Coloured Filters and Autism Ranking: Insufficient/Mixed evidence

Risks and Safety


Coloured lenses

The Irlen Institute advises that choosing the right colour is critical. It states that using lenses with the wrong colour can even make things worse, causing more stress and increased perceptual difficulties.

“Each individual needs his/her own color and wears that color all the time, both inside and outside. If individuals are sensitive to light and color, the wrong color can create strain, fatigue, headaches, make them sick or dizzy, or create a more distorted environment. Once the offending colors of the light spectrum are determined, positive changes happen.”

Coloured overlays

According to the Eyecare Trust website, accessed on 4 March 2016,

“Just as some colours are reported as being beneficial, others are often reported to be uncomfortable. Individuals sometimes show a marked aversion to these uncomfortable colours. Provided the appropriate colour is chosen, it seems unlikely that overlays can have any detrimental effect. The possible long-term effects of wearing coloured glasses are unknown at present.”


Coloured lenses

The Irlen Institute states that only children who can tolerate wearing glasses or goggles should be tested.

Coloured overlays

Lewis et al (Date unknown) reported that

“In our opinion, overlays can be used regardless of any simultaneous eye exercises or medical treatment. However, since visual perceptual distortions can sometimes be caused solely by binocular vision problems, it is often sensible to have these corrected first. If the distortions remain then coloured filters need to be tried.”

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