What is behavioural Optometry?
Behavioural optometrists are specially trained to examine other aspects of vision that are not normally checked in a standard eye test. The behavioural optometrist takes into consideration how the vision has developed and whether there were any problems during development that could be limiting the potential of our visual system.
80% of our learning comes through vision. Therefore, it is vital that the visual system is operating at it’s optimum for the maximum learning to take place. As an analogy, asking a person with a poorly operating visual system to read, is like asking a person whose legs don’t work well to walk up a mountain.
The behavioural Optometrist will perform an in-depth assessment of the visual system, to understand the visual processes of each individual. Following on from this, they may recommend a treatment strategy which may involve new glasses, coloured lenses or vision therapy.
What is vision therapy?
Vision therapy is a developmentally based series of activities which help to improve the connections between the eyes and the brain. This helps the brain to interpret the visual information from the eyes in a smoother manner by making the visual processes more automatic. This frees up the brain for higher cognitive tasks.
The therapy is normally done in practice every week, with home support activities each night to build on what’s been learnt. The activities are fun but challenging too, and therefore discipline is required to make real improvements.
Who needs vision therapy?
Patients who usually benefit from vision therapy have the following visual difficulties:
- Visual stress
- Learning-related visual problems
- Amblyopia (‘lazy eye’)
- Strabismus (‘crossed eyes’)
Would I or my child benefit from vision therapy?