Posted 3 years ago

Irlen Syndrome

Imagine that you're reading a book but slowly the words start to fall down the page or maybe, bright lights and flashes distract you from being able to write properly - sound strange? These are only a few of the many visual distortions that Irlen Syndrome can create for an individual which can lead to further impacts such as lack of concentration, fatigue and poor comprehension. 

Irlen Syndrome is a visual perceptual processing disorder which, in simpler terms - is the lack of the brain's ability to process visual information. When exposed to certain wavelengths of light, a brain with Irlens becomes overactive which causes visual distortions to occur.

Simple tasks such as reading and writing can become overshadowed with side effects from the visual distortions that result in frustration and inability to process visual information in everyday school and work environments. 

How is Irlen Syndrome diagnosed & treated?

Irlen Syndrome is a complex condition that cannot be diagnosed by standard educational doctors and medical treatments.

It is treated through the use of a variety of coloured lens filters and tints which can only be prescribed by an Irlen Diagnostician after both a screening and diagnostic assessment, therefore a standard visual assessment is not sufficient. 

1. An eye examination. It is highly recommended that before the diagnosis process begins, that you have a completed an up to date eye examination. This allows for the optometrist to check your clarity of vision, as well as keeping on top of your general eye health before beginning any further treatment.

2. Irlen Screening. To be tested for Irlen Syndrome you must undergo an Irlen Screening test which is a non-invasive exam where the patient answers a variety of questions and completes various exercises to help determine any distortions you may have, as well as the severity of these. This must be completed with a registered Irlen Screener.

All three OCULA practices offer Irlen screening assessments, you can book an Irlen Screening here.

3. Irlen Diagnostic Assessment.  If the Irlen screening indicates a suspicion of Irlen Syndrome, you will be referred to have a diagnostic assessment. 

This assessment involves finding the unique tint/lens colour that works to filter out the wavelengths of light that are causing the various effects on the visual processing system. 

Each person will require a different unique colour tint due to the way in which Irlen affects each individual. The filtering of the certain wavelengths of light through the use of colour are proven to help improve and combat the various physical symptoms that Irlen can cause. 

Where can I find an Irlen Diagnostician?

At OCULA, our behavioural optometrist Taryn Johnn is a registered Irlen Diagnostician who works with patients to make a tailor made plan for the treatment of Irlen Syndrome, which includes prescribing glasses with colour filters that are proven to treat the visual distortions that occur.

To learn more about the treatment of Irlen Syndrome including the coloured filter glasses, click here 

Irlen Diagnostic assessments will only be available with Taryn John at OCULA Wanaka and Queenstown. To enable us to make the most appropriate booking for you/or your child we will only be taking appointments over the phone.

To book an Irlen Diagnostic assessment please call:

Wanaka: 03-443-5103 

Queenstown: 03-441-4318 




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