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Coloured Filters and Autism Ranking: Insufficient/Mixed evidence

Cost and Time

Cost

Coloured lenses

Some optometrists will undertake a coloured lens test to determine if coloured overlays are likely to be of benefit. Different optometrists will charge different rates for the test, depending on where they are based and the precise nature of the testing they carry out. We have seen coloured lens tests advertised at various prices between £20 and £100 in the UK and $295-$595 in the USA.

Optometrists will charge different rates for the spectacles and lenses that they prescribe depending on where they are based and the precise formulation of the glasses and lenses. Typically prices are likely to start at £100 plus in the UK but can be much, much more.

Coloured overlays

Some optometrists will also undertake a coloured overlay test to determine if coloured overlays are likely to be of benefit.  Some of them will do this at the same time that they carry out a coloured lens test. They will charge different rates, depending on where they are based and the precise nature of the testing they carry out. We have seen tests advertised at various prices between £20 and £100 in the UK. We have not identified any prices in the USA or other countries for coloured overlay tests.

Coloured overlays are available as single sheets or in multiple packs of 5, 10 etc. from a range of optometrists and other commercial suppliers.  We have seen single sheets and multiple packs for sale at various prices between £3.50 and £10.00 in the UK. We have not identified any prices in the USA or other countries for coloured overlay sheets.

Time

Coloured lenses

Some optometrists will undertake a coloured lens test to determine if coloured lenses are likely to be of benefit. The coloured lens test usually takes around 15-60 minutes depending on the provider and the nature of the test.

According to the Irlen Institute website, accessed on 3 March 2016,

“Individuals usually wear their Irlen Spectral Filters for the rest of their lives. The problems return whenever the glasses are removed. We re-evaluate each person once a year to determine whether the color is still working or needs to be changed. Colors change over time. When they change, the benefits from wearing color diminish.”

Coloured overlays

Some optometrists will undertake a coloured overlay test to determine if coloured overlays are likely to be of benefit. The coloured overlay test usually takes around 15-60 minutes depending on the provider and the nature of the test.

According to Lewis et al (Date unknown)

“It seems that children benefit most from colour if it is offered as soon as any reading difficulty is suspected, before the cycle of failure has begun. Many 7-year-olds appear to use coloured overlays for a year or two and then discard them as unnecessary. This may be because the acquired familiarity with text then makes the distortions less distracting.”

Updated
06 Nov 2017
Last Review
01 Apr 2016
Next Review
01 Apr 2019