Our optometrist Daniel Farrugia has undertaken additional training in behavioural optometry. Behavioural optometry goes beyond the simple measure of clarity of the image that our eyes receive, and looks at how efficiently the eyes do this, and how the information collected by the eyes is processed.
In children, and adults, if there is a problem somewhere along the line in this pathway, this may result in a learning delay that is not necessarily related to intelligence. Intervening to provide the stimulation required to encourage more normal development of vision is one of the goals of Behavioural Optometry.
We use a variety of tools and modalities to improve vision. These include:
- Lenses (single vision, bifocals, multifocals, tints, prisms and occlusive) to modify the sensory input from the eyes.
- Gross motor activities to assist with integration of body knowledge with other senses, especially sight!
- Eye exercises with specific goals to encourage an awareness of how information enters the visual system as well as an awareness (and hence control) of the ocular motor systems
By using these techniques, we aim:
- To prevent VISION problems and eye problems from developing
- To provide remediation or rehabilitation for vision or eye problems that have already developed (eg. eye turn, shortsightedness, visual sequelae of brain trauma etc)
- To develop and enhance the visual skills needed to achieve more effective visual performance in the classroom, work place, when playing sport and following recreational pursuits
Who would benefit from behavioural optometry?
All patients will benefit from this more holistic approach but it is especially suited to those with eye motor control problems, lazy eyes, developmental delays, neurological damage or learning delays. Although the majority of Behavioural Optometrists’ patients are children, Behavioural Optometry may be suitable for patients of any age if their condition is likely to respond to this treatment.