An increasing number of optometrists are offering assessments using the Intuitive Colorimeter (Wilkins, Nimmo-Smith and Jansons, 1992) to determine whether children who have reading difficulties might benefit from the use of tinted lenses. Suggestions have been made in the media that tinted lenses may provide a ‘cure’ for developmental dyslexia, and there have been many anecdotal accounts of improvements in reading following their use (e.g. Brace, 1993). However, such extreme claims are not typical of the scientific literature supporting the use of tinted lenses. This article provides an overview of the research into the use of tinted lenses for the amelioration of reading difficulties. The electronic databases searched for this review were BIDS, MEDLINE, PsychInfo, PsychLit and Science Direct. Key search terms used were coloured (colored) lenses, Irlen lenses, scotopic sensitivity and visual deficits in combination with the term ‘reading difficulties’.