17. I’ve heard a lot about special lenses or filters that can improve reading. Can that be done instead of vision training?


Irlen Tinted Lenses are not a substitute for vision training, though some people feel they can cope better with their visual difficulties. Many of the symptoms that wearers of Irlen Tinted Lenses have overlap with visual dysfunction such as instability of print, loss of place when reading, and difficulty concentrating when reading. Helen Irlen, in 1991, wrote that individuals interested in being screened for Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (colour influenced readers) should first see a vision specialist for a complete visual examination.

Irlen, an educational psychologist, recognised the difference between routine eye examinations and a vision training evaluation. She noted:

“When individuals take a routine eye examination, the vision specialist normally assesses acuity, refractive status, and binocular function. When the exam is more than routine, additional tests will analyse the visual system in greater detail and will also evaluate focusing ability and tracking skills. The doctor will also check for the presence of eye diseases. For Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome treatment to be successful, existing visual problems need to be treated first. Perceptual skills are based on a solid visual foundation. It is essential for individuals to eliminate all visual problems prior to getting treatment for perception or other learning difficulties.”

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