looking at the Irlen's web site, there are lots of indications that Irlen's effects my son in every day life which, before I hadnt connected to Irlen's.

So, has anybody used the tinted glasses themselves or for their children? Do they make much difference? Most importantly, do they make life easier?

TurtleAnn Thu 23-Jul-09 11:21:54

Absolutely essential. I have this and I spent £300. on blue tinted glasses - they were worth every penny.
My problem is that when I look at a section of text I see the blank spaces more than the words and it can be hard to follow the lines, they also seem to move so I can only focus on a few words at a time - making it harder to hold the whole sentence in my head.
The blue overlay changes the pronouncedness of the white spaces between words and makes seeing the sentences easier.
Lots of opticians in the UK still don't believe this exists - easy if you haven't got it! There are excellent optometrists in South London at the Institute of Optometry who will be able to assess and prescribe overlays and glasses.
I think there is much more research to be done in this field but other things that affect me, that I think are related, are:
I have to turn the brightness down on computer screens to prevent headaches
and turn the refresh rate up (but that should be done for everyone).
I also have to have a background light when watching TV as it seems to bright and leaves me with a headache.
I also got a desklamp in exams which really helped, no extra time, but then with the glasses and the desklamp I didn't need extra time and my grades went through the roof.
I am 33 now and will be watching my DS for signs.

teamcullen Fri 24-Jul-09 08:57:31

Thanks. I will put some serious thorght into it. To be honest if the testing was cheaper I would'nt even be considering it I would just get the test done.

The assessment my son had at school identified he prefared the turquoise overlays, to read without the lights off and to use a reading stand for his books.

Do you think if I email this information to Irlen's they will give me some more idea to testing suitability. I dont want to be ripped off with them saying yes he needs this that and the other when I cant really afford it. But at the same time if it really improves my son's life and makes school easier I know its worth the money.

TurtleAnn Fri 24-Jul-09 13:14:35

I wouldn't go to Myers Irlen for exactly that reason.
Try ringing The Institute of Optometry in London, they will be able to advise you further about testing options. Although if the school have already identified the problem, diagnosis and intervention - the only thing left is glasses and that should be done by an optometrist (to be double sure there are no additional eye difficulties).
If the overlays work, the only thing I would do extra is make sure the school know he would benefit from a desk lamp in exams. When you can afford it and when you feel he would benefit (when serious exams kick in at school), get glasses.

Fava Mon 27-Jul-09 20:12:42

Hello teamcullen,
there are 3 of us with tinted glasses. Dc and I find them essential to do any work on the computer, prefer them on when reading and writing. I also wear them when driving at night. I also wore coloured lenses when I was a child and Irlene research had just started to be published.
We didn't go to any of the Irlene centres but chose to book an appointment in Scotland with Ian Jordan. The assessment is free through the NHS, children get a voucher towards their frames and the lenses could also be free (all of ours were).

maverick Wed 29-Jul-09 08:11:21


'Behavioral vision therapy, eye exercises, and colored lenses have no role in treatment of dyslexia and other learning disabilities, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The academy came down hard on these "scientifically unsupported" alternative treatments in a joint statement with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and other vision organizations.'

BikeRunSki Wed 29-Jul-09 08:17:53

A good friend of mine (30s) has been wearing purple tints for a couple of years, they make a huge difference. She used to have trouble seeing details (she hadn't seen the vein in a leaf until she started wearing her tints), has passed her driving test and can read large chunks of text without, in her words, "freaking out".

maverick Wed 29-Jul-09 12:27:37

I'm sorry to say that the plural of anecdote is not data. As Sir Jim Rose wrote in his recent report on dyslexia '(A)ssessment for visual stress and response to treatment is by subjective report' i.e. is not based on scientific evidence.

'There’s a psychological phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance which is the tendency to filter out information that conflicts with what one already believes, in an effort to ignore that information and reinforce one's beliefs. In the context of intervention, it is uncomfortable to conclude that one put in a lot of time and money into a treatment that has not worked. There is likely, therefore, to be a cognitive bias to paint as bright a picture as possible. This seems supported by studies that find a mismatch between people’s perceptions of efficacy and objective evidence.'' (Prof Bishop.BDA 2008. ppt)

filchthemildmanneredjanitor Wed 29-Jul-09 12:29:46

wow maverick-you are really good at copying and pasting aren't you?

do you have any opinions and thoughts of your own?

teamcullen Wed 29-Jul-09 15:03:49

Maverick: my son is not dyslexic. His problem is that when he is reading or writing on white paper, the text moves about so he finds it hard to read and write. This makes it hard to concentrate for long periods and gives him headaches.

He now uses a coloured overlay over the page when reading and finds writing easier on coloured paper. Dispite what scientific evidence there may or may not be, my son has gone up 3 sub levels in 6 months in reading and writing due to this being identified and action taken.

My question was whether the tinted glasses would make life easier for him so he could see all things in perspective and not just what is on coloured paper, street signs and menus, for instance.

mrz Wed 29-Jul-09 15:35:58

Prof. Wilkins and colleagues of Essex University were amongst the first to apply scientific rigor to the study of scotopic sensitivity or Meares-Irlen Syndrome, as it had become known. The Essex University team set up double blind placebo controlled trials and went on to establish a number of tools for screening for scotopic sensitivity and quantifying the effects of coloured overlays.

The screening test is available to professionals and is know as the Intuitive Overlays Test. Whilst the tool used to quantify the effects of overlays is also available to professionals and is known as the Wilkins rate of reading test.

More information can be found HERE

mrz Wed 29-Jul-09 15:43:18
maverick Wed 29-Jul-09 19:08:49

My opinion is that people shouldn't advocate unscientifically tested treatments and therapies for those with reading difficulties.

Tinted overlay guru Wilkins himself, '(W)ent on to conclude that the wearing of tinted lenses is unlikely to have a direct effect on the child's level of reading skill' (Muter. Early Reading Development and Dyslexia. p 179)

teamcullen Wed 29-Jul-09 19:18:13

thanks mrz. those sites were helpful.

mrz Wed 29-Jul-09 20:08:02

mavrick the OP said Irlen's effects her son's everyday life, clumsy, knocking things over etc. she's looking at glasses to help with this.

Perlot Mon 24-Aug-09 13:51:12

Hello all,

I HAD to get involved in this discussion. My wife is one of the foremost experts on MIS in the UK.

First, it works, I see it every day, kids who can't read come to my wife and leave able to read, with knock on effects in their behaviour, self esteem etc. We see people in tears with relief that they are not "thick".

The main reason I wanted to post here though is the comments from Maverick. This person is basically misquoting left right and centre.

1. Professor Wilkinson DID NOT say what is quoted, quite the opposite in fact.
2. The rose report on dyslexia DOES NOT contain the quote given, I am looking at it now, actually is says that "changing background contrast...help with visual stress" and "using coloured overlays is used in schools etc. etc.".
3. There IS scientific evidence for this phenomenon. If Maverick had actually bothered to READ "Reading Through Colour: How Coloured Filters Can Reduce Reading Difficulty, Eye Strain and Headaches" by Professor Wilkins they would see this, also try "Reading by the Colours: Overcoming Dyslexia and Other Reading Disabilities Through the Irlen Method" by Irlen that ALSO has scientific studies in it.

Please do not be put off trying overlays by people like Maverick. THEY WORK. Just to be clear, THEY WORK. Wilkins says so, Rose says so, despite what Maverick misquotes.

And if you are thinking "well he would say that, his wife's in the business, he has an agenda". Yes I DO have an agenda, I want children to be able to read without getting headaches, so sue me.

You don't have to come to my wife (her website is www.colour2c.co.uk by the way) there are others in the UK and abroad, but don't shut this off as a possible way to help your child through one of the most difficult times of their life by leaving them with a debilitating problem that can be fixed with a £3 bit of see through coloured plastic.

There, I feel better now.

I hope this has helped

Perlot Mon 24-Aug-09 13:56:53

Oh, and as for glasses, yes they work too.

It's a matter of personal preference though, some kids get on with them, some don't, some don't like the idea of being different etc...they are quite a bit more expensive than overlays too, but much more convenient as they can work with writing and classwork as well.

I note also that MAverick quotes the Rose dyslexia report as saying that the evidence is subjective. Well, 1, it doesn't say that but 2, if it did, so what. Pretty much all optical studies are subjective, you are asking people to report what they see. Go to any opticians and see if they can give you a prescription just by looking at you...they need your, gasp SUBJECTIVE opinion on how well you see. Same for ALL the senses.

All of the dyslexia studies are subjective, should we throw those out too? What about non neuro-psychology, all bunk because you can't to an fMRI scan for happiness?

Don't think so...

jabberwocky Mon 24-Aug-09 13:57:41

The tinted filters are nice for those things where you can't do the overlays such as computers, math, etc. So if it is helping noticeably with reading and the problem is with writing then yes, filters would be the next step.

jabberwocky Mon 24-Aug-09 13:58:30

The Irlen Institute also offers a service to tint contact lenses for people who don't want to look "different".

Perlot Mon 24-Aug-09 15:36:43

Jabberwocky is right indeed, although the feedback on the contact lenses is mixed, but again I'm sure they work with different people. Also, the law is slightly questionable on whether your insurance would cover you driving in them, so adults, be careful....

By the way, just be wary of the tinting colour, people such as Cerium and other suppliers of tints do have some colours which are slightly different although have the same name (so "rose" from cerium might be a bit different from the "rose" you'd get at at an optician). It's not a huge risk but I would suggest asking the person who did the checks what manufacturer they use. You can usually tell by looking at the actual overlay itself in the corner. From what I can gather (not 100% here) but Cerium is the standard that opticians use usually.

ALSO, SHOP AROUND, the price for tinting can be scandalous with some companies charging over £100 for "dipping" whilst with others it is half that or less, again, the person who does the actual testing should be able to point you in the right direction.

take care, P.

cornsillk Mon 24-Aug-09 15:48:49

Fava you said that your assessment was free through the NHS? How did you go about getting that? Did you approach an optometrist yourself?

jabberwocky Mon 24-Aug-09 16:03:46

If you go with a certified Irlen Diagnostician there are only two labs licensed to do their filters so that the color is pure. Perlot is right about variations if you have it done elsewhere.

stressa Tue 25-Aug-09 20:46:47

ummm I'm always on about this! - Please take a look at Ian Jordan's website (google Jordans eyes and it comes up with "Jordans multisensory optician), you can also phone him to discuss.

His practice is in Ayr, Scotland but free assessments on NHS up there. He could tell you which centres nearer you do orthoscopics. From personal experience (mine and 2 ds) I would really recommend him.

Hope all goes well, whatever you decide,

aprilflowers Wed 26-Aug-09 21:15:44

Maverick - on any thread concerning dyslexia s/he infers that dyslexia doesn't exist.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but Im glad s/he is being challenged.
Again perhaps people should look at the research of Professor Bruce Evans on the subject of Irlen Syndrome.

Muffy17 Wed 29-Sep-10 17:56:13

Meares-Irlen (or Visual Stress) is very real and has a major impact on peoples lives.Our son has had years of abuse from teachers telling him he is lazy, stupid etc. After struggling for many years and after visiting opticians, Doctors etc we finally got to the route of the problem via our local Sensory Support Service within the County Council's Children's Services. They conducted tests and directed to Professor Bruce Evans. Our son had prescribed coloured lenses and it has made an 80% difference to his reading and writing.He was assessed by an Educational Psychologist and in addition was diagnosed with dyslexia. The SENCO at school told us we were wasting our time and in the last 6 months before GCSEs we worked hard doing mind maps to help him revise. He was predicted straight Fs and he achieved 1A, 3 Bs and 6 Cs. This enabled him to go to college and now on to University.

We were on the verge of giving up and accepting what the teachers were saying' but we decided to fight for our son and challenged the fact that he was "written off". The simple solution of prescribed tinted lenses and additional support has been a life changing experience not just for our son but many other people. It should be funded by the NHS and we are getting the support of our MP.The condition is currently not recognised by the NHS but there is now plenty of significant research to confirm the condition. The problem appears to be the loophole in the Optician's Act which recognises "focal" problems but not neurological eye problems. This must change and I would urge all parents/carers to lobby their local MP in order to make this happen.

Also if you suspect your child has this problem ie if the text on a page moves or blurs, or if he/she says " the letters are fizzing" take your child to an optician who has a colorimeter machine.This way they can be correctly tested and diagnosed.

Do not take NO for an answer if you do not fight for your child no one else will.

lillybloom Sat 02-Oct-10 10:58:22

I second Ian Jordan. I have been going there for years. It has really made a difference to the dc's.

choccyp1g Fri 15-Oct-10 20:47:28

I tried out the overlays at school where I help with reading. Out of the 12 I read with, 4 children found them extremely helpful, several of the others found them useful as a ruler to help keep their place, and on or two others just found it made reading more fun.
It stand to reason, if the overlays help wiht reading, then the glasses or lenses would be useful for writing tasks.
Obviously they are not an instant cure for all reading difficulties, but given how little they cost, (like £1 per child!!!) how easy they are to use, I cannot believe why all schools don't have a pack for ALL children to try.
<<http://www.bdastore.org.uk/index.php?main_page=p roduct_info&cPath=1_17&products_id=443>>

choccyp1g Fri 15-Oct-10 20:50:49

Sorry, didn't preview and have now got the link right www.bdastore.org.uk/index.php?main_page=product_in fo&cPath=1_17&products_id=443

choccyp1g Fri 15-Oct-10 20:54:17

Incidentally, I have always been a prolific reader, but I can see for myself that some colours make the text sharper.

choccyp1g Fri 15-Oct-10 21:01:15

Should explain, I was reading with the children who were "behind" in reading, so should not imply that 4 out of 12 children would benefit from the overlays.

chobbler Sat 16-Oct-10 19:35:44

can i just ask as a novice to this- DD has been complaining that the interactive white board fizzes when she tries to read it when there is no background colour could we have a problem? she has one eye long sighted and the other short which doesn't help. but would getting a tint over the top help her read the white board- the teacher insists there is no problem. DD comes home crying.

choccyp1g Sun 17-Oct-10 21:32:36

Does she use different glasses for reading and for long distance? Could she need to keep swapping them in the lesson? It might be worth getting the rulers, and seeing if they make a difference with normal reading; if she can see a marked inprovement, then consider coloured lenses for the glasses.

choccyp1g Sun 17-Oct-10 21:33:03

improvement of course.

bramblebooks Sun 17-Oct-10 21:51:57

My son wears harris lenses and they have taken him from being able to read a book over a YEAR due to the distortion to being able to read one a fortnight. Many children in my school benefit from the overlays and some have found great benefits in wearing the specs.

However, I'm concerned that you need more support on other issues as the clumsiness may not be a visual problem but linked to gross and fine motor skills (how's his handwriting?). Have you had any concerns about dyspraxia?

It may be worth investigating a full visual assessment via the opticians/ optometrist to assess 3d vision, etc, and to discuss whether your child needs an occupational therapist's assessment with your gp/ school paediatrician. The occupational therapist would assess fine/gross motor skills.

A starting point if you wished to pursue this would be the school's senco for the referral to the school's paediatrician.

kip55 Tue 26-Oct-10 23:54:10

Just spotted this conversation. As most schools are using computers for some if not all of the lessons, three options which may be helpful for computer use.

T-Bar - a ruler to drag over the text with variable colour and transparency settings and the option to place reading lines on the ruler.

ssOverlay - similar to T-Bar but places a coloured overlay across the whole screen.

Vu-Bar - slotted ruler to prevent wandering and mixing up text from other lines.

Best new though is that these are all free


look on the Assistive software page

Willmum Fri 29-Oct-10 16:25:37

My brother has this and has tinted glassess. They made an ENORMOUS difference to him. Most noticably the day he first had them fitted he asked where the toilet was and was directed down the corridor. We watched him walk down the corridor and around the corner without putting his hand out to the wall to check where he was. (He was 20 by the way). It was quite honestly the first time either of us had seen him walk in an unfamiliar place without putting his hands out to the walls to steady himeself (hes dsypraxic also). It definiatly made a difference to his reading but his general movements became easier as he could judge depth more easily, so yes it really does affects all aspects not just reading.

ruthineastbourne Fri 28-Jan-11 00:34:42

PLEASE can you give me some page numbers for your Rose review quotes....

we're taking county to tribunal over their view tinted glasses are not an educational need and evidence needs to be posted tomorrow!

I'm trawling 2006 and 2009 and really can't see it....



Timebends Fri 28-Jan-11 18:56:54

There are some disagreements between ophthalmologists who are not yet prepared to accept that the diagnoses and treatment offered by behavioural optometrists are scientifically proven. the argument, like many between professional bodies, is partly political and territorial and more involved than may easily or usefully be discussed here.

Suffice to say, after an ed psych's report and recommendation, a highly recommended behavioural optometrist was able to describe to me my child's problems and their symptoms due to a focusing issue he found which could not be picked up by her yearly eye test. the relief of having someone understand and explain her problems(relatively minor but leading to underachieving at school with all the distress that even quite small difficulties cause at school and at home))was enormous and the positive effects of the prism lenses and exercises, startling.

I have contacted a number of well known schools with regard to possible entry and discussed her background and treatment. A number already seem to have positive experience of this particular practitioner, his treatment and its benefits for some of their pupils.

I understand Irlen lenses tend to help the symptoms of some of these visual disorders but might not diagnose the cause (I might be corrected about this)- you might be best to go for a full behavioural optometrist's examination (ours was 3 and a half hours inc vision therapy) However I think the possible benefits are huge.

maggy9 Wed 19-Dec-12 17:37:42

hi fava
who is Ian Jordan and where abouts in scotland is he, how did you go about getting it done through nhs i've been told i couldnt do this any help appriciated

chocaholic73 Wed 19-Dec-12 21:13:13

He is in Ayr http://www.jordanseyes.com/. If you ring he will explain everything to you. NHS works differently in Scotland.

MariscallRoad Fri 04-Jan-13 21:07:02

My DS was recently diagnosed with Irlen on top of other SLDs incl dyslexia. However, as he is in the top ability it is to a certain degree mitigated. nevertheless he will be seen by a specialist colourimetrist at the Institute of Optometrists in London. He had tried overlays and felt better. MIS is something new.

MariscallRoad Fri 04-Jan-13 21:07:58

Seeing is believeing

MariscallRoad Tue 08-Jan-13 14:43:30


didldidi Wed 30-Jan-13 19:50:54

Its also available in colches ter Essex on the nhs

purplebabyhippo Mon 18-Mar-13 19:49:52

My daughter is 15 & recently diagnosed with Irlen after suffering from migraines & complaining that words sometimes appeared muddled up. We initially went to our GP who put her on anti-depressants to stop the migraines & she had a eye test on the opticians - neither of these mentioned Irlen. It was a friend of mine who works in learning support that arranged for my daughter to have the test. She tried the overlay & although she said it helped, it just isn't practical for looking at the white board, computer work & books with small pages.
I was concerned about the cost of tinted glasses & how much difference they would make but we didn't want any more migraines & I wanted to give my daughter the best possible chance in her GCSES.
We went for the tint test last week- it took a while for the tester to find the correct tints (a process of elimination rather than anything scientific) but then she got my daughter to read a passage from a book that she had never seen before without the tints & she stumbled on a couple of words but it was ok considering she was having to read aloud. Then she got her to read a different passage with the tints & I was shocked - she read much more confidently & with more rhythm; as if she had practiced before although she hadn't! It actually brought a tear to my eye & I am pretty cynical about these things!
We are now waiting for the lenses & I am hoping they will really help her although I know she is a little worried about what other kids will say as they will look like sunglasses smile

alimac87 Tue 19-Mar-13 15:46:35

There is a good evidence base for this although there is also some dodgy practice around. My DD has tinted specs, also saw local NHS department to correct her focusing issues. We saw Prof Bruce Evans in Essex, all very evidence-based. There are also opticians who do colourimetry testing. I was quite a sceptic myself in the early days but yes it helps. She's still dyslexic but it controls the visual disturbance side.

Rivermeidc Fri 20-Sep-13 16:50:03

I am 42 years old. I am dyslexic and have Irlen's syndrome. I will tell you they are two different things! It is very hard for me to explain what I see without the colored overlays. I guess the best I can describe it is that things always seem to be pulsating or in and out of blotchiness. Words and sentences are not stationary. I feel the eye strain in bright lights and it is worse under the florescent lights of my office. The colored overlays are like night and day; they correct the issues and allow for reading that has no hesitation, brokenness or pausing. They do not correct my dyslexic problem, but do allow me to focus more on catching the dyslexic mistake before it goes verbal. I am looking at getting glasses ASAP!

In school I would take an “F” on a verbal book report or a speech rather than get up and have the entire class laughing at me. I encourage any parent’s that have children with the same symptoms to get their children checked for both; life could have been so much easier. Please don’t listen to foolish people that try tell you not to get tested for both; they have tried to tell be too that I don’t know what I’m seeing with my own eye’s. All of the dyslexic testing and treatment gave me good information to deal with the dyslexic problems, but did nothing to help my Irlen's syndrome. Again, knowing that I have Irlen's syndrome corrected the visual issues I was having and has helped me to focus more on my dyslexic issue.

MariscallRoad Sun 22-Sep-13 10:25:24

I feel the thread needs reanimation because Irlen condition has recently become more recognised and there is a need for raising awareness.

Thanks Muffy. My son was diagnosed only a few months ago thanks to student disability services at his uni . The student services screened him and found he is at risk of dyslexia and Irlen and so they refered him to a educational psychologist who was paid by the the university. The Ed Ps has diagnosed dyslexia and Irlen . Further he was refereed to specialist colourimetrist who prescribed both coloured overlays of specific colour and tinted lenses, the cost of which was paid by the DSA. The overlays helped only to a certain extend and tinted glasses helped much more by increasing the speed of reading and relieving the stress of the eyes. Optometrists do not know the condition because it is has to do with the nerves; but eye consultants and hospitals and NHS are now becoming aware. My DS had an appointment at the eye hospital where the consultant discussed this.

Those with dyslexia are more likely to have Irlen and a significant minority has this. It is expensive to do the test and to make the tinted glasses. My son’s life was very difficult when he was undiagnosed he had headaches and bluring of the page, it had affected his study but now the diagnosis and tinted lenses changed our lives to the better. We know how to deal with the difficulty.

I agree too that parents and students suffering from Irlen should lobby their MP. I did not know the Optician’s Act recognises only focal problems. The condition needs an Educationla Psychologist to write so in their report.

binger Sun 22-Sep-13 10:42:50

This is so interesting. I'm in the process of being referred via nhs at the moment. An optician mention irlen's to me about 6 years ago as I really struggle with reading with the text jumping all over the place. Nothing else was said though. A month ago I went for 2 yearly eye test and I was complaining to optician that I'm really struggling now even though my reading prescription is minuscule (1.25). She is referring me to a Glasgow hospital who will in turn refer me to (I think) Glasgow uni. If I self refer direct to uni I will have to pay as a private patient.

I've always struggled but managed to get by but I am really slowing down at work now and it's difficult for me to check back my work on the pc. Really hoping I get help.

LynetteScavo Sun 22-Sep-13 10:55:35

If the OP is still reading, my DS has coloured lenses, and is advised to use the overlay as well as combined his reading speed is even faster. The lenses are also bi-focals. (I'm not sure why blush)

In a normal eye test, DS has pretty much perfect vision.

Yes, the glasses make life easier. DS refused to even attempt to read a label on a box, for example if he isn't wearing tinted lenses.

He was tested by a behavioral optometrist who gave him an hour long assessment, and afterwards gave us lots of tips on how to improve tracking, etc. All in all, I don't think the assessment and glasses cost much more than £100. Money very well spent, IMO.

I'm happy to recommend the person who assessed DS, (and DD) if anyone PMs me.

MariscallRoad Sun 22-Sep-13 15:38:23

The tinted lenses and the overlays are worn and used when reading and some people use them when working on a computer screen. My son also wears them when reading and when he plays and reads the music. They are not recommended to be worn outdoors though or as sunglasses. He has a pair of sunglasses though but do not need to be tinted in colour.

binger, it is great you will be seen at the eye hospital. If you are a student, the DSA will cover the cost of specialist for diagnosis and the tinting of the lenses which is very-very expensive but would not pay for the lenses themselves.

Discovering the cause and dealing with is the best thing.

MariscallRoad Sun 22-Sep-13 15:44:25

LynetteScavo thanks for sharing your experience with us and it is good to know about the behavioural optometrist.

BikeRunSki Sun 22-Sep-13 15:46:22

Zombie thread!

BikeRunSki Sun 22-Sep-13 15:48:46

Apologies, didn't see that there has been quite a lot of re ent activity.

binger Sun 22-Sep-13 16:32:09

I'm 43 and not a student so won't get help with cost but hopefully I can pay for tinting of current specs. hopefully cheaper than buying from scratch.

MariscallRoad Sun 22-Sep-13 17:13:13

binger I wish you the best. I read in wikipedia here that the visual distortion due to Irlen was described in the 1980s. There are 3 universities in Uk where research is now carried out and is good to see that .

The consultant told DS that the Irlen condition is unique to each individual and variable.

tresise56 Thu 10-Oct-13 14:47:28

you say your child is not dyslexia why? you have just decribed a key indiactor of dyslexia - or do you dislike that term?

aciddrops Fri 11-Oct-13 13:19:06

My DS has an appointment for an Irlens test next week. However, between making the appointment and now, it has been discovered that he is also very long sighted. I don't know whether to cancel the test and wait until he has glasses or whether he should be tested and and then get the tint in his lenses.
I don't know if I would be putting the cart before the horse by having the Irlens test before he has his prescription glasses. Then again, I don't want to miss the opportunity of having his lenses tinted.

childrendriveumad Mon 14-Oct-13 22:21:02

Hi all

I am a dispenser with a behavioural optometrist and can vouch for the life changing effects that coloured lenses and vision therapy can have.

With regard to your ds aciddrops are the glasses being provided by the Irlens people? I would recommend waiting about 6 weeks after collecting the glasses to see what difference they alone make. If he very long sighted they should make a huge difference on their own. You could try them with overlays before investing in irlens tests or lenses.
This is what we would recommend if we performed a full functional assessment, as coloured lenses are very expensive and sometimes glasses alone or vision therapy can cure the problem. Please don't hesitate to pm me if you have any further questions.

aciddrops Tue 15-Oct-13 10:34:22

Thank you childrendriveumad The Irlens test has been cancelled and as you say, I'm going to wait until he gets his prescription glasses and I'll see how he gets on with them. I have bought a packet of coloured overlays and I will see which one he finds best (if any). He has been using a blue reading ruler for a few weeks and that seems to help him but I'm sure that once he has his reading glasses things will improve.

sashh Sun 20-Oct-13 12:01:53

Tinted overlay guru Wilkins himself, '(W)ent on to conclude that the wearing of tinted lenses is unlikely to have a direct effect on the child's level of reading skill'

And? This has nothing to do with reading skill, it is about reading ease.

When my reading age was tested at 14 it was off the scale, literally. The teacher marking had no idea who I was because I was int he bottom set for English.

My tints (glasses, overlay and computer background) stop letters moving around. Without them I can still read, it is just much harder.

aciddrops Sun 08-Dec-13 01:45:23

Interested in this as my DS has Meares Irlens so if anyone else can comment on tinted glasses I would appreciate it too.

tinytalker Tue 17-Dec-13 18:54:17

Interesting how Maverick has not added further comment!
S/He says anecdotal reports are not evidence of effectiveness but these stories are pretty convincing and if my struggling child says they help and their self confidence is boosted and they are performing better than they were without them then I don't care what the professors say!!!!

MariscallRoad Thu 26-Dec-13 15:25:16

aciddrops my DS wears aqua and mint tinted lenses since last spring when he reads and writes. He says his reading has been more comfortable as a result. The specialist say the tinted lenses have increased his speed of reading. He did use coloured overlays before but it is the tinted glasses that had better effect.

aciddrops Fri 27-Dec-13 18:39:08

Thank you Mariscall. He had an Irlen's test which cost about £80. It told me nothing that I did not know - it was basically a questionnaire and a few pictures which he could have easily completed at home. Then he chose a coloured overlay. TBH I felt quite ripped off as we could have tried the overlays at home as I had already bought a packet for £20. He's supposed to go back for a review soon but I really can't be bothered! I know that the words come off the page when he is tired. He uses an orange reading ruler which helps.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 03-Feb-14 18:46:50


I've just been quoted nearly £460 for one of my kids to be assessed and glasses (that I have to get new) coated.

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 04-Feb-14 13:22:19

we went to a local opticians with a vision therapy department.

a colorimetry test with a machine cost us either £35 or £45 I can't remember which.

coloured glasses then cost us under £150 but I can't remember the actual amounts.

My daughter says they make a huge difference. She can read without them but will get tired more easily and her eyes get sore and water. She makes sure she wears them and has done for a year and I think if they didn't work then she would have stopped wearing them.

CJDodo71 Wed 12-Feb-14 14:19:24

My 5 year old son was tested for dyslexia at the end of year R and we were told he was no risk (it runs in the family and his older brother has already been diagnosed) but I still knew there was something not right with his progress in reading and writing. He recently said the letters kept moving on the page and the school tried using coloured overlays with him. In a week his confidence has grown and he is reading much better.

Thank you for all the encouraging comments on this page as I will now investigate the lenses for him. Not enough is known about the different forms of dyslexia in this country and I now wonder if this is why many of the children I have taught and had the gut feel something was not right came back negative on dyslexia tests.

Let's keep raising awareness.

loobyloo63 Fri 21-Feb-14 20:31:41

My son (now 14) was only diagnosed 18 months ago. After struggling through primary school with his reading and writing, his secondary school quickly realised there was a problem and he was tested for Irlen syndrome. We started with overlays but went on to get him the glasses (green tints) as he already wore prescription ones and the difference is amazing. His eyesight has also settled down and he now only needs yearly eye tests and not every 3 months. His confidence and his grades have improved dramatically and he is now on track to get a grade C in his English GCSE, something we never thought possible.!!
He gets some strange looks but he doesn't care as, in his words, ''I can now read and write like my mates''. He said his primary school made him feel thick.
Get the glasses, they are well worth it.

wasuup3000 Sat 22-Feb-14 20:30:13

Test is £25 here and £35 for tinted lenses and free frames as for a child. He could read 20 words a minute without the right overlay colour when being assessed and 40 words a minute with. To him words dance about without them and stay still with them.

Mitzi50 Sat 22-Feb-14 20:44:40

Muffy - I think there is some recognition by the NHS. I recently took my daughter to the Vision Training Clinic at Colchester Hospital. We had to pay as she is 17 but it is free for under 14s. Your GP can refer you - it seems to be a well kept secret so I wonder if there are similar clinics in other parts of the country.

Sjbew Wed 26-Feb-14 07:54:13

...ask your self this question....
If this condition did really exist.....why do 96% of those who get the lenses stop wearing them within three years.....you might not like this but the use of these lenses is simply one of pandering and the Irlen lenses supply is a rip-off bearing in mind that the cost of tinting a lens to a specific tint is about £8 a lens.....if they work for your kids it is all psychology....they will not do damage but ask yourself how many thousands of these 'wonder-tinted-spectacles' are lying in drawers.....millions!

baznsam Thu 27-Feb-14 19:05:18

hello it seems there is alot of information about irlens here but hope u dont mind me asking on this page .please could anyone tell me do irlen glasses have to be worn all the time when you get them

bizzibee1 Mon 10-Mar-14 00:31:03

yes my daughter wears her irlen filters all the time .i would thoroughly recommend being tested the change it has made to my daughters life has been phenominal. i asked her what would happen if we couldn't get irlen filters any more and she said life wouldn't be worth living .she worrys that when she is older and has left home she might not be able to afford them .just having overlays in our experience wouldn't be enough my daughter says she loves looking out the window in the car she can now see patterns in the clouds and leaves on the trees !we go to the librairy weekly now where as before diagnoses she had never read a complete book .

hanifah1 Sun 04-May-14 08:20:31

Hi, can you please give the name and contact details of the person who did the irlen assesment for your son please? And educational psychologist told me yesterday that my son most likely has it.
Thanks again

biggles26 Thu 08-May-14 10:00:10

If I may put my tuppence in, albeit five years late, the IOO is not a good organisation to go to to get Irlen filters\glasses. They still assume that Irlen Syndrome is something wrong with the eyes when it is something wrong with the brain. The only organisation that can provide the appropriate filters is Irlen UK.

smee Tue 13-May-14 13:31:14

Sjbew, I don't think it's just psychology at all. My son wears coloured lenses. He couldn't read the white board before and when reading text words flew all over the place. He's still wearing his 2 years on from getting them. He simply can't see black text on white without them.

I was sceptical at first, but at the first filter test they asked him to read a paragraph of random words with his chosen filter against the clock for a minute. With the filter he read 98% of the words and made just two mistakes. He then read the same words without the filter and only managed 65% of the words and made lots of mistakes, including skipping whole lines. To see that sort of evidence in front of your eyes was proof enough for me!

terry2014 Thu 22-May-14 20:09:02

Hi, I had to get involved with this. I'm a 25 year old teacher who was diagnosed with MI at university after I couldn't keep up with the reading. I was an A* student at school but was never picked up, despite teachers seeing me reading through a blue maths ruler.

The glasses make ALL the difference. I couldn't see the moss growing on rooftiles or the patterns in bark until I wore my lenses. My headaches are much less frequent and I can think more logically (strange as that may seem!). I don't drop things as much and I can read pretty much endlessly.

Dyslexic or not, those with MI suffer needlessly when there is such a simple solution. Both sisters have it, as does my dad, and it's also linked to a migraine gene.

DEFINITELY worth the money for screening and lenses. In fact when I was at university I was paying for yearly screening and lenses and colour preferences do change.

Skeptics - I haven't written this to troll you. MI is so easy to live with if you have the right support!

Hayes1 Sat 28-Jun-14 17:37:44

I prefer the term visual dyslexia. After regular eye problems are eliminated as causal or corrected, reading problems caused by difficulty seeing words easily and without stress can usually be described by the individual. Described visual problems that make reading difficult and/or uncomfortable need a visual intervention. Dyslexics generally have no visual issues and normally report seeing text fine , no visual intervention needed. See Right Dyslexia Glasses are universal visual dyslexia glasses made from complex optical filter glass that remove described visual problems and physical discomfort from reading. Because the filtering properties are uniform in the glass rather than from a coating they stay effective over time. The reason Irlen lenses become ineffective over time is because the tint coatings fade not because of any mystical eye or brain changes.See Right Dyslexia Glasses can be purchased over the web because the need for a personal evaluation has been eliminated.

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