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Symptoms of
Irlen Syndrome

Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome


Light Sensitivity:

  • Bothered by glare, fluorescent lights, bright lights, sunlight and sometimes lights at night

  • Some individuals experience physical symptoms and feel tired, sleepy, dizzy, anxious, or irritable. Others experience headaches, mood changes, restlessness or have difficulty staying focused, especially with bright or fluorescent lights.

Reading Problems:

  • Poor comprehension

  • Misreads words

  • Problems tracking from line to line

  • Reads in dim light

  • Skips words or lines

  • Reads slowly or hesitantly

  • Takes breaks

  • Loses place

  • Avoids reading

  • Discomfort:

  • Strain and fatigue

  • Tired or sleepy

  • Headaches or nausea

  • Fidgety or restless

  • Eyes that hurt or become watery

Attention and Concentration Problems:

  • Problems with concentration when reading and doing academic tasks

  • Often people can appear to have other conditions, such as attention deficit disorder, and are given medication unnecessarily.

Writing Problems:

  • Trouble copying

  • Unequal spacing

  • Unequal letter size

  • Writing up or downhill

  • Inconsistent spelling

Other Characteristics:

  • Strain or fatigue from computer use

  • Difficulty reading music

  • Sloppy, careless math errors

  • Misaligned numbers in columns

  • Ineffective use of study time

  • Lack of motivation

  • Grades do not reflect the amount of effort

Depth Perception:

  • Clumsiness

  • Difficulty catching balls

  • Difficulty judging distances

  • Additional caution necessary while driving



  • Words on the page lack clarity or stability; i.e., may appear to be blurry, moving, or disappear

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