Sensitivity to patterns, fluorescent lights, busy shopping aisles, and discomfort with print are a group of symptoms that often occur together. Sufferers often have a personal history of migraine or there is a history of migraine in the family. The condition is known alternatively as Visual Discomfort or Visual Stress and is probably related to what was once known as Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome or Irlen Syndrome. Coloured lenses were found to improve comfort with print and therefore were popularised as a “cure” for reading issues. Our clinical experience is that sufferers often have undiagnosed focussing and convergence issues, and if present, then resolving these issues through regular glasses or vision therapy should be considered first. Given these results, we were quite skeptical about the use of coloured lenses.
Gifted children present interesting challenges when it comes to vision problems. The two main vision problems important to screen and monitor for in this goup of children are shortsight (myopia) and visual dysfunctions.