maybe irlen syndrome?

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by daanish, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. daanish

    daanish Guest

    I have seem quite a few specialists in both the US and UK, and they
    have given my condition a number of terms, ranging from ‘Irlen
    Syndrome', Ocular Discomfort Syndrome and Scotopic Sensitivity
    Syndrome. However, they are not really sure what the problem is, or
    whether it can be described by what they have called it.

    Basically the problem began came on rather suddenly in December 2003.
    I encountered difficulty in reading and using the computer. When I
    read, the white of the paper seemed to leap out and made it difficult
    to read the words in black. When using the computer, the screen seems
    too bright, making it difficult to read and comprehend the words; this
    occurred in spite of my attempts to reduce the brightness and
    contrast. I also have a problem with normal vision in the distance,
    making it uncomfortable, for example, to watch the television. I don't
    really have pain but more in the way of eye-strain. My eyes feel all
    the time as if I have just completed a 4 hours exam. It almost feels
    as if I am not wearing glasses. I also started getting very severe

    I went to see Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon (Ms Gill Adams at
    Moorefield's Eye Hospital) in London in January 2004 who increased the
    power of my glasses, which helped the situation. She referred me on to
    Dr Gordon Plant who I saw in February. Dr Plant is a
    neuro-opthamologist in UCL Hospital. He recommended that I use
    Amitriptyline in a low dose of 20mg to deal with the headaches that I
    was getting with the eye strain. This medicine does seem to have
    helped reduce the headaches, but the eye-strain continues.

    In May 2004 I went to see Dr David Guyton in Johns Hopkins University
    Hospital in the US. At that time higher powered glasses allowed me to
    work quite comfortably. Dr Guyton suggested that I try using coloured
    overlays on top of the page that I am reading. We tried a blue
    overlay, and the page was definitely better with the overlay on top
    rather than without.

    In late July, the situation reverted to how it was before I used the
    new glasses. So even with the higher powered ones, I found it
    difficult to read. At this point I went back to see Dr Plant. He was
    not able to help any further but he did try out a few overlays and
    helped me chose the ones that I am most comfortable with. This is a
    combination of using purple and blue.

    I have been using these overlays for over a month and have reached a
    point where I cannot do without them. This is obviously a problem
    since not all reading material can be comfortably read using an
    overlay. A couple of weeks ago I went to see Ms Adams again who
    suggested getting tinted glasses as a replacement to the overlays.

    She was sceptical of the Irlen technique and instead suggested getting
    done what is known as the Colorimetry test done to chose the correct
    colour. I got this done and have started wearing the tinted lenses.
    They help a little bit but my vision discomfort continues.

    I was wondering if anyone has come across something like this before?
    I understand that some people find it useful to use tinted lenses to
    read, but is that only for reading? Do people with the Irlen syndrome
    experience visual problems associated with only reading, or do they
    also have problems with the environment.

    I will appreciate any feedback.
    daanish, Nov 8, 2004
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