How are we different?

Conventional optometry focusses only on eyesight clarity and eye health . However, behavioural optometry also looks at visual functional skills and visual perceptual skills. 

Visual functional skills include eye movements, eye focussing and eye teaming. 

Eye movements include the skills used to follow a moving object such as a ball or car, as well as the skills used to read from left to right across a line of print. Good eye movement skills allow for stable, accurate vision and does not allow for words to move or loss of place when reading. 

Eye focussing skills refer to the ability to shift attention between near and far objects (e.g. viewing between the whiteboard and the book on a desk), as well as maintaining clarity and attention for prolonged near work (e.g. reading). Good eye focussing allows for clear, effortless vision and does not allow blurred vision to occur. 

Eye teaming skills refer to the ability to keep both eyes aimed accurately at a target. Good eye teaming skills allows for single, effortless vision and does not allow double vision or eye turns to happen despite us having two eyes. 

Visual perceptual skills refer to how  your brain interprets and understands the “picture” that you see with your eyeballs. It includes visual analysis, visual memory, visualisation, visual spatial awareness and visual motor integration. 

Visual analysis refers to the ability to distinguish similarities and differences such as the difference between ‘horse’ and ‘house’ is one letter. 

Visual memory is important in helping to remember scenes or objects that you have previously seen.

Visualisation is the ability to see objects and/or events happening in your mind. It is important for comprehension, spelling, anticipation and prediction. 

Visual spatial awareness is the ability to understand size, direction and angles in space. It is important in eliminating persistent letter/numbers reversals, understanding mathematics concepts and helping with layout of work on a page. 

Visual motor integration refers to your hand -eye coordination. It is important for ball activities, general coordination as well as handwriting neatness.

Everyone can benefit from the more holistic approach offered by Behavioural Optometry, but it is especially suited to those with eye turns, lazy eyes, eye tracking issues, problems learning to read or reading to learn and developmental delays.