How Driving Is Affected
Alex Michaels in Boston reported that after receiving her Irlen filters she discovered that car doors opened outwards, (doesn't bear thinking about).
Irlen Syndrome often affects depth perception. One outcome of this presents itself with difficulty driving. For me it made it difficult to tell when I had enough time to pass a car on a two lane road if another car was approaching. I also tended to come up behind cars too suddenly. In addition I had trouble with parallel parking, and the glare from headlights coming at me on a two lane road or coming up behind me on any road seemed like the vehicle had its bright beams on. The headlights were surrounded by a big halo of light.The worst situation was driving on a two lane blacktop road at night in the rain. Invariably, when I flicked on my bright beam, I found that I was wrong. After receiving my Irlen tinted lenses I could see the embossed pattern in the headlamps. It was amazing. This mystified me, because I wanted to get off the highway, would drive above the speed limit in order to get off the road sooner. After I received my tinted lenses I comfortably obeyed the speed limit.
Roger Wheaton's account
My name is Karla Blomquist; my main concerns were my lack of spatial awareness and inability to judge distance as well as an aversion to lights. I have been driving for 5 years now and one look at my car can tell you these are not my strong points! I used to make excuses about each ding or knock, this person distracted me or mirrors being dirty, luckily the only thing I ever damaged was my own car, but it could have been a person, animal, and somebody’s car. I was next to blind at night and definitely suffered visual impairment with headlights approaching me, streetlights and strong sunlight. Financial implications of this were that my insurance after 4 years of driving, being over 25, having a group 8 car and using go compare.com my insurance was still almost £1000!!!!
As for driving through tunnels, such as the Roundhill Tunnel near Folkestone, this was actually quite frightening! The traffic lanes went up the wall of the tunnel! I wouldn’t drive through tunnels. So, I was tested and Irlen Syndrome was identified. I then needed to have a further diagnostic test to prescribe which colour filters would help me, this is a long process but fascinating, I honestly did not want to give the variety of lenses back!!
So, have my filters changed anything?
Other things have changed too, I no longer fall asleep during every film I watch or suffer from migraines reading, using the laptop or watching TV, there IS a difference with HD channels and when I watched a film that had a long shot in a wooded area the trees were in perspective, when I lifted my glasses up to see the difference (I still do this a lot!) the trees were somewhat flat and almost in a line not set back from one another as they are with the glasses!
Irlen filter update: it is strange how the lights are dimmer and the glare a lot less pronounced yet the white lines show up more!!!
In my mind the real telling point of the success of the filters and my driving skills was affirmed when I was running late, forgot to put my glasses on, drove the school run and walloped the car into the kerb causing a 2 inch split in the tyre and half hour messing about changing the wheel (I am female!) not to mention the cost of replacing the tyre after!
Thank you to Janet Edwards for diagnosing Irlen Syndrome in the first place, it has changed my life and I now am involved with the charity and hope to train as a screener in the New Year.
I would like to add my viewpoint to the feedback already provided by Karla Griffiths.
My name is Chris Abdouch . I would like to say that the Irlen lenses have been a great help for me to become a much safer and more confident driver. Before I begin to speak of all of the great benefits that I have experienced from using the Irlen Spectral filters; first I will describe for you what types of difficulties I was facing while driving, to help give a better understanding of just how much my Irlen Spectral Filters have benefited me.
The types of problems that I have experienced while driving include: tunneled vision, difficulty with accurately judging distance, problems with discerning and processing motion, certain optical illusions such as the appearance that two separate lanes of traffic seem to cross over into each other and the appearance that turnoffs on the interstate seem to sometime disappear from certain angles. When I experience difficulties with processing motion it is usually significantly worse during the daytime that it is at night. When I am driving behind other cars I have great difficulty discerning the true distance between my car and the car in front of me. I also have great difficulty discerning the speed at which I am approaching the cars in front of me. When I approach cars in front of me it does not look like a motion which happens smoothly and gradually, but rather it looks more like a motion projector with several missing segments in the film strip thus creating a choppy sense of motion and lessening or expanding distance between me and the car in front of me. Sort of like a jumpy effect. Sometimes I would notice that when it is bright and sunny that this would make it very difficult for me to be able to accurately judge distance between myself and other cars ahead of me. As I would approach cars ahead of my it would seems as if they went from being 200 feet away to about 20 feet away in a matter of less than second and I had no explanation for how this could have happened.
Some of the problems I experienced at night time was being able to see roads accurately and knowing where the turns and curves in the road were. Winter conditions presented extra problems at night time because my vision seems to become more tunneled and roads where concealed by the snow so that made it even harder for me to disearn where the roads where going. During the summer season at daytime I was usually in much better shape as far as visibility however the tunneled vision caused a lot of problems for me especially when I was trying to make turns or lane changes because it was very difficult for me to see what was around me with limited visual awareness. Since I started driving I was getting into an accident a year on average which means that from the time I started driving at age 15 to age 25 I had been in about 10 accidents already.
Irlens Report by Morwenna King 15.05.2011
I had been learning to drive for over a year with Tops Marks before I found out about Irlen Syndrome. I use to think that I was driving in the correct road positions when in fact I was too close to parked cars and my instructor use to have to pull me away. I found that I was not able to see the road markings and when I use to come to the end of the road I was a fair distance away. One day my instructor asked me if I had Irlen Syndrome, I had never heard of it before. He explained it to me as he really thought I had it. At the end of the lesson he gave me Janet’s number to book a screening. She went through the Irlen screening which was quite straining but I managed to do it, and I found out that not only does it affect reading but it could explain a lot of my problems too i.e. going up stairs and balancing. During the testing the tasks went black. Janet asked if this happened when I was driving I said it did. Janet advised me to stop the driving lessons until I had my filters. When I went to the appointment with the diagnostician I was not ready for the tests he was going to do with me . The tests were hard going and it put a strain on my eyes which made me feel tired. When the test was over the diagnostician had collected together the filters colour combination I needed. I had to wait about 3 or 4 weeks before my filters came back to me before I could go out on driving lessons. My glasses came, and on that day I sent my instructor a text to see when I could have a driving lesson.
The following week came and I was looking forward to my lesson the instructor said to me that we will go back to learner land just so I can get use to driving with my new tinted glasses on, which I didn’t mind. We went to learner land and he told me to get in the driving seat and as soon as I got in to the driving seat it was as if someone switched on the light in my head as even before I started the engine I was able to see the road markings. He got me to drive to the end of the road and instead of parking a fair distance from the end of the road I was able to stop in the correct position. Since getting my glasses I have been able to continue with my driving, my second lesson was a four hour lesson in one stretch. Even my instructor says that I have perfect road positions most of the time and only a few times has he had to steer me away from the parked cars because I got too close. Since I’ve been driving wearing my glasses, I have managed to bay park and reverse round the corner, Also I have booked my practical test in June, so hopefully I will pass first time.
Other improvements since wearing my filters are that now I don’t suffer from the headaches, my eyes are not constantly strained, and the glare from the sunlight is no longer bothering me.
Same problems with a motor cyclist or cyclist but less protection!