What is Behavioural Optometry?

  • Do you experience any difficulties with office work, reading or study?
  • Is attention or concentration during these tasks a problem?
  • Does your child have learning difficulties at school or any problems with reading, writing, spelling or math?
  • Is your child not doing as well at school as they ought to be?
  • Think you may have dyslexia?

Vision problems are often the cause. These problems can be subtle and go unnoticed because the person feels that they see clearly, or the problems were not detected at previous eye tests or vision screenings.

Behavioural optometry, also known as developmental or paediatric optometry, is a specialised branch of vision care that can help to solve your visual problems and maximise visual function and efficiency.

Behavioural optometrists carry out comprehensive examinations that evaluate your total visual performance. This includes checking eye health, eyesight clarity, and visual skills such as focussing, eye teaming, spatial judgement, eye movement control and visual information processing skills. This style of assessment goes well beyond the standard letter chart testing that you may be familiar with.

20/20 eyesight is not 20/20 vision. Eyesight is just the ability to see, while vision is a developed skill that allows us to identify, interpret and act on what we see. There is a strong link between vision and learning, 80% of all the information we receive comes through our eyes.

Good vision is vital to school children, and to any person who reads or uses computers in the course of their work. People who have vision problems may not know what they are missing, and about 1 in 5 children have vision problems that affect their reading and learning ability. Any person having reading or learning difficulties should have their vision checked. Problems that should be checked include:

  • Sore or tired eyes, excessive blinking or eye rubbing
  • Blurry vision or double vision
  • Problems with readjusting eye focus, at far or near
  • Eyestrain or visual stress
  • Poor span of attention
  • Poor reading comprehension, need to re-read lines
  • Avoidance of reading or near work
  • Headaches
  • Holding reading too close
  • Skipping words or lines when reading
  • Poor head or body posture with visual tasks
  • Poor work efficiency
  • Slow, crooked or untidy writing
  • Reading problems and learning difficulties
  • Letter or number reversals
  • Difficulty recognising or recalling words
  • Poor reading speed, fluency or comprehension
  • Poor spelling, poor writing ability or poor ability with maths
  • Poor confidence at school
  • Poor visual performance in sport

Treatment of vision problems involves spectacles with corrective or support lenses, as well as vision therapy. Vision therapy is a prescribed program of specific activities and exercises designed address your vision problems, to enhance functional and processing skills, and help you develop the visual skills necessary for school work or office work and sport performance, and most importantly, maximise your visual potential.

Vision therapy is more than just basic exercises or computer activities. Vision therapy, done in office and guided by your optometrist, comprehensively covers all aspects of your visual skills and is the most effective way to improve your vision.