www.drhay-irlen.comIf you heard that there is a little known syndrome that affects 10% to 15% of theworld’s population, and that it makes life more difficult for people in manydifferent ways, would you want to know more? If you learned further that there isa simple, nonmedical, noninvasive intervention that can help people who havethis syndrome, would you wonder why few people seem to be aware of it?Scotopic Sensitivity or Irlen Syndrome (SSS or SSIS) is such a disorder. It is a“perceptual disorder,” that is, the brain is more sensitive to certain wavelengths of light than it is to other wavelengths. It is not an eye disorder, so your ophthalmologist will probably not know about it. You may recognize it if I call itlight sensitivity. You probably know people who are uncomfortable or getheadaches when forced to work under fluorescent lights or who must wear sunglasses whenever they go outside. But you may not be aware of the extentof the stress this sensitivity can cause a person, or that this stress can bealleviated.At first, the work focused on people who had been diagnosed with dyslexia.Nearly half of these people were helped to read with the use of colored overlays.As with most mental health diagnoses, the cause of the problem varies. Further research has found a relationship between SSIS and many stress relatedproblems including ADD and ADHD. For the purposes of this article, I will focuson ADD and ADHD. Evidence indicates that SSIS is a factor in about one-third of the cases of ADD and ADHD.For a moment, please put yourself in the place of a child who is sitting in classunder a fluorescent light facing a page of black letters on shiny white paper. Theletters are moving around or perhaps falling off the edges of the page, the whitepage seems to be coming toward your eyes, there are halos around the words,or everything is blurry. You squint, shade your eyes, blink away tears, but you just can’t make the words clear up. Then the teacher calls on you to read aloud.How do you feel? Scared and frustrated? What do you do?SSIS is a disorder that doesn’t go away, at least as far as we know today. It isnot curable, but there is an intervention involving the application of color, either as plastic overlays or as colored filters worn as glasses or contact lenses.If you think you or your child may have SSIS, a Certified Irlen Screener caneasily determine whether an intervention would help you. Obtaining the tintedfilters as glasses or contact lenses requires examination by an IrlenDiagnostician. You can find more information and a practitioner in your area bychecking the Irlen addresses listed below.