People with Irlen Syndrome may suffer from a range of distortions. These may be on the page, computer and white boards when trying to read but they may also be in the environment.

Distortions on the page include:

  • Words moving in various ways.
  • Words fading, disappearing, swirling and blurring.
  • Coloured patterns and shapes which can move.
  • The white of the page dominating, pulsating, moving.
  • Flickering or flashing lights.
  • White patterns and shapes which can move.
  • Problems with white and/or coloured patterns and shapes.
  • Sparkles & auras around words and images.
  • Letters and words floating, changing size, going 3D, fading.
  • Words merging or having too much space.
  • Lines of words waving.

You can see below some examples of distortions on the printed page that are experienced by people with Irlen Syndrome.

© 1991. This material was reproduced from Reading by the Colors by Helen Irlen, Penguin Putnam/Perigee Publishing. All rights reserved.

Distortions in the environment include:

  • Lack of perspective and depth.
  • Blurriness.
  • Objects moving in various ways.
  • Glare and brightness from certain colours.
  • Patterns moving, blurring, changing.
  • Glare and light shining off objects.
  • Sparkles and auras around objects.
  • Difficulty judging distances, heights and speeds.
  • Auras and after effects with moving objects.