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Irlen Syndrome, also called Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, is a situation characterized by vision alteration, in which the letters seem to be moving, vibrating or disappearing, in addition to having difficulty focusing on words, pain in the eyes, sensitivity to light and difficulty identifying three-dimensional objects.
This syndrome is considered hereditary, that is, it passes from parents to children and the diagnosis and treatment are based on the symptoms presented, psychological evaluation and results of the ophthalmological examination.
The symptoms of Irlen Syndrome usually appear when the person is subjected to various visual or light stimuli, being more often in children who start school life, for example.However, symptoms can appear at any age as a result of exposure to sunlight, car headlights and fluorescent lights, for example, the main ones being:
- Intolerance to the white background of a sheet of paper;
- Sensation of blurred vision;
- Feeling that the letters are moving, vibrating, crowding or disappearing;
- Difficulty distinguishing two words and focusing on a group of words. In these cases, the person may be able to focus on a group of words, however what is around is blurred;
- Difficulty identifying three-dimensional objects;
- Eye pain;
- Excessive fatigue;
Due to the difficulty in identifying three-dimensional objects, people with Irlen Syndrome find it difficult to perform simple everyday activities, such as climbing stairs or playing some sport, for example.In addition, children and adolescents who have the syndrome may have low performance in school, due to difficulty seeing, lack of concentration and understanding.
Treatment for Irlen Syndrome
The treatment for Irlen Syndrome is established after a series of educational, psychological and ophthalmological evaluations, because the symptoms are more frequent at school age and can be identified when the child starts to present learning difficulties and low performance in school, which may be indicative not only of Irlen syndrome, but also of other vision problems, dyslexia or nutritional deficiencies, for example.
After evaluation by the ophthalmologist and confirmation of the diagnosis, the doctor can indicate the best form of treatment, which may vary according to the symptoms. As this syndrome can manifest itself in different ways between people, the treatment can also vary, however some doctors recommend the use of colored filters so that the person does not feel visual discomfort when exposed to light and contrasts, improving the quality of life.
Despite this being the most used treatment, the Brazilian Society of Pediatric Ophthalmology states that this type of treatment has no scientifically proven effectiveness and should not be used. Thus, it is recommended that the person with Irlen Syndrome be accompanied by professionals, avoid bright environments and do activities that stimulate vision and concentration. Discover some activities to improve your child's attention.