You know you have Irlens Syndrome when you have to walk into the bathroom backwards to pick up your towel off the floor after a morning shower just to avoid the glare of sunlight coming in through the window!
A Day in the Life of Someone with a Light Processing Disorder
As the light broke this morning and the birds began to sing, the light coming in my open curtains was too much for me. I felt agitated and jumpy and so got up to hang a red sheet in the gap. I chose red because it gives me a soft pink glow and still gives me some sense of light so I don’t feel shut in by the closed curtains.
I went into the bathroom and found the glare of the sun coming through the blind too bright. It immediately gave me a mild headache so I took my bath with my back to the window. I had tried covering the blind with a blanket but then the light became an eery blue and I didn’t like that either.
Next to finding some clothes. I looked in my wardrobe and saw my usual pink and blue clothes and thought ‘So what combination of pink and blue shall I wear today?!’ I do wear other colours in the spring, autumn and winter when the sun is less intense but in the summer I can only really manage blue and pink and absolutely no patterns. My response to light gives me a strange response to colour and also a tracking problem in my eyes (also caused by the light) makes it tiring and distressing for me to look at pattern.
Dressed, I turned on my computer and quickly found my virtual overlay. I already have an actual overlay to help with glare but I find with the virtual overlays I can choose lots of different settings for morning, afternoon and evening, sunny days, high cloud days, low cloud days . . .! If it is a good day I will find one that suits. Then I have to remember ‘flicker and flash’. I need to use my computer with minimum flicker and flash and you can’t always trust your computer not to do these things!
Having had enough of struggling on with my computer I think ‘What can I do without a screen?’ Well, I am musical and artistic so surely I could enjoy those things? Unfortunately not in the summer. All the colours of my paints look wrong and musical sounds add to my feeling of summer overload. Ah, so maybe I could make a family photo album? Unfortunately not in the summer. All the colours in the photos look wrong as do the greens and other colours when i just look out into our garden. Ah, so perhaps I could go out and wear my sunglasses? Unfortunately not because my sunglassses don’t really help that much. I will still feel shivery and phased and lacking in energy if I go in the garden on a sunny day.
I am a creative, ambitious, sociable person who likes to be moving forwards and filling my life with good things but Irlens Syndrome makes this extremely challenging. May and June are my hardest months when my life feels on stop.
In a few weeks I am going to get my Irlens glasses with special coloured filters just right for me. They will filter out the lightwaves that distress me, make the colours look funny, give me tracking problems and all the other symptoms I experience. I don’t know how this will be yet but it is a light at the end of the tunnel and at the moment it is the only light I can look at!
I will keep you posted about my progress.
If you experience any of the above you might want to check out the Irlens website.
Find out more about Irlens Syndrome