Meares-Irlen Syndrome

Do you are a member of your family suffer from reading and writing difficulty?


50% of children and adults who have reading difficulties can benefit from Meares-Irlen screening.


What we offer is vision therapy we work with people who visual perception and stress issues.


What’s the difference between Meares-Irlen Syndrome and Dyslexia? Many of the symptoms are similar

Perceptual processing disorder, how the brain interprets the information it receives.

Reading Difficulty

The brain is not processing the information properly

Head when they read

Having to read a sentence

lift off the page
blend together
lose definition
sparkle or flash


Meares – Irlen Syndrome is a form of visual stress which leads to difficulties with fine vision tasks such as reading. This eye condition was identified in 1980 by an American psychologist and although the condition is not yet fully understood, it is known to affect reading ability.

The condition affects about 50% of dyslexics, as well as epileptics, migraine sufferers, people with ME and MS, and others. Like dyslexia, it is not curable but can be treated, and significant improvements can be made. For dyslexics, Meares – Irlen can often be the cause of reading difficulty.


The symptoms will have been present throughout your life but some people experience symptoms after a minute of reading, others find the symptoms take longer to appear. The degree of symptoms can also vary from person to person with more marked symptoms creating barriers to successful reading.

General Problems May Include

Strain working under bright lighting
Difficulty finding comfortable lighting
Glare from bright objects
Eye strain
Headaches from reading, working at a computer, watching TV, supermarket lighting.
Symptoms Resulting from Reading may include:

Poor comprehension
Skips words or lines
Reads slowly or hesitantly
Loses place
Eye Strain
When reading you may see the words:

Jumping off the page
Moving around
Not staying where they are supposed to
Symptoms Judging Distances may include:

Accident Prone
Bumps into things
Difficulty catching small balls
If you have any of the above symptoms, it is advisable to have a standard vision test at your local Optician. If, after the eye test and the appropriate treatment, the symptoms remain, you ought to be tested for Meares – Irlen syndrome.

Treatment for Meares – Irlen
There are a number of treatments for Meares – Irlen syndrome and different people will have different outcomes from treatment. Some can gain significant improvements, some no more than a 5-10% correction. However, some improvement is better than none at all. Treatment for Meares – Irlen will not cure dyslexia, but may improve the ability to read.

Treatment involves the use of colour and simple eye exercises. Coloured overlays and glasses have been shown to lessen the effects of visual stress. Likewise, regular simple exercises to train the eye and increase coordination have had some success as well.

It is important to have an assessment with a licensed Orthoptist and have a course of treatment set that is appropriate. Treatment is highly specialised and needs to be set specifically for you

Where to Go to Be Tested for Meares – Irlen Syndrome

The Visual Stress Clinic at Glasgow Caledonian University carries out a range of clinics examining the vision of people with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties.

The specialised facility, which is the only one of its kind in Scotland, treats problems in children and adults using a variety of techniques to improve their reading, writing and spelling.

The Clinic has carried out award winning research into Meares-Irlen syndrome and has successfully diagnosed and treated many people.

Consultations can be organised in two ways. Firstly, to access the service on the NHS, a referral is required from a GP or Educational Psychologist and they are almost certainly will be a waiting list.

As the clinic is separate from the NHS you can simply make a self-referral consultation. However, you will still incur a waiting time of some months prior to being seen. As of November 2017, cost of the initial consultation is £60 and a follow-up is £40