Behavioural Optometry is about eye-brain training
The way you perceive what you see does not only depend on how clear your eyesight is.
Behavioural Optometry is an extended area of practice because it takes into account visual motor and visual cognitive skills.
We take a holistic approach to ensure that your eyes have the strength and stamina to cope with the demands you place on them.
Visual input accounts for 80 percent of our learning and in the modern world, everyone spends a lot of time processing information from games, phones, computers and television screens.
Behavioural Optometry tests visual comfort, visual focus and visual processing – not just eyesight.
The best treatment is prevention and children may only need to wear glasses in conjunction with exercises for a temporary period while a management plan helps to retrain the brain.
Early diagnosis means at-risk children can enjoy normal, healthy brain development and reach their full potential as adults.
Symptoms, such as red and itchy eyes, blurry words, headaches and concentration problems disappear within a relatively short period of time.
Our treatments may include spectacles, coloured lenses and vision therapy including, gross motor, fine motor and visual information processing.
What to expect & what to bring:
- Glasses if already wearing them.
- Reports from the school or any other professional(s) you have seen such as an educational psychologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist or other optometrist.
- Examples of handwriting or other work that is an issue
- Have other children minded outside of the test room.
What will happen
A behavioural optometrist will want you to:
- Sit in a big comfortable chair
- Read some letters – if you don’t know your letters that’s OK; just tell them and they will use pictures instead.
- Try some puzzles
- Draw some shapes or copy some pictures
- Look through some interesting machines and tell them when letters or pictures are clear or blurry and when you see one thing or two.
- Look at a light while they look into your eyes so that they can see how healthy they are.
If you don’t know an answer or find some things a bit tricky that’s OK – just say so. As long as you have a try, the optometrist will be happy. * Very occasionally the optometrist will need to put drops in the eyes to get a better look. The drops sting a little for about 15-20 seconds. This is the only part of the examination that may be uncomfortable and is not needed for most patients.
The optometrist may recommend glasses
A behavioural optometrist may recommend vision therapy to improve visual efficiency & comfort, and to improve visual information processing skills and speed.
One of the eye tests involves reading single letters. For people who aren’t confident with their letters the optometrist will use other targets such as simply designed pictures.