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  1. City Sight
  2. Specific Learning Difficulties Clinic
School of Health Sciences

Specific Learning Difficulties Clinic

Help with reading.

There is growing evidence that some people with apparently normal eyesight, experience discomfort when reading a page of print. Some report that the words appear to "move", "wobble" or "flicker" while others say that the page appears too bright or the words are too close together. This condition has become known as Meares-Irlen syndrome. Those affected by the condition may skip words or lines when reading. Others report "eyestrain" or headaches after reading.

For reasons that are poorly understood, these symptoms are often relieved by placing a coloured overlay over the print or by wearing coloured spectacles. The colour required to achieve the optimum relief varies between individuals and may change over time.

We are able to offer an assessment for Meares-Irlen syndrome and provide coloured overlays or spectacles if required.


For some time, City Sight has offered a Specific Learning Difficulties Clinic in which patients experiencing symptoms of discomfort while reading have been assessed for Meares-Irlen syndrome by determining whether these symptoms are alleviated by reading through coloured overlays or lenses.

Recently, mounting research has highlighted a lack of evidence to support this approach. This does not mean that the method is not effective, but until high quality evidence demonstrating efficacy is available, we have decided to no longer offer this assessment as a clinical service at cost to the patient.