Behavioural Optometry

Behavioural Optometry is looking at Vision beyond just the Eye Chart. We know that your eyes receive the information, but your brain has to make sense of these incoming messages. Investigating how this all works together is within the scope of Behavioural Optometry.

It is important to realise you can have “20/20 eyesight” but still have poor Vision.

So the fact you may not wear glasses, or perhaps have already been told you have the clearest prescription possible if you do wear them, does not mean we may not be able to help you enhance your Vision even further.

A Behavioural Vision Assessment can be useful for children and adults alike, especially those who wish to enhance or improve their visual skills for-

  1. Learning–related difficulties: developmentally, some children do not attain the skills they need to perform at the level required as they move through the school grades. This can be due to a breakdown in their functional visual skills eg the structure of the eye changes as they grow, creating the need for glasses or exercises for them to regain control of their vision. It can also be due to difficulty processing the information the eyes send to the brain, eg visual memory, visual-spatial analysis, visual-motor skills or visual-auditory integration.
  2. Vocational reasons eg allow more effective performance in the workplace without visual fatigue, eyestrain, headaches. These are becoming more common with the increase in screen-based activities (tablets, computers, laptops, phones).
  3. Sports: the dynamic skills of tracking a ball, accurately judging the spatial depth of a target or being able to focus consistently whilst either you or the ball/environment/opposition is moving is critical for the best performance in any sport.
  4. Following head trauma eg stroke, whiplash injuries, concussion. These events can compromise visual skills, however they can be regained through appropriate treatment.

Tools Utilised in Assessing Visual Processing

Firstly we require a comprehensive examination of your Functional skills. As well as assessing your eye health, eyesight and whether you need corrective prescription lenses to see more clearly, we will investigate how efficiently your eyes receive information. This thorough test of eye co-ordination, tracking, flexibility of focus, sustainability of focus and comfort of vision, may result in therapeutic lenses being prescribed, or Vision Therapy.

Our Visual-Cognitive Assessment utilises many different tools: some are standardised tests that were developed by Educational Psychologists, Paediatricians, Universities of Optometry and other Behavioural Optometrists around the world. All the data is baselined against thousands of children and adults of all different ages, to determine where the individual’s skills lie compared to others their same age. Other assessments are via trained observation of how the person performs, by our Behavioural Optometrists and/or our qualified Vision Therapist.

For a scientifically and clinically measurable assessment of a person’s ability to track and keep their place on the page and comprehend at the same time, depending on the age, we also use The Readalyser. This instrument uses infra-red technology to measure how the eyes scan print, taking into account the individuals comprehension as well ie they need to scan and comprehend at a Grade-appropriate level. This video (left) demonstrates how it may be used.


For further information on Behavioural  Optometry