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

(83 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?

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 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

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