Mears-Irlen Syndrome

Mears-Irlen Syndrome is also known as Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, Visual Stress & Pattern Glare. It is a visual processing disorder, in which people experience a number of different symptoms including:

  • Headaches
  • skipping words &/or lines when reading
  • photosensitivity (sensitivity to light)
  • blinking or squinting when reading
  • poor concentration
  • difficulty with depth perception
  • tiring quickly when reading
  • difficulty writing on a line
  • being easily distracted when reading
  • difficulty remembering what has just been read
  • Visual disturbances

Mears-Irlen Syndrome is a visual perception problem where the nervous system has difficulty coding & decoding visual information. People with this condition see differently to others but are unlikely to realise this until diagnosis. You can view how text on a page, text under different lighting conditions & general vision looks to someone with Mears-Irlen Syndrome here. There is also a very informative YouTube video that shows the ways in which people with Mears-Irlen Syndrome see text.

Individuals affected by Mears-Irlen Syndrome can be helped with the use of coloured overlays to put over text or precision tinted lenses, the colour of which is determined by a test using an Intuitive Colorimeter, invented by Prof. Arnold Wilkins of the University of Essex.

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Useful resources –

Scotopic, My World Is Not Your World. © 1998-2015 Alison Hale

Meares-Irlen Syndrome – Definition, Symptoms and Treatment with coloured tinted lens, Migraine 5th November 2011.

Irlen Syndrome, Irlen.

Irlen © Irlen. 1998-2015.

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