Meares-Irlen Lenses

What is Meares-Irlen Syndrome?

Some patients experience distortion when viewing a page, and consequently have trouble reading. This often affects children but may also affect adults. Some find certain words blurry, or that words ‘jump on the page.’ Often, patients find white pages very bright and have subsequent headaches.

This perceptual distortion and the associated reading trouble, are symptoms of a condition termed Pattern Glare. More commonly this is known as Meares-Irlen Syndrome. 

Pattern Glare is common in those with binocular vision problems. Your binocular vision describes how well your eyes work together as a team. In these cases visual training is often beneficial– see behavioural optometry. Sometimes, Meares-Irlen Syndrome affects those who have very sharp eyesight and no other visual problems.

How can we help those with Pattern Glare?

Clinical trials by the English Medical Research Council have shown these visual symptoms may be alleviated with the use of specialised lenses. These lenses are tinted specific colours, and are designed to meet the unique visual need of each patient.

For those with Meares-Irlen Syndrome, vision through a specific hue gives greater clarity and comfort when reading. Many find it easier to read for prolonged periods of time without eyestrain or headache. Others may find they can read more fluently.

What are Tech Tinted Lenses?

For those who suffer from dyslexia or who have visual perceptual difficulties, Tech Tinted Lenses are often prescribed. This is the only system with supporting studies and research by the English Medical Research Council’s unit in Applied Psychology.

Other methods may not offer a research based analysis of the necessary pigment. Other methods may not precisely replicate a given tint.

What happens in a Meares-Irlen Examination?

We carry out all Meares-Irlen Assessments at our Specialist Practice Wanganui Eyecare. If your Optometrist thinks you may benefit from Tech Tinted lenses we refer you to Wanganui for a comprehensive assessment. This assessment is carried out on a device named the Intuitive Colorimeter, developed specifically for this purpose by the English Medical Council. Cerium Visual Technologies now are the exclusive manufacturers of this under licence.

Using this instrument, we assess the benefit specific hues have on your reading fluency, clarity and comfort. During our assessment we manipulate several variables.

The test identifies a hue, specific to you, that helps improve reading comfort and clarity. This hue can be accurately replicated within a Tech Tinted Lens using information from the Intuitive Colorimeter. Using this method of tinting there are over 6,700 pigments matched precisely to your colorimeter result.

Every patient has their own colour requirement, based on environment and personal visual circumstances. Because of this, each set of Tech Tinted Lenses is tailored and custom made for each patient. In some cases, we lend trials called coloured overlay sheets. Our patients can assess the effect a hue has on their vision, before they go ahead with prescription lenses.

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