Irlen Syndrome and Fluorescent Light | What is Irlen Syndrome and How Can Light Covers Help?
16th Nov 2022
Most people have never heard of Irlen Syndrome, but it is a condition that affects millions of people. Unfortunately, many teachers and special education professionals are not aware of the syndrome either. This can lead to students with Irlen Syndrome not receiving the accommodations they need in order to be successful in school. In this blog post, we will discuss what Irlen Syndrome is, how fluorescent light can exacerbate symptoms, and some accommodations that can help students with Irlen Syndrome succeed in the classroom.
- What is Irlen Syndrome
- How Can Fluorescent Light Worsen Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome?
- Is Irlen Syndrome Real?
- What Causes Irlen Syndrome?
- Testing for Irlen Syndrome
- What are the Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome?
- How to Treat Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome
What is Irlen Syndrome?
Irlen Syndrome is the brain's inability to properly process visual information, causing distortions and difficulties with reading. Symptoms include headaches, fatigue, eye strain, and difficulty perceiving depth. It is estimated that 12-14% of the population has Irlen Syndrome. There are more people with Irlen Syndrome than there are with Asthma or Heart Disease. Yet, it remains a relatively unknown and misunderstood condition.
How Can Fluorescent Light Worsen Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome?
Fluorescent and artificial lighting can aggravate the symptoms of Irlen Syndrome, causing further distortions and discomfort for those with the condition. This is why it is important to have alternative forms of lighting in classrooms and workplaces, such as natural or incandescent lighting. The harmful Blue Light and UV rays from fluorescent and LED lighting can negatively affect anyone. But for those with Irlen Syndrome, it can cause even more sensory overload.
Is Irlen Syndrome Real?
Irlen Syndrome is in fact real. It was originally discovered by Helen Irlen in 1980. Contrary to what many people thought, it is not an issue with the eyes. Instead it's the way people brain interprets the visual elements that it receives. There are some opponents to Irlen Syndrome. Since the diagnosis for Irlen's is based mainly on the symptoms a person experiences, they doubt the condition actually exists. However, there have been many studies that support Irlen Syndrome. The truth is that millions of people suffer from these symptoms and have found relief from proper treatments.
What Causes Irlen Syndrome?
Irlen Syndrome is a condition that is caused by abnormalities in the way the brain interprets visual information. This can be due to a variety of factors, including genetics, brain injuries or trauma, and other neurological conditions. Despite these doubts from some experts, there have been numerous studies that support the existence of Irlen Syndrome and its impact on people.
There is also a strong tie between Irlen Syndrome and ADHD. According to research, around 30% of people with ADHD also have Irlen Syndrome. However, many people with Irlen Syndrome go undiagnosed and therefore do not receive the proper treatment they need.
Testing for Irlen Syndrome
Do you think you may have Irlen Syndrome? Testing should be done by a qualified and trained professional only. There are various online self-assessments available, but these should only be used as a screening tool to determine if you may have Irlen Syndrome. To get an accurate diagnosis and receive appropriate treatment, it is recommended that you visit an Irlen testing center near you.
The test typically consists of 2 stages. Stage 1 is a screening assessment to determine if you have the typical symptoms associated with Irlen Syndrome. Stage 2 consists of a full tint assessment, where it's determined which spectral filters are best suited for your needs.
If you suspect that you may have Irlen Syndrome, don't hesitate to contact an Irlen testing center near you. Together, we can help you achieve greater clarity and improve your overall quality of life.
What Are the Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, then it is possible that you have Irlen Syndrome:
- Sensitivity to sunlight and fluorescent lights
- Difficulty reading, especially for text with small fonts and lots of lines
- Headaches and migraines
- Eye pain and itches
- Watery eyes
- Difficulty with depth perception
People with Irlen Syndrome often say that the words on the page appear blurry, bunched together, or not in straight lines. This can make it challenging to read and understand written material. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to manage your symptoms and enjoy reading once again.
How to Treat Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome
There are several options for managing Irlen Syndrome symptoms. By using these treatments properly, you can improve your ability to focus, reduce eye pain and discomfort, and enjoy reading more than ever before.
- Irlen Syndrome Glasses - Also known as Irlen filters, these glasses use colored lenses to help filter out the type of light that is causing your symptoms. Different colors work better for different people, so it is important to do some trial and error to find the right lens color for you.
- Irlen Spectral Filters - These precision-tinted filters are designed to address the specific wavelengths of light that cause Irlen Syndrome symptoms. Other treatment options for Irlen Syndrome include cognitive behavioral therapy and working with an occupational therapist. By carefully managing your symptoms, you can enjoy reading and other activities more than ever before.
- Irlen Colored Overlays - Colored overlays are a simpler and more affordable treatment option for Irlen Syndrome. These lightweight, translucent sheets can be placed over printed material to reduce glare and improve contrast, making reading easier and less stressful. Whether you decide to try colored overlays or precision tinted lenses, there are many effective options available to help manage your Irlen symptoms.
- Fluorescent Light Covers - Another useful treatment option for Irlen Syndrome is fluorescent light covers. These specialized covers help to reduce the harsh glare and brightness of fluorescent lights, creating a calmer environment that makes reading and other activities more comfortable. If you are struggling with Irlen Syndrome symptoms, be sure to talk to your doctor about these and other effective treatments.
Irlen Syndrome is a real condition that can cause difficulty reading and other symptoms. If you think you or your child may have Irlen Syndrome, it is important to get tested. There are treatments available that can help lessen the symptoms of Irlen Syndrome. You can find more information and order fluorescent light covers through our website.