What is Behavioural Optometry?
What does a vision problem feel like?
You can have clear sight and yet still suffer unknowingly from vision problems. If you experience headaches, blurred vision, tired, itchy or watery eyes, you may already know how uncomfortable visual stress can be.
However, some vision symptoms are more related to performance eg. problems with concentration/attention and reading. These often lead to feelings of failure, attitudes of “I can’t”, avoidance and disruptive behaviour problems, especially in children. A vision problem doesn’t feel good, and leads to a lot of frustration.
Perfect Sight is not Enough
People can make the mistake of thinking that clear sight is the only indicator of good vision.
A sight problem is easily detected and treated with glasses or contact lenses, but vision is much more complex than just “sight”.
There are many aspects of your vision that allow you to concentrate, maintain attention and remember things, which require additional testing beyond testing your sight, prescription and eye health.
If you are a student, you may read almost three times the number of textbooks your grandparents did. If you work in an office, you probably use your vision for hours of close-up work, including looking at a computer screen. A sight test does not measure how well your eyes cope with long periods of close work.
What is Behavioural Optometry?
At first the term “behavioural” seems a little strange to some people when they think about what an optometrist does. It may also seem a bit “alternative” to some. There’s nothing mystical about this approach, in fact it makes sense to most people once they think about it. So let’s demystify what behavioural vision care means.
Practicing with a behavioural vision care philosophy means that we do all the regular sight and eye health checks, but as a routine we also do comprehensive assessments of those visual skills that affect learning, concentration, spatial awareness and other quality of life issues. We take into consider all your “visual behaviours” – what you use your vision for and how efficiently you do it. We also like to consider and understand how a vision problem, will cause you to alter how you go about doing things in your daily life ie how you alter your “behaviour”.
For example, if a vision problem makes it uncomfortable for a child to read, then they will alter their behaviour by avoiding reading, slowing down reading or pulling the book closer as they try harder to deal with the problem. Symptom like those in the above example are not something a person will not alwasy say unless directly asked, just like many of the symptoms used to pick up vision problems.
We have a lot of experience in treating vision problems that affect concentration and optimum learning, and those vision problems that cause headaches, eye strain and problems with depth perception. We offer services such as Clinic Based Visual Therapy and Orthokeratology – both non-surgical techniques to enhance and correct vision problems. We have busy visual training practice with experienced staff.