Can a $549 lamp mitigate the effects of dyslexia? (Probably not.)

During my daily Internet surfing, I stumbled across this article by Adam Smith for PCMag.com. This lamp, called a Lexilight, from the French company Lexilife, is supposedly able to reduce or eliminate the “mirroring effect” that dyslexic people experience when trying to read. The what now?

I reached out via Twitter to Adam Smith, who replied very quickly. He graciously considered my views and updated the article with my quote, and told me he has reached out to the company for clarification.

Lexilife references this 2017 study by Albert Le Floch and Guy Ropars, published in The Royal Society B (Volume 284, Issue 1865). So I read the study. While I am not a clinical researcher, I still find this data not only lacking, but also worrisome. The entire sample was 30 adults with dyslexia and 30 without. They did not study children, although they stated that our eye-dominance is typically not established until we are 8 years of age. (Note that dyslexia can be diagnosed as in a child as young as 5.) Furthermore, I saw no control group, nor a double-blind method. I cannot locate any attempts to reproduce these findings and validate them.

While the DSM and the federal education department’s definitions of dyslexia do differ some, they are both clear on the fact that dyslexia is a language-based disability. The problem of visual acuity must be screened for and corrected before a diagnosis of dyslexia can be made.

Therefore, until I see new information in a peer-reviewed study that tells me I am wrong, I will continue to tell parents not to waste their money on a $549 (!!) lamp, no matter how fancy its light bulbs.