The Irlen Method is a two-step process: problem identification and color identification and requires two testing sessions. Family members participate with their children in the evaluation process. The color (which is different for each person) is the key to the success of the program and can only be determined after a diagnostic assessment performed by a certified educational professional trained in the Irlen Method.

The first testing session determines whether you have Irlen Syndrome and can be helped by the Irlen Method’s color technology. In this session, we determine how severe your problem is and whether color can help eliminate your difficulties. Your correct colored overlay combination is determined at this time. Both certified Irlen Screeners and Diagnosticians can test for colored overlays.

Testing and Treatment

The Irlen Method is non-invasive technology that uses colored overlays and filters to improve the brain’s ability to process visual information.  It is the only method scientifically proven to successfully correct the processing problems associated with Irlen Syndrome.

The cornerstone of the Irlen Method is its precision-tinted colored overlays and filters. We use advanced color spectrometer technology to ensure that our overlays and colored glasses meet strict standards of color balancing designed to produce the most effective color-correction tool.

  • Testing and Treatment
  • Colored Overlays
  • Colored Filters
  • What You Can Do

This technology can improve reading fluency, comfort, comprehension, attention, and concentration while reducing light sensitivity. This is not a method of reading instruction. It is a color-based technology that filters out offensive light waves, so the brain can accurately process visual information.


Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome Include:

  • Sensitivity to bright and fluorescent lighting and glare
  • Slow or inefficient reading
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Poor attention and concentration
  • Eye strain
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Poor depth perception


The second testing session is only for individuals who show moderate to significant improvement with colored overlays. In this session, we target the precise wave lengths of light causing your problems by using a limitless number of color filter combinations. Your precision color is worn as glasses or contact lenses. The color worn as glasses will not be the same as your plastic overlay color. If your problems are related to math computation, copying, depth perception, light sensitivity, and headaches, colored glasses are your best treatment option because they correct problems with the printed page and also the environment.

Irlen Overlays are the original colored overlay technology. They are used by hundreds of thousands of students and over one-million people worldwide. Irlen Overlays are the only colored overlays available backed by more than a decade of scientific research and used by more than 4,000 school districts worldwide.

Colored overlays are most effective for individuals whose difficulties are isolated to reading. If you experience challenges with writing, math, depth perception, night driving, or the environment, colored filters (worn as glasses) will be your best treatment option. However, colored overlays are an important first step in determining whether the Irlen Method can work for you and provide your first experience with relief.

Colored Overlays can help

  • Improve print clarity and stability
  • Reduce strain and fatigue
  • Eliminate headaches
  • Improve comprehension
  • Tracking and keeping your place while reading
  • Make reading faster
  • Allow you to read longer and with comfort

Colored Filters


Irlen Syndrome is not a problem with the eyes, it is a problem with the brain.

What You Can Do

For individuals wanting or needing more comprehensive light filtering to alleviate problems associated with both the printed page and in the environment, Irlen Spectral Filters are the answer. Irlen Spectral Filters are precision-tinted for each individual, filtering out the exact wave lengths of light creating perceptual difficulties.

Irlen Spectral Filters can improve problems with

  • reading
  • headaches and migraines
  • depth perception
  • night driving
  • sports performance
  • light sensitivity
  • copying
  • math

Only a certified Irlen diagnostician can identify the optimal color-correction hue and saturation.

Colored lenses provided by optometrists and vision specialists to treat reading problems are NOT the same as the Irlen Method. These professionals do not have the right colors, or diagnostic process for color selection. Inaccurate color selection can result in headaches, eye strain, and fragmented brain processing resulting in more distortions and reading problems.

  • Reduce your fluorescent lighting by creating areas that do not have fluorescent lights, areas where half the lights are off, and areas with full fluorescent lighting. If you have a room with enough natural lighting, do not turn on your fluorescent lights.
  • Worksheets/Test/Math Sheets/Information sheets should be printed on colored paper, if possible the color of the child’s preference, blue/green/yellow/pink. The incorrect color may cause similar problems to white. Recycled paper is better than white.
  • Colored Paper. For those children with handwriting problems, allow as much work as possible to be done on colored paper, again a color of the child’s own preference or a grey or beige.
  • Hats or Visors. Let your students wear hats with dark underbrims in the classroom. This reduces the glare from the fluorescent lighting.
  • Book Position. Reading should be done from materials placed directly in front of the child. Children should not attempt to ‘share’ reading material.
  • Overheads. Limit the amount of work done using an overhead projector – the intense lighting may cause real discomfort or place a blue colored overlay on the projector.
  • Chalkboards. Write in columns rather than across the board. Write each paragraph in different colors to help with tracking. And whenever possible do not use white boards. The white boards are available in brown or gray which is much easier for readability.
  • Copying. Allow children to copy from paper to paper. If necessary, copying what has already been copied from a board by another child, if possible onto colored paper.
  • Colored Overlays. Encourage and remind children to use the colored overlay(s) in all subject areas in which reading occurs including Mathematics.
  • Ensure that reading is tested using the child’s preferred overlay color(s).

If You Have Irlen Syndrome:

Paper Color. You should avoid white paper and use colored paper for writing whenever possible. Investigate the color of ink which is most readable with colored paper.

Plastic Colored Overlays. An Irlen plastic overlay can be used over reading material, especially with white, high gloss paper and under fluorescent lights, when you find yourself overlay fatigued or when working for long periods of time under fluorescent lights.

Natural Lighting. Experiment and find seating where the lighting conditions make it easier and more comfortable to read and work. Indirect natural lighting and incandescent lighting is the best. Dim lighting is usually better than bright lights.

The Irlen Method

Importantly, wearing the wrong color can actually cause or worsen your problems. The testing to identify your correct colored glasses can only be conducted by Certified Irlen Diagnosticians/Clinics.

Colored lenses provided by optometrists and vision specialists to treat reading problems are NOT the same as the Irlen Method. These professionals do not have the right colors, or diagnostic process for color selection. Inaccurate colour selection can result in headaches, eye strain, and fragmented brain processing resulting in more distortions and reading problems.

Colored Overlays

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Starting May 28, 2024