Hi, I’ve just been diagnosed with Irlens Syndrome which really is just extreme light sensitivity. It can cause all sorts of symptoms from reading problems and headaches to a feeling of confusion and agitation. It can be caused by ambient light and light in the environment – from the glare of paper and screens.
I hadn’t thought about it until now. I just thought I had low level anxiety that I couldn’t resolve. And I also had come to the conclusion that I had some cognitive processing problems. However since becoming aware of Irlens I have been doing some tests on myself. These are my observations – On a sunny day I feel a lot more relaxed and can think a lot more clearly when the sun goes in! I am extremely tired after coming inside from being out on a sunny day and if I sit down, can fall asleep within minutes. If I sit at my computer for longer than about 20 minutes I start to fidget and stretch my hands above my head, take in some deep breaths and look away from my screen – all spontaneously. At 6 or 7-clock in the evening I start to regain my sense of equilibrium but by then I may be too fatigued to do anything constructive with my clear thinking. Well – that is how I am in the summer. In the winter when the light is less intense, so are my symptoms.
Now I haven’t had my full diagnostic yet when they find the coloured lens I need to filter out the light wavelengths that are bothering me. I am waiting to do this in a couple of months. In the mean time how do I manage these symptoms? Well, over the last few years I have learnt that all my sensitivities bother me less when I am being more right brained (creative and intuitive.) I have been getting more and more organised with my daily life just so that I can live more in my right brain and feel better. In fact if someone tries to talk to me about politics or something that I have no emotional connect with, I get quite stressed and cross because I don’t want to go there. If I have to go into my left brain I know my sensitivities will start to bother me.
I have tried to find more and more connection for myself by looking for the deep feeling and the meaningful. I have become determined to find my purpose. After all if a lot of time I am not able to think things through with my left brain I am having to totally rely on my intuition to lead me through life.
This experience has been very rich and even if one day, someone gives me a pair of glasses that help me feel comfortable in my left brain I’m sure I’ll never lose my sense of wonder at where my right brain can take me. It will be nice to think about what to have for lunch and when the bin man comes but this won’t fill my soul! In fact I think this journey has all been for a reason. I now work to help Highly Sensitive People to relax into the right side of their brain.
Maybe we can find things to ease the effects of our sensitivities but deep down we will always be the visionaries, the dreamers – and for that we need to be at home in the right side or our brain.