At Eyes Focused on You we are interested in learning the science behind health issues, particularly those that affect the eyes. While we recognize that research is ongoing in most fields, we appreciate the value of anecdotal evidence to support theories and ideas that lead to better care and treatment of vision conditions.
Some people experience visual distortions such as blurring, shadowy lines, or flickering when they look at certain types of text. This can result in eye strain or visual stress while reading and has been the subject of research for decades. The term Meares-Irlen syndrome is sometimes used to refer to this condition named for the researchers who identified the collection of signs and symptoms in the 1980s. Symptoms may include headaches or sore eyes when reading, glare from the page, movement or blurring of print. This video demonstrates what one might experience with this type of visual stress. When a child is rubbing their eyes, blinking excessively or having difficulty reading or concentrating, perhaps it is a sign of Meares-Irlen syndrome. Irlen identifies it as a ‘perceptual processing disorder’ not an optical problem.
The use of colour overlays and tinted lenses have often been used for the treatment of Meares-Irlen syndrome and dyslexia, despite their controversy. While these therapies are rejected by some in the scientific community due to lack of evidence, thousands of users claim that colour makes a difference for some struggling readers.
If signs of visual stress are impacting you or your family, contact your optometrist to learn more about options for identifying your condition and developing a treatment customized to your unique needs.