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  • Writer's pictureEsna van der Walt

How behavioural optometry can help you

There's more to seeing than just eyesight! In the world of eye care, behavioural optometry is a specialised field that considers your vision in relation to your visual demands, such as reading, working on a computer or learning to read and write, to ensure your vision is working easily and comfortably.


Behavioural optometrists go beyond traditional eye testing, glasses and contact lenses. Their holistic approach helps train your brain, eyes and body to work together to improve your vision for a better-quality life.


What is behavioural optometry?


Behavioural optometry is a specialised field of optometry that adopts a holistic approach to vision care. Behavioural optometrists recognise that vision is more than just seeing clearly; it’s about how the brain processes and interprets visual information and integrates it with other sensory inputs to understand the world and perform daily activities. Visual, visual motor and visual cognitive skills are all considered in the field of behavioural optometry.


Who can benefit from behavioural optometry?


While it can be helpful for people of all ages, children, in particular, stand to gain significantly. During childhood, the visual system is still developing, and any issues that arise can have profound effects on learning, behaviour and social interactions. Early detection, prevention and treatment is the key to improved vision and a better life.


Signs that you or your child might need behavioural optometry include:

·       Reading or writing difficulties

·       Reversing letters or numbers

·       Trouble following words on the page and skipping words

·       Poor concentration

·       Poor reading and learning ability

·       Poor comprehension

·       Poor spelling

·       Headaches

·       Blurred vision

·       Uncomfortable eyes

·       Eyestrain or visual fatigue

·       Behaviour problems in children.


What happens during a behavioural optometry examination?


In addition to a traditional eye exam, behavioural optometrists also perform other tests to measure and ensure that a patient’s visual system has the developmental maturity, strength and stamina to adequately function during their daily visual tasks.


A visit to a behavioural optometrist will include:

·       Discussing your symptoms, as well as your lifestyle and daily activities.

·       A traditional eye examination.

·       Evaluating your visual focus flexibility (how well the eyes focus when moving between near and far objects)

·       Assessing your eye teaming (how well eyes work together as a team)

·       Testing your ocular muscle integrity (the strength and movement of your eyes)

·       Evaluating your eye tracking movements when reading.

·       Assessing amblyopia (lazy eye)

·       Evaluating a turned eye (squint eye)


What does behavioural optometry treatment include?


Unlike traditional optometry which includes an eye examination and the prescription of glasses or contact lenses, behavioural optometrists consider your visual clarity, comfort and function when deciding on a treatment plan that will suit your lifestyle and work environment.


They will also give you advice on the benefits of prevention, protection and enhancement of your entire visual system in order to improve all aspects of your visual performance.


Behavioural optometry treatment can include:

·       Prescription of glasses or contact lenses

·       Vision therapy

·       Syntonics / light therapy

·       Advice and exercises to prevent or reduce eye or vision problems.


In conclusion


In essence, behavioural optometry offers a holistic approach to vision care, recognising the connection between vision, behaviour and overall development. By addressing not only the symptoms of vision problems, but also the underlying causes, behavioural optometrists empower adults and children to reach their full potential, academically, socially and in their work environment.


Book a comprehensive eye exam today


If you notice any signs of visual discomfort or struggle in your child, consider consulting a behavioural optometrist to improve their vision and unleash their potential.


Tomlinson Optometrists takes a holistic approach to vision, specialising in behavioural optometry, which includes a comprehensive behavioural eye exam and vision testing, as well as treatment options including prescription lenses or glasses, advice to reduce problems with eyesight, as well as vision therapy.


Get in touch with us on WhatsApp:

Book an appointment online:

Phone 021 797 7291, email or visit us at 278B Main Road, Kenilworth.

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