Meares-Irlen Lenses

What is Meares-Irlen Syndrome?

Some children and adults who have difficulty with reading, experience visual distortion when viewing a page of print: the letters may appear to move, or to blur, the white paper may glare and cause eye-strain or headaches.

The resulting visual discomfort and perceptual distortion is scientifically known as ‘Pattern Glare’ and can interfere with reading. This condition is also commonly called Meares-Irlen Syndrome.

Irlen Syndrome is common in people who have binocular vision problems. For these individuals, Visual Training is often appropriate. It can also occur quite independently in those who have perfect eyesight.

What is available for those with Pattern Glare?

Clinical research trials by the Applied Psychology Department of the Medical Research Council in England have shown that these symptoms can be alleviated when using spectacle lenses, tinted specifically to meet the individual needs of each patient.

The effect of each hue is generally to give greater clarity with reading. This often improves reading fluency and efficiency. Many experience a reduction in headaches and find it easier to concentrate.

What are Tech Tinted Lenses?

Tech lenses are prescribed for the treatment of visual distortion associated with reading. This is the only system with supporting research and trials by the Medical Research Council’s Applied Psychology Unit.

Other methods may not offer a scientifically based and precise analysis of the required hue. Some methods do not accurately reproduce a given tint.

How does a Meares-Irlen Assessment work?

In order to determine an appropriate tint, each assessment is carried out on the Intuitive Colorimeter, an instrument developed for this purpose by the Medical Research Council. It is now manufactured exclusively and under license by Cerium Visual Technologies, England.

With this instrument it is possible to examine the benefits of colour on reading in fine detail and with controlled variables.

The results of the test can be produced both reliably and accurately in the form of tech tinted lenses by utilising a new and unique system specially developed to accompany the Intuitive Colorimeter. With this new method of tinting there are over 6,700 different hues available and so any colour determined through the Colorimeter can be matched.

Every patient has a unique hue requirement based on their visual system and unique needs. This means each set of tech tinted lenses is custom made and individualised for them. Often we trial certain tints with coloured overlay sheets. Patients may take them home as a trial before going ahead prescription custom lenses.

For more information or any questions on Meares-Irlen Syndrome, you can contact our Optometrist John Mellsop.