What is the behavioural optometry approach?

Behavioural optometry is a specialised area which embraces the link between vision, learning and development.

Behavioural Optometry considers your vision in relation to your visual demands, such as reading, computers, and learning to read and write, to ensure your vision is working easily and comfortably. The way that you interpret what you see does not depend solely on how clear just your sight is.


What does a behavioural optometry appointment involve?

Behavioural optometry care involves more than just measuring your eyes on the distance chart. It includes:

  • Measurement of focus and eye coordination function problems which can affect visual comfort and performance when reading and writing and using computers
  • Measurement of distance focus, especially if there are symptoms of difficulty looking up clearly from computers, or blurred distance vision, which could be shortsightedness (myopia) beginning to develop as a result of more time on computers and less time outside
  • Assessment and treatment of lazy eye (amblyopia) and turned eye (strabismus), using spectacles and sometimes vision therapy
  • Assessment and treatment of development of tracking eye movement abilities for reading fluency
  • Assessment and treatment of a child’s developed skills of vision perception, or processing, to ensure these abilities are normally developed for their age, and are affecting their ability to learn to read and write, and to read at age level, and achieve to their potential
  • Assessment and management of visual issues associated with health and neurological conditions, such as stroke and head injury, Parkinson’s disease, and concussion and whiplash.

When we assess your child we also look at how they are able to use their eyes and in particular we look at eye teaming, focusing and visual processing skills and also the effect that fatigue may have on their vision and therefore their school performance. All of these skills are the building blocks for reaching your full potential, particularly in the classroom.


What makes a behavioural vision exam different?

A behavioural optometry assessment covers all the aspects of a general eye examination, however looks much more closely at a number of different visual skills that are essential for learning including visual perception skills such as visual spatial skills, visual motor skills, visual memory, eye movement skills and visual analysis skills.

If problems exist we may recommend treatment with glasses and/or vision therapy to improve vision function and visual processing development. We will also advise on general “visual hygiene”to reduce vision fatigue.

If you have any concerns about your child’s eyes or vision and please book a time for a behavioural vision assessment with Cassie or Andrew via our online booking. Some out of pocket charges will apply.