What is Behavioural Optometry?

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. 

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.

ACBO Members adhere to the following Codes, standards and guidelines:

Your Behavioural Optometrist will not only consider the treatment of any eyesight difficulties but also the benefits of prevention, protection and enhancement of your visual system in order to ensure all aspects of your visual performance are working as well as possible.  Some Behavioural Optometrists focus on particular areas of practice such as children’s vision, sports vision, vision problems affecting education and learning difficulties, stroke and head injury, Parkinson’s Disease; and limiting increases in short sightedness with progressive lenses and contact lenses, orthokeratology and vision therapy.

Goals of Behavioural Optometry

  1. To prevent vision and eye problems from developing or deteriorating
  2. To provide treatment for vision problems that have already developed (eg: eye turn, shortsightedness etc)
  3. To ensure the visual abilities needed in the classroom, work place, when playing sport and using computers, are developed normally and working well.

To achieve these goals your Behavioural Optometrist may recommend:

  1. Advice to prevent or reduce the possibility of eye problems developing
  2. Appropriate prescription of glasses
  3. Vision Therapy to improve vision function and visual processing development
  4. The use of tinted lenses where indicated by specific testing, for certain conditions such as migraine and concussion.

Most consultations provided by Behavioural Optometrists, including the initial consultation, attract a Medicare rebate. At the time of examination, your Behavioural Optometrist will be able to advise you of any associated fees and charges that will not be covered by Medicare.

Is there evidence that Behavioural Optometry works?

Yes, there is! This website has a whole section devoted to the science and the evidence for Behavioural Optometry - learn more »

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