The EyeCare Corner
Est: 1974

Behavioural Optometry 

Because vision seems so natural you may be surprised to know that clear vision is itself a learned skill. And since much of what we know about the world is taken in through our main sense - vision, encouraging normal visual development in children is very important.

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What is Behavioural Optometry?

You may not be aware of it, but your visual system brings you much information about your world. When you look at something, you don't just "see" with your eyes, you inspect, discriminate, identify and interpret - all as a part of your visual system.

Behavioural Optometry is an expanded area of this Optometry Practice. When you visit your Behavioural Optometrist, you may notice a difference in your examination. You will find that you are tested for very specific visual skills. You may find that many of your questions about vision are answered. And you will receive the clinical guidance you need to develop the skills that provide for an efficient visual system.

Why Behavioural Optometry?

Our ancestors had hunter's eyes for survival in the wilderness; their vision was designed for spotting game and enemies at a distance.

In the last 100 years we have been forced to deal with sustained, near visual tasks and the resulting stress on the visual system has produced many symptoms and problems.

If you experience headaches, blurred vision, tired, itchy or watery eyes or other vision linked problems, you may already know how uncomfortable sustained visual stress can feel. Your discomfort may be related to the heavy vision load of working at near distances.

If you are a student, you may read almost three times the number of textbooks your grandparent did. If you are employed in an office, you probably use your visual system for hours of close-up work. If you work with computers, you may spend much of you day looking at a computer screen. These tasks can all contribute to visual stress.

Even if you have "20/20 eyesight" you may have difficulty working at close tasks. The term "20/20" means you can see well at distance of 20 feet or more, it does not usually refer to how well you see at 12-16 inches, the distance at which you do most of your close work.

There is a solution.

Your Behavioural Optometrist has studied the effects of stress on vision. Through the use of carefully selected stress-relieving and preventive lenses and visual training, you can enjoy relief from even the most stressful close-up visual conditions.

More about Behavioural Optometrists

Your Behavioural Optometrist takes a holistic approach to vision care. You are treated as a whole person and your visual problem as a part of the whole system. Your Behavioural Optometrists works with you and your children, rather than doing something to you.

You and your children will receive help in developing the important visual skills you may need to teach academic and professional goals.

Even the visual achievement of successful learners and earners can be enhanced through Behavioural Optometric care.

How will my childs visual skills develop as they grow?

Babies and toddlers are learning to see. They are continuously developing their ability to follow objects with their eyes, to adjust focus until things are sharp. The ability to see in 3D and avoid double vision by having both eyes work together is now well under way. They develop eye-hand co-ordination. Given good visual stimulation, the sharpness of vision improves in the first few years of life.

Early school years are all about learning to read. This requires good visual perception skills, to focus attention, to distinguish one letter from another, to recognise words, to gain meaning from text.

As schooling progresses, students read to learn. Your child will spend longer periods of time reading smaller print and more complicated language. The finer control skills of vision (getting focus and eye movements working just right) and being able to maintain them for prolonged periods, are needed for optimal learning.

For many children, everything goes well, and clear vision and new visual skills happen without even being noticed. However if you do notice that something is not as it should be this is where the specialist training of your Behavioural Optometrist can assist in setting your child on the path to clear learning.

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Bruce Mellick Optometry