Irlen Screenings

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Irlen Screenings

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Irlen Syndrome

Some children and adults complain that they have trouble learning to read, hate reading, or avoid reading may actually have Irlen Syndrome. Irlen Syndrome is a visual stress disorder that is related to problems with light sensitivity. Some people have difficulty processing the particular wavelengths that individual colors in the light spectrum give off. Irlen Syndrome is not identified by an eye exam or standardized educational testing. It can impact a person’s ability to read, process language and impact their learning. It is a spectrum disorder, which ranges from mild to severe.

 

I often see school aged individuals and young adults for their difficulties with reading and language skills. I am a certified screener for Irlen Syndrome. I am finding that by screening some of my patients for Irlen Syndrome as well, it can be identified and they can immediately find some alleviation of symptoms by using the certain color overlays that I can provide for them.

 

If they are found through Irlen Syndrome Screenings to have moderate to severe symptoms from the screening, individuals are then recommended to go on to an Irlen Diagnostician. The diagnostician determines the specific color or combination of colors that the sufferer is sensitive to and orders the Irlen Spectral Filters that are worn as glasses. 96% of the time Irlen symptoms can be relieved by using the overlays and spectral filter lenses! The changes can be quite dramatic and immediate. However, any underlying conditions will likely still require therapy, tutoring and medical intervention, but they will be much more manageable. The Irlen Method is a piece of the puzzle.

 

Not everybody has all of the same symptoms of Irlen Syndrome. Following are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Visual distortions – especially black print on a white background
  • Worsening symptoms the longer one reads
  • Light sensitivity – especially to fluorescent lights and other bright lighting
  • Feeling physically ill – headaches and migraines, dizziness, nausea and other feelings of being unwell including anxiety and depression
  • Depth Perception difficulties – having trouble with 3D – including difficulty driving at night, with headlight glaring

 

Here are the statistics – it is more common than you would think! 14-15% of the general population, 46% of those with learning disabilities, 33% of those with ADHD and 30% of those with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In addition, almost HALF of those who have suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), concussion or whiplash have acquired Irlen Syndrome. Other medical, visual and psychological conditions may be accompanied by symptoms of Irlen Syndrome.

 

For more information, please click on the following links to answer your questions.

www.Irlen.com

www.IrlenSyndrome.org

 

Click this link to download the Irlen Self-Test Questionaire. It will help determine if you or any of your loved ones would benefit from being screened by a certified Irlen Screener. You may also download the Irlen Parent Toolkit, for more information about Irlen Syndrome that you can print out and share. If you would like something to share with teachers and other professionals, you can download the Irlen Educator Toolkit.

Books about Irlen Syndrome:

“Thomas’s Journey with Irlen” by Eloise Scott

“Like Color to the Blind” by Donna Williams

Books by Helen Irlen:

“The Irlen Revolution”, “Reading By Colors”, “Sports Concussion and Getting Back in the Game of Life”

 

TESTIMONIALS


Mom of Teenage Daughter with Severe Headaches, Anxiety, and Reading Challenges

Within one week of wearing Irlen filters, Nancy’s  headaches , anxieties, attention and reading fluency improved. Now two months later,  her academic performance and self esteem have skyrocketed . She is 14 years old and this progress happened almost immediately upon wearing her Irlen Tinted Lenses. This after years of tutoring , therapies, and medications.

She has so much less stress and is enjoying getting “A’s” instead of overworking to attain her usual excellent grades. The anxiety she always felt is almost eliminated and she is enjoying school and life with a joy we have not seen since her childhood. Her therapist says she is able to communicate with greater insight and openness, since she can now articulate her feelings and insights, with out being so blocked by mental, emotional and physical stress and anxiety.


52 Year Old Technical Writer with ADD, Light Sensitivity, Severe Anxiety, Reading Problems,  Fatigue, and Work Related Issues

At 52 years old, I have lived with stress, anxiety, depression, and learning challenges all my life. I am a technical writer and worked for a company for years, when I was let go suddenly last year due to poor performance. This shocked me to find solutions to help my issues  impacting my relationships and ability to organize and maintain focus, especially when working at a computer screen or under fluorescent lighting which was 90% of my work day. All my life I just thought I was impaired and just “too” sensitive. I was always exhausted and. Could never read a book for pleasure, falling asleep after a page or while reading to my kids.

My wife prompted to to get help and I had been researching for years for a solution. When I found Irlen Method in the Internet, the symptoms sounded so familiar.

After one month of wearing my Irlen Tinted Lenses, I am a different person. I can drive and go out into bight sunlight and see colors and depth I have never experienced accurately and without pain. And stress. I read a 300 page novel in one weekend and enjoyed it thoroughly and read books to my kids with ease and energy. I can tolerate fluorescent lighting and focus for hours for the first time in my life . I am laughing more and enjoying life. Thank you!!! I cannot imagine life without these lenses ever again. I am getting a second pair as a backup!!! Also I am not in any medications for ADHD or anxieties. That feels fantastic also! My therapist wants to attend your trainings and learn more too. I will be bringing my son as well, who has ADD and many if my issues.  Tom E.

Note: 2 years later he is feeling and functioning with excellent productivity and emotional wellbeing.  His teenage son is now wearing Irlen tints and will not have to go through a lifetime of struggle as he did.  Dad was able to see in his son what he now sees in himself as a lifelong issue.  Early detection by an educated parent have saved this teenager so much agony and challenge.                        


Registered Nurse in her late 20’s with lifelong, disabling, severe migraines and light sensitivity obtains immediate, drug-free relief when wearing Irlen spectral tints

I have suffered from debilitating migraines as long as i can remember. If you have had migraines you know the feeling, stabbing pain behind one eye, flashing lights, nausea, vomiting, inability to deal with the smallest sound and noise. My migraines limited my ability to stay outside, or get overheated. I have been through CT scans, MRIs. I have lost many days to my dark room. I have missed many family gathering, dates and days of work.

As I grew up my migraines only got worse throughout stress, hormones, ect. I am a nurse and grew up within a medical community. So I looked through all the data regarding migraines, possible reason and triggers. I eliminated all food triggers, and took up yoga to decrease stress. As i began working more nights. This did not help. My neurologist encouraged switching to days and decrease me stress. I then tried acupuncture, chiropractors, herbalist. Only the herbalist seemed to help that much.

I continued to have at least 5-7 migraines per month. I changed to a school job, but my migraines did not decrease. They were out of control. They increase my medication to “the highest level, they felt comfortable with”. They encouraged me to think about botox. I did the research and I hate to put more medications in my body then i have to. And considering that botox just deadens the nerves left me feeling unsettled. So at this time I was taking two medications daily for migraines and herbal. At this point I could not work more then one day at a time.

My husband is a fixer. He wanted to know what was wrong and what could fix it. He spent many days and nights looking on the internet for answers. He fell into Irlen syndrome. He sent me the link and information. I admit it was skeptical.

As many nurses, and doctors know that we live in a brightly lighted, computers, and constant electronic use. I did research on the syndrome and was still skeptical.

Then I was hit with a migraine that almost sent me to the ER. Which is the worse place for a migraine sufferer. That was it. I scheduled with Shoshana Shamberg, Irlen Diagnostician in Baltimore, MD. After four hours working with her, the Irlen /Environmental/Perceptual Testing and her Irlen colored lenses, I was amazed my brain could feel so relaxed and calm no matter how bright the lights were.

I didn’t want to wait for my glasses to come. And then my life changed……… my glasses came just in time. I put them on and felt completely different. The next couple days i was scheduled to work (4 days in a row) This was the ultimate test.

I have been wearing my glasses for two and half weeks with not one migraine. I have been able to study without pain or knowing that a migraine was eventual.

I have been telling everyone i know about this. Once I pass the boards, I want to take the information to various classes and professionals, because i believe that this could save many people from suffering for any longer then they have to. Hopefully i will be able to decrease my medications and start living a life with fewer and fewer migraines.        Thankfully,   Danielle


Parents of Ashley, 19 Year Old College Student

I wanted to let you know Ashley’s lenses came in yesterday and she’s absolutely thrilled with the difference they make. ..she said they’re life changing! She’s been doing homework all morning and her eyes aren’t tired at all, like they normally are when she studies.

We went outside and she was amazed at the depth perception of the tree branches. She said previously viewing the world was like looking at a flat painting. Then she got a golf club out and hit the wiffle ball every time without missing. Now we’re going for a walk to see what she can see.

When we were outside she remarked that she could see the perspective of birds flying, one in front of the other, when they used to look like they were flat against the sky. She also mentioned that when driving across a high bridge over the Mosel River in Germany, we used to talk about how beautiful the valley was below, and she said “now I get it”…where to her it looked like a field under the bridge.

We, Ashley’s parents, are so excited that we found a solution for her. I can’t imagine her going 19 years thinking what she saw was normal. I’m so happy for her and the opportunities this will open up for her. We can’t thank you enough!


Mom and Teenage Son Wear Irlen Tints. Mom is an acupuncturist and nurse.

I mostly notice that I don’t get as tired from feeling overwhelmed with light. I feel much more relaxed and at ease in my whole body, not just my eyes. I don’t feel the eyestrain that I used to feel. My reading comprehension is improved as well, as I don’t have to re-read to get the meaning of a passage. And the biggest benefit in some ways is that the world looks so much more beautiful, as I see depth that I wasn’t aware that I didn’t see before. When I first put the glasses on and looked out the window, it took my breath away, that the world was so much more beautiful! Thank you!

My son is much more comfortable under bright lights in school. His attention span, focus, and reading have improved considerably.  He has benefitted greatly from wearing tints in school and when he drives. The visual stress is much less!!! He thanks you!

Heather Dorst MAc, RN,  Licensed Acupuncturist, Ruscombe Mansion Community Health Center


Dr. Armine speaks about Irlen distortions and psychiatric diagnosis. His son wears Irlen tinted lenses. 

I am a physician and have a son who six years ago was diagnosed with bipolar disease and schizoaffective disorder. During that time he was recalcitrant to numerous traditional and alternative therapies which failed to ameliorate his visual hallucinations and fluctuations in his mood. He is extremely intelligent and motivated, with a high IQ, who loved to read and enjoyed the intellectual challenge of high school and college. His disease robbed him of his ability to concentrate on his reading, causing extreme distress and his inability to remain in school. He had consistent headaches and anxiety. For several semesters we needed to medically withdraw him from classes. He was unable to progress in his studies.

At the suggestion of his recent psychiatrist, we were asked to investigate Irlen Syndrome. Upon reading the website and performing the self-tests, it was apparent that my son could possibly be suffering from Irlen syndrome. His symptoms included the printed word being fuzzy, letters moving around, the background competing for his attention, visualizing in two dimensions rather than three dimensions, difficulty with night vision, difficulty with depth perception, etc.

We were directed to an expert in the field, Shoshana Shamberg,  Certified Irlen Diagnostician, who performed an evaluation and within two hours found the combination of tints that ameliorated his visual difficulties. I was able to observe my sons inability to read and visual hallucinations reversed by the use of these tinted lenses.

Within two weeks we had a set of glasses with the proper tinting and my son showed immediate improvement. He was able to read without difficulty, his anxiety decreased significantly, his visual hallucinations were eradicated, his headaches (which were apparently caused by him concentrating very hard on each word to make it stop moving) were relieved and, for the first time in several years, he was able to complete his semester.

Clearly, Irlen syndrome is a true entity that causes numerous visual, learning, and psychiatric manifestations. In children with the aforementioned difficulties, Irlen syndrome should be placed within the differential diagnosis and screened for.  Each school could have their own trained and Certified Irlen Screener on staff with the 15 CE hour trainings provided by Irlen Diagnosticians worldwide, including Shoshana Shamberg.

I am grateful that we found the existence of Irlen syndrome.  I’m grateful for the expertise of Shoshana Shamberg, who so expertly provided an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. My son’s ability to read returned to him, with many of his symptoms relieved. He returned and completed his college degree and is not happily and successfully working.   

Sincerely, Dr. Jess P Armine


Educator and Reading Specialist, Irlen Screener for 20 years, and Irlen Client

We are so lucky to have Shoshana Shamberg OTR/L, MS, FAOTA in our area – there are few Irlen Diagnosticians in the US. The closest to us for Irlen diagnostic referrals in the Washington Metropolitan area was New York and North Carolina – so we Irlen screeners were thrilled to have her add her services in Baltimore and Reston. While screeners are a first step for Irlen overlay remediation, it was unfortunate to have to send clients for Irlen lens assistance so far away. Shoshana offers a variety of services with quality client care first in her mind.

Why do we need Shoshana? Is it Dyslexia? Is it just a headache? Is it really ADHD? Is it Irlen Syndrome, also called Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome?

Light can play tricks with what we see and no one person sees the world the same as another. Irlen is about light. Light sensitivity can cause people to see print distortions or even distortions viewing the world in its 3-D form. The person who has migraines or feels ill or tires when reading for a long time may also have Irlen syndrome.

Irlen Syndrome is a neurological condition that many do not notice as a cause of reading problems until students are struggling in middle or upper grades or into adulthood when reading demands are greater. It can accompany learning disabilities, brain injury, autistic spectrum disorders or other conditions that make learning difficult. It can happen to the gifted person or to average folks with no special education issue.

I have been a reading specialist since the 70s and an Irlen Screener since the early 90s. I have seen the ecstatic faces of clients using Irlen overlays for the first time when they suddenly see the world more clearly.

Because this is not an eye problem per se, your eye doctor may not treat it. The first step is Irlen screening – that is testing by a trained screener to see what combination of special colored overlays will filter the light spectrum to make reading more comfortable and less stressful. The next step is a visit Shoshana, an Irlen diagnostician, who can similarly assess the client and prescribe lenses or contacts – to change the world for the better.

Lainge Bailey, Nexus Coordinator
Member of the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens’ Associations’ Committees
For Education and for Health and Human Services
Clinical Reading Specialist, Irlen International Institute – Screener, FCPS (Ret.)


Parent of Child with Irlen Syndrome who received an Irlen Screening and Uses Colored Overlays for reading and working at the computer

I spoke with my administrator and she’s afraid our county will not embrace learning more about the screening process because once they offer it, the financial burden falls on the school system.

Kristina took her reading benchmark test using her Irlen overlay on Tuesday. When she took the reading test in the fall she scored a 60%. This time she scored an 85% when using the overlays.  Amazing and can be documented with immediate testing and hearing her read out loud with and with out the overlay. 

Thanks so much for getting us on the right path to help her. She’s so much more confident in so  little time.     I hate to think what could have happened if we had waited any longer.  All children who struggle with reading should be screened by a trained Irlen Screener as early as possible before the problems become progressive and pervasive.

 Sincerely, Meg S., mom of Irlen Client in Elementary School


Mother of Irlen Teen with Migraines, David Arcola, who has tens of thousands of views of his video on Irlen Syndrome. Mom is an Irlen client, Irlen Screener,  media consultant, and writer.

Today I cannot imagine life without Irlen lenses. My symptoms without them: I have a constant mild to moderate headache on the top of my head. I can’t see but about three letters clearly at one time and my eyes don’t “glide,” which makes reading tiring and makes it impossible to scan for information. Under fluorescent lights, I feel hyper and feel like I’m talking too much. Driving at night and having to look at car lights makes me just about weep from the stress. And my depth perception isn’t really 3-D, which makes me a very cautious driver in a parking lot. With Irlen lenses, I don’t have these symptoms unless I’m under strong fluorescent light and there is a lot of “light leak” around my lenses. I’m also calmer in general wearing lenses. My husband kept asking me if I felt okay because I was so much quieter after I got my Irlen lenses.

Despite my symptoms, which came on in mid-life, I would never have guessed I was sensitive to light (We don’t know how others experience light) or had Irlen syndrome because I still considered myself a good reader and I had excelled in school. (Looking back, I think I developed mild Irlen syndrome after some head and neck injuries and the symptoms worsened at mid-life.) In fact, I took my son for an Irlen screening and reacted to the testing much worse than he did. Even though I then realized I had a problem with visual stress, I thought the lenses were too expensive. I didn’t use the overlays because they weren’t quite right and they were putzy. (The help from lenses is so much more precise and lenses are easier to keep track of. Plus they help with all visual stress, not just reading.) Over the next few months, I began to realize how much I was compensating for my light sensitivity and the symptoms bothered me a lot more once I realized there was help. For example, I began to realize I didn’t read long because my eyes would become stressed, not for some other excuse.

I became an Irlen screener and got my first lenses at about the same time in early 2002. I’d say my first and second lenses were good, my third lenses were very good and my fourth lenses, which I got a couple of years ago, are excellent; they also include a .5 prism, which relieved more visual stress and probably doubled my reading speed. (My theory is that I am light sensitive plus my eyes don’t work together well. The Irlen lenses alone helped the eyes work together, but the prism adds even more help.)

People spend $2,000 each for hearing aids, often out of pocket, so really the cost of Irlen lenses isn’t so bad. And the improvement in quality of life can be tremendous.
Until we moved to the Minneapolis area in 2006, my husband, a speech-language pathologist, and I, a public relations consultant, were the only screeners in central Minnesota and brought knowledge of the syndrome to central Minnesota through seminars, outreach and the media. We even had diagnosticians to come from out of state and had them stay in our home for a few days so they could help people with lenses.

The work I’ve done as an Irlen screener has been perhaps the most gratifying work I’ve done in my life. I could tell you many miracle stories about children and adults whose lives had been changed by overlays or Irlen lenses. The most dramatic change I saw in a child was a little girl whose reading scores rose from Grade 1 to Grade 6 because an overlay made the letters stop swirling. And most dramatic change I saw in an adult was a young man with a high IQ who would fall asleep whenever he tried to read.

My son didn’t have enough Irlen symptoms to bother with overlays in 2002, but when he was about 13 a couple of years later, he began getting terrific headaches from sunlight. (Most people have worse symptoms from fluorescent lights, but his worse symptoms are from sunlight.) He’d lie on his bed and moan until some pain meds kicked in. We took him for Irlen lenses right away. I suppose if we hadn’t known about Irlen lenses, we’d have taken him to medical professionals and gotten chiro treatments and acupuncture and biofeedback and probably meds and who knows what for him. He never had a reading issue or depth perception problem. When my son was 18, he created a YouTube video about IS that the Irlen Institute has on its web site. It’s also on the home page of this web site. His website iswww.ReadingAndLight.com.

Son and I are both grateful for Irlen lenses. It has been amazing how many of our friends or people we just run into have visual stress. I once watched a woman at a conference and mentioned light sensitivity to her. It turned out she has a neurological problem. Now she wears Irlen lenses and has improved balance and less stress. When I talked with one school board member, she said she’d always read in the dark and squirmed in her seat; now she “craves” her Irlen lenses. A friend who’s an Army major loves his overlays. A tax accountant friend who used to trick her clients into reading numbers to her now reads numbers and the tax code with ease with Irlen lenses. And the list goes on.    

Julie Evans, Bloomington, MN, Writer, editor, communications consultant, Irlen screener & client


Scientist speaks of daughter’s Irlen Syndrome and SATs/reading problems

I just wanted to thank you for providing us with a resource for Irlen screening and diagnostics. My daughter was initially identified as having scotopic sensitivity when she was in 6th grade. Reading was becoming difficult for her and we couldn’t figure out why she didn’t like to read. She couldn’t focus on reading for more than a few minutes at a time, which worried us that she’d fall behind in school. The Irlen filtered glasses that she got after her testing with Maxine Jaubert helped her so much. She was able to focus on printed material for a longer stretch of time without getting a headache. Unfortunately, the coating on the lenses didn’t last forever, which was why we came to see you for re-testing and re-tinting of the lenses. My daughter is now in 11th grade, doing wonderfully, and the new filters/tints she got have helped her tremendously. I don’t know how she’d ever be able to take AP History with all the reading required without these special lenses. She has been wearing the glasses almost constantly since we got them in December because she feels they are better for all around 3D visual perception.

Irlen/scoptopic sensitivity syndrome is a very curious condition. It cannot be diagnosed by an opthamologist as it has nothing to do with the physiology or cellular function of the eye and its attendant structures. Rather, it appears to be more of a visual perception issue that must occur at in singular neural locus in the brain. Until we have better tools to diagnose these visual perception issues, it would be such a simple thing to have children screened in school or at the pediatrician’s office, much like we do auditory screening tests. It certainly would have saved us a lot of time, but unfortunately, until children begin to exhibit difficulties in reading or eye-hand coordination, one doesn’t really think of Irlen. At the very least, we need to do a better job of educating teachers and pediatricians on what to look out for when otherwise bright and driven children experience difficulties in specific areas. Thanks for all you do and for taking such care with my daughter’s Irlen Testing.                      Ethel Rubin, PhD


Irlen Screener,  Occupational Therapist, College Academic Fieldwork Coordinator 

I first learned about Irlen Syndrome in Donna Williams’ book “Like Color to the Blind” (1996). Ms. Williams is an adult with autism who has written and spoken around the world about her experiences growing up with autism and being misunderstood. Her beautiful descriptions of her unique visual perceptual understanding of the world around her literally and metaphorically opened my eyes to the unique visual experiences of children and adults with autism. Her specific experience of suddenly being able to visually perceive the entirety of her fiancé once her Irlen lenses were in place (rather than just being able to visually perceive and process one facial feature at a time—can you imagine? And this woman was driving!)

I began to explore this phenomenon of Irlen Syndrome in the literature. It appears that it is embraced more readily in Australia and Europe but there is a growing body of evidence and acceptance in the U.S. now. Entire American school districts are requiring Irlen screening. Given that as many as half or more of “typical” classrooms may have unidentified visual perceptual issues (I learned this at an AOTA presentation many years ago from an Israeli OT who screened all the 7th and 8th graders in a nearby typical school), it is apparent to me that we as OTs are missing an opportunity to empower children and adults to achieve more and be more functional. Irlen Syndrome is one of those visual perceptual issues that we need to be trained in to best provide complete assessment for our clients. Something as seemingly easy as a colored overlay may make the difference to a student between reading easily for comprehension and a headache after only 5 minutes of reading without it. It could mean the difference between a safe driver wearing colored Irlen lenses and an unsafe one missing the visual cue of the changing light or the pedestrian in a crosswalk. I encourage all occupational therapists to research this phenomenon for themselves and then attend the training to become an Irlen screener or diagnostician. For more information, go to www.irlen.com and also check out Helen Irlen’s book “Reading by the Colors” (1991).

Christine L. Achenbach, MEd., OTR/L, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Occupational Therapy Department, Elizabethtown College


Parent of College Student with Reading, Depth Perception, Migraines, and Extreme Fatigue resulting from a Brain Tumor

Meredith’s glasses have made such a difference in her life. Not only has her driving has improved, as she has better depth perception, she has fewer migraine headaches, which were overwhelming her life. Her reading has improved, which means her grades have improved. She calls her glasses her “super-hero” glasses. She even said that she is less exhausted at the end of the day as she doesn’t have to concentrate and focus as hard all day long. She tells anyone who will listen, how wonderful her glasses are and what a difference her Irlen glasses have made in her life. Her only regret is that she didn’t find out about Irlen Visual sooner, which would have made high school a lot easier. Thanks so much Shoshana! I’m also so glad the doctor that tested her originally was actually informed about Irlen.

Leslie V., mother of 20 year old Meredith (see her testimonials as well) an Irlen client using spectral filters since 2009


Irlen Client of 20+ Years, Teacher, and Parent of Irlen Client. 

I’m now going on 25+ years with my lenses, since I was a teenager. They changed my life back then and they continue to be a very important part of my life now. I have to say I wouldn’t be where I am now, an Art Teacher with Fairfax County Public Schools, if it wasn’t for my mother taking me to get screened in 1990 in Harrisonburg VA. I was struggling my way through college as I had done through High School. I can still picture my mother crying when I read for the first time with color overlays as I read for the first time, at age 20, without hesitation, stopping at simple words and skipping my way through sentences. Not to mention understanding what I was reading as I was reading it. It has also made a huge impact on the way I feel I fit into the world. Before I got my lenses I saw the world but didn’t feel like I fit in. Once I got the colors right, for the first time in my life I could experience myself in the area I was in and not work so hard at trying to understand it. To say the least, my lenses changed and saved my life all at the same time. I’m not sure what I would have done without them. Thanks has to go to ’60 Minutes’ TV broadcast for showing a segment on Irlen and for my mother, after watching that program, tracking down how she could get me tested. Thanks for all you do, too.

Brooke being is doing very well. She says keeping up with her reading and the ease at which she reads is much better. Her enjoyment is also going up which is what I hope will help her get into a better routine of studying and finishing her school work in less time, with less effort, and of course better grades.

Derek P. and daughter, Brooke. Teacher and Irlen spectral lens user for 25+ years. His daughter has been wearing Irlen spectral filters since 2005


Academic Support Director and Assistant Principal of Private High School

H. said that his time with you was very valuable and validating. He was so relieved to hear that you understood him and that he wasn’t the only one. He told me that he is using the filters at home, but he didn’t want to take them to school for fear of losing them. We are going to try using colored paper for his handouts at this point and see if that helps a little.

Deborah L. R, Director of Academic Support, Community High School


Neuropsychiatrist Speaks about his Daughter with Disabling Migraines and Light Sensitivity Since Her Teens.  

Elizabeth’s Irlen filters have made all the difference in the world. She no longer suffers from extreme light sensitivity. Her daily migraine headaches have been 99% reduced.

Dr. Joseph Annibali, parent of IrlenVLCMD client with Irlen Syndrome Liz Annibali and director of the Amen Clinic of DC and neuropsychiatrist. Liz,has been wearing Irlen tinted no RX glasses and tinted contact lenses  for the past 14+ years.


Dr. Annibali, MD, director of the Amen Clinic of DC and Neuropsychiatrist

Father of Irlen Client.  Passionate advocate for Irlen Testing for clients who suffer from ADD/ADHD, brain injuries, migraines, dyslexia, and light sensitivity. 

I have referred a number of patients for Irlen screening and treatment. Others of my patients were diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome before coming to me. Typically, patients with Irlen Syndrome experience dramatic relief in light sensitivity, headaches, and reading strain, when they use their specially-prescribed Irlen filters. This little-known condition deserves to be understood by all physicians, educators, and parents.

Dr. Joseph Annibali, father of Irlen Client Liz Annibali and director of the Amen Clinic of DC and neuropsychiatrist. Liz, has been wearing Irlen spectral filters since her teenage years (14+ years)


College Student with Brain Tumor and Severe Migraines

Immediate benefits after years of suffering: I love my glasses. My headaches have decreased and I have noticed that my motor skills are quicker! When I play video games I am quicker and see the TV better. I also do not get a headache when watching the TV or when I am on the computer.  I could not function without these tinted glasses and could not have gotten through college and the stress of reading. 

Update a few months later after wearing tints consistently: I just wanted to keep you up to date with everything. My glasses have been such a blessing! I have notice an improvement in my driving, my school work, and my overall well- being. Last week I went on a conference in Boston and ended up leaving my glasses there. Luckily they were shipped home to me in only three days. But the three days I did not have my glasses I did notice my migraines came back, I was not able to be a passenger in a car with another person, class time was miserable, and homework was extra hard. I do not want to make my glasses a crutch, but I do believe my life has been improved because of these glasses.

The purpose of this e-mail is to update you on how I am doing with my glasses, but also you mentioned back in the fall about a brain trauma test with the glasses and being a volunteer for the Irlen program. I have talked to so many people at school and it seems that a lot of people would benefit from these glasses. I am really excited about this! If I cannot help I understand, but just know these glasses are just great! Its nice to go one day without a headache (it’s a weird feeling for me).

Meredith , college graduate, married and mother with traumatic brain injury, severe migraines and coordination problems. Her condition is closely monitored by neurologists, educational psychologists and support services and has worn her spectral tints since 2009.


Middle Aged Woman Achieves Relief from Lifelong Visual Perceptual Problems 

All going well, I haven’t yet had the chance to go to the movies to really test them out, but a visit to the theater was very comfortable. I also will put them on at work if I start to feel I have some eyestrain or I have to talk to someone wearing a striped shirt. So yes, a definite improvement . Here are the areas of excellent (5) improvement with Irlen Spectral Filters:

Comfort level with lighting indoors – Strain or Fatigue – White stands out/sparkles – Headaches – Problems looking at the computer screen

Louise, middle aged, using Irlen spectral filters since 2009. Bothered all her life with visual perceptual problems, aversion to striped/high contrast patterns, headaches, eye strain, computer stress syndrome, and trouble feeling calm and comfortable when watching movies, theater and TV.


Shoshana Shamberg’s Son with Traumatic Eye Injury, Migraines, and Light Sensitivity to Fluorescent Lighting in High School  

My mother made me get Irlen glasses cause I kept complaining about lights hurting my eyes and being stressed at school. I have read and done my homework in a dark room with only minimal lighting, since I had an eye injury a few years ago. I almost lost my eye, but now I am blind and very light sensitive in the injured eye. Darker rooms feel better. With my Irlen glasses I can take tests with less tiredness and more accuracy . They make everything easier to see and relieve the stress I always used to feel in my eyes, especially at school, where I cannot control the light levels and there are bright, florescent lights everywhere. I also feel better watching movies and using the computer/TV monitors at school. I really like my Irlen filter and I am now happy my mom, an Irlen Diagnostician, made me get them. The test was really long and sometimes frustrating and boring, but worth it now.

Dovid Shamberg, age 15 years old in 2009, son of Shoshana Shamberg, Irlen Diagnostician, athlete, honor roll student in honors classes. He sustained a paint ball injury to one eye when he was 11 years old and was  legally blind in one eye til age 19 years, and has greater then 20/20 vision in the other. He has different tints for each eye.  


Mother of 11 Year Old Irlen Client with Severe Reading Problems

Joy is thrilled with her glasses. It was a little while before she made a habit of wearing them all the time. When she had worn them for about a week of schoolwork, regularly, she lifted them up to scratch her nose and said, “Oh my gosh, Mom! All the words all ran to the middle of the two pages!” I hope you, your coworkers and family are all well. God bless. Nanette

Nanette, mother of 11 year old client with severe reading problems but above average intelligence. She has compensated with an excellent memory and problem solving ability. She is also extremely light sensitive and is presently home schooled due to the stress of the school environment.


Retired Physician’s Assistant and Former College Administrator of Student Support Services. Suffered a stroke at 50 years of age in 2002 .

It is hard to believe that a group of colored lenses (different tints in each eye as well) make such a difference in my balance, coordination and visual perception after 8 years of suffering from the effects of my stroke. I have seen neurologists and visions specialists, spent thousands in alternative and traditional interventions, worn expensive RX glasses that only helped minimally, and until you tested me for Irlen Syndrome, I had no relief.

I have been unable to safely navigate stairs, uneven surfaces, read comfortably for sustained periods, work at my computer and do any close up work involving eye hand coordination with out extreme stress and migraines. I have compensated for my severe double vision and depth perception problems, but with much effort and anxiety.

Thank you so much for introducing me to the Irlen Method, I am very much looking forward to using my Irlen spectral filters which I will wear over my RX glasses as needed. For the first time in 8 years I can see the computer screen without working to keep the words/images from moving, walk confidently and gracefully along uneven surfaces, and walk up and down stairs with ease and comfort. Fluorescent lighting is finally tolerable and bright lights are not glaringly uncomfortable. When I get tired my right leg drags and I can easily trip. As we both saw, when I put the lenses on my leg felt stronger and I did not limp and I could see where I was going with much greater accuracy. How do colored lenses on my eyes affect the coordination of my leg and whole body balance?

The combination of different colored lenses does not feel like sunglasses, so my vision feels normal inside and outdoors. As an artist I am grateful since I still see the beauty of the colors around me accurately, and I paint and draw with greater ease and comfort and much less distortion, yet the lenses are a dark color. Amazing. I really am surprised at the results. As a medical professional, I am even more amazed that they worked better for me then so many other traditional treatments by my doctors and therapists.

Joy B, PA, retired physician’s assistant and former college administrator of student support services. She suffered a stroke at 50 years of age in 2002 and has compensated for her visual perceptual, muscle fatigue,  and balance problems until Irlen tints immediately improved mobility, coordination and working at the computer.


Woman with Migraines, Sleep Disorder,  and Stress Related Illnesses since Childhood 

For years I suffered from stress related illnesses – IBS, Fibromyalgia, TMJ – and I had trouble with driving due to my lack of depth perception and spacial judgment. I was a chronic insomniac; my body was forever tense. I was always extremely light sensitive especially when under fluorescents but who wasn’t? Or so I thought. When I first heard of Irlen I was skeptical to think that some colored plastic could help me with so many seemingly unrelated issues. However, when I went to get tested for glasses I could not believe my eyes (pun intended)! I walked along the sidewalk and on longer feared falling off (trust me, it used to happen – often)! The sun was no longer my enemy; snow no longer blinded me; I could make a right turn while driving and not fear taking off others’ side mirrors! To my utter surprise, I felt tired at night; I slept full long restful sleeps. Secretly, I wished my color lenses would turn out to be orange (my favorite color) but instead I ended up with some beautiful layered shades of purple – I now had a reason to wear that purple necklace that’s been sitting in my jewelry box for years! Of course I went out and bought some cute purple tops to match! But on a more serious note, I do not know how I lasted so long without my glasses or what I would have done had I never gotten them! They changed my life and I highly recommend to anyone who has vision, learning and/or stress related illnesses to get yourself tested. It will do no harm and it has the potential to change your world like it changed mine!

Tova B., highly intelligent and creative teacher’s aid, musician, former office manager of Irlen Diagnostic Center,  Pre-Screener for Irlen Syndrome. Helped by Irlen spectral filters since 2009.


Woman with Lifelong Learning Challenges, Seizure Disorder, ADHD, Organization Problems obtains relief with Irlen tinted RX lenses

Dear Helen Irlen:        I would like to take the time to thank you and show you my gratitude for inventing the Irlen method. Irlen Spectral Filters with my prescription glasses have made a world of difference for for my life,  giving me a whole new lease on life altogether. Before I was diagnosed and treated for Irlen Syndrome, I had an extremely difficult and complicated life. During my childhood I suffered from medical problems such as ADHD, epileptic seizures and dyslexia, which caused severe learning difficulties in the classrooms. I was extremely hyperactive, unfocused, had poor social skills and had a hard time making friends in grade school and getting good grades in school.

My doctors had me placed on Ritalin to help me stay focused, Zarontin and Dilantin to help manage the seizures. This helped me to manage the symptoms of my medical problems. I was just barely getting through school with the help of my parents and tutors enough to pass to the next grade level each year.

As I approached adolescence my self-esteem continued to plummet as my anxiety levels continued to soar to new heights. By the time I started 7th grade in Jr. High School I did see some improvement in my school work, but still had a great deal of problems with anxiety. I did not have very many friends and was severely depressed to the point that I no longer felt that I had a reason to live.  I know feel that life has unlimited possibilities and wearing Irlen Spectral Filters has been a major help!!!   I am eternally grateful.  Please help others who suffer with similar symptoms and hopefully as early as possible.