What Is Irlen® Syndrome?

What is Irlen® Syndrome?

Irlen® Syndrome is a visual processing problem, where certain colors of the light spectrum over-stimulate the brain. It is not a structural problem with the eyes. It is a problem with how the brain processes visual information. 

The scans below contrast the calm state of a person wearing their personally corrected, filtered lenses with the overstimulated state of the same person not wearing them.

Brain Scans

Irlen brain scans

What this means: for most people, reading black characters on a white background isn’t an issue, but for those with Irlen® Syndrome, reading like this can be more difficult, even causing physical effects such as eye strain, fatigue, headaches, or even nausea. 

Some (not all) even experience visual distortions. This video shows what these distortions may look like to those with Irlen® Syndrome:

© 1987 perceptual development Corp
© 2008 perceptual development Corp

Sadly, most young sufferers do not even realize they are seeing the world differently.  They wonder why reading is so easy for everyone else.