Whilst we still perform general optometry with emphasis on healthy eyes, clear vision and the importance of comfortable and efficient vision. In addition to this, Behavioural Optometry also investigates and manages the effects of Visual Information Processing on attention and learning.
Behavioural Optometry is an approach to vision care that aims to maximize visual function in all situations in life. From this, it is not just important that a person sees well, but are able to process what they see in a comfortable and stable manner, which will affect how a person views and responds to the world around them. Behavioural Optometry is many things to many people even within the profession. The common link is the understanding of vision and how to encourage its development. It tends to be more holistic in its approach as it tries to incorporate the physical, neurological and developmental aspects of vision.
Goals of Behavioural Optometry
- To provide remediation for vision or eye problems that have developed either due to an mis-adaptation in functional development (eg. eye turn, shortsightedness,) or as a result of injury /incident ( head injury, concussion or stroke).
- To develop and enhance the visual skills needed to achieve more effective visual performance for learning in the classroom, work place, playing sport or even following recreational pursuits.
- To prevent vision problems and eye problems from developing. (Environmental influences and unbalanced visual systems can cause the development of myopia and strabismus; these may be prevented through the use of glasses for reading and/or eye exercises.)
We will provide an in-depth examination of visual abilities, including a comprehensive eye health examination which incorporates examining your child’s focusing skills, eye teaming (the ability to use both eyes together) and eye movement control. There will also be assessments on a person’s spatial judgment (knowing where things are in space) and the ability to process visual information (understanding what you see), as well as assessment of auditory processing.
If indicated through assessment for dyslexia and its variants including dyseidicia and dysphonecia, and assessment of visual stress, coloured overlays may be implemented to assess effect of colour on reading. Intuitive colourimetry may be required as a supplementary assessment should overlays prove effective.
Who may benefit from Behavioural Optometry?
All patients will benefit from the more holistic approach but it is especially suited to those who suffer visual fatigue and vision stress, those with eye motor control problems, lazy eyes, developmental delays, neurological damage or learning delays.
Whilst the visual system in adults is less plastic, Behavioural Optometry may be suitable for adults if their condition is considered by the optometrist to be amenable to this treatment. Adults with reduced acuity such as those with amblyopia may also benefit from revitalvision.
How is a Behavioural Optometrist different?
Behavioural Optometrists spend years in post-graduate and continuing education to master the complex visual programs that are prescribed to prevent or eliminate visual problems and enhance visual performance. Working alongside vision therapists we endeavour to help all facets of vision processing rather than just visual acuity.
Not all optometrists practice Behavioural Optometry, but those who do implement neuro-developmental and functional optometry.