Meares–Irlen Syndrome

Meares–Irlen Syndrome is the description given to dyslexics whose reading can be improved by use of coloured lens or overlays. Its also known as Scotopic sensitivity syndrome. When it was first suggested that colour may make a difference to reading it met with a skeptical response in part because Helen Irlen set up the Irlen Institure to promote and sell coloured glasses.
However some research has been done to prove or disprove the existence Meares-Irlen Syndrome. Research [PDF] at the University of Essex, UK, found “that between one-fifth and one-third of unselected school-children show a significant (> 5%) improvement in their rate of reading with their chosen overlay“. Further research [PDF] on 33 children and adults with learning difficulties found “that, in some people, Intuitive Overlays significantly improve the rate of reading. Our data further demonstrate that this improvement in performance cannot be attributed to conventional optometric anomalies nor to placebo effects. We conclude that, inappropriately selected patients, individually prescribed coloured filters can have a beneficial effect not only on symptoms (Wilkins et al., 1994) but also on immediate reading performance“.
Work done at the University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia looked at the long-term effects of coloured filters [Abstract]. Their results showed “The treatment groups increased at a significantly greater rate than the control group in reading accuracy and reading comprehension“.
Previous coverage on Coloured Lenses

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