Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome

Scotopic sensitivity syndrome is also known as Irlen Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome or Visual Stress Syndrome. This is a perceptual disorder that causes the sufferer to experience difficulties with common reading and writing tasks. The syndrome scotopic sensitivity is thought to be a type of dyslexia and can also affect the sufferer’s ability to see faces, bodies and objects clearly; cause them to experience meaning blindness; and cause them to not understand common facial cues or body language. Sometimes, this condition can be misdiagnosed as autism or other mental disorders or problems, and finding treatment can be a long and arduous process.

Common symptoms of scotopic sensitivity may include eye strain, generalized fatigue, frequent migraines, nausea or motion sickness, a lack of depth perception, restricted field of view, restricted span of recognition, becoming uncomfortable when viewing striped or overly extravagant clothing or patterns, experiencing discomfort with changing lighting or strobe lights, difficulty with reading or concentrating on reading, feeling as though the words on a page are moving or swirling, attention span issues, and experiencing seizures, particularly when exposed to strobe lighting or certain types of video games. Experiencing these symptoms of scotopic sensitivity is not always evidence that this specific problem exists, and testing is the only way to know for sure if one has the condition.

Irlen Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome is, unfortunately for its sufferers, not always recognized or believed to be a legitimate condition. In fact, many doctors and medical professionals deny its existence completely, believing that the condition is, in actuality, a conglomeration of symptoms related to another mental disorder or physical condition, such as epilepsy. This can make treating the syndrome Scotopic Sensitivity difficult.

When treatment can be found, it is usually in the form of visual treatment. The most common treatment currently practiced is the use of tinted lenses in glasses or the use of colored overlay sheets. Testing for the condition is fairly simple and involves having the sufferer read and perform certain other affected activities both while wearing the speciality glasses and while not wearing them. This is to determine if the glasses make a difference in the symptoms. Some individuals report no change in symptoms, while others report moderate relief of symptoms or, in some cases, the complete absence of symptoms. Doctors or optometrists who do not use this form of treatment will generally try to find an underlying cause for the symptoms the sufferer is experienced and will aim to treat the condition causing those symptoms. Finding help for the very serious and incredibly difficult to live with Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome can be difficult, but it can also change the life of the sufferer for the best.



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    October 2014
    M T W T F S S