What is Behavioural Optometry?
Behavioural Optometry is an expanded area of optometric practice. Behavioural optometrists have a holistic approach to the treatment of vision and vision information processing problems. Functional visual efficiency is known to influence visual status. The way that you interpret what you see does not depend solely on how clear your eyesight is.
Consideration must be given to all your visual, visual motor and visual cognitive skills. In this way your behavioural optometrist will not only consider the remediation of any eyesight difficulties but also the benefits of prevention, protection and enhancement of your visual system in order to improve all aspects of your visual performance.
What is Vision Therapy?
Vision Therapy is an individualized, supervised, treatment program designed to correct visual-motor and/or perceptual-cognitive deficiencies. Vision Therapy sessions include procedures designed to enhance the brain’s ability to control:
eye tracking and eye teaming
eye focusing abilities
eye movements, and/or
Visual-motor skills and endurance are developed through the use of specialized computer and optical devices, including therapeutic lenses, prisms, and filters. During the final stages of therapy, the patient’s newly acquired visual skills are reinforced and made automatic through repetition and by integration with motor and cognitive skills.
Who Benefits from Vision Therapy?
Children and adults with visual challenges, such as:
Learning-related Vision Problems
Vision Therapy can help those individuals who lack the necessary visual skills for effective reading, writing, and learning (i.e., eye movement and focusing skills, convergence, eye-hand activity, visual memory skills, etc.).
Poor Binocular (2-eyed) Coordination
Vision Therapy helps individuals develop normal coordination and teamwork of the two eyes (binocular vision). When the two eyes fail to work together as an effective team, performance in many areas can suffer (reading, sports, depth perception, eye contact, etc.).
Convergence Insufficiency (common near vision disorder)
Recent scientific research — funded by the National Eye Institute and conducted at Mayo Clinic — has proven that in-office Vision Therapy is the best treatment for Convergence Insufficiency.
Amblyopia (lazy eye), Diplopia (double vision), and Strabismus (cross-eyed, wandering eye, eye turns, etc.)
Vision Therapy programs offer much higher cure rates for turned eyes and/or lazy eye when compared to eye surgery, glasses, and/or patching, without therapy. Recent scientific research has disproven the long held belief that children with lazy eye, or amblyopia, can’t be helped after age 7.
Stress-related Visual Problems – Blurred Vision, Visual Stress from Reading and Computers, Eye Strain Headaches, and/or Vision-induced Stomach-aches or Motion Sickness
21st century life demands more from our vision than ever before. Many children and adults constantly use their near vision at school, work and home. Environmental stresses on the visual system (including excessive computer use or close work) can induce blurred vision, eyestrain, headaches, etc.
How do I get my Child into the Vision Therapy Program?
Come in for a routine visual examination with either of our experienced optometrists. If during the eye examination, we find you may have a problem requiring vision therapy, we will do further tests to determine whether vision therapy is necessary. Should we find that indeed visual therapy is the solution for you, we will book you in with our onsite visual therapist to conduct an in office therapy program usually consisting of 8 sessions depending on the condition.
Which Medical Aids are accepted and does Medical Aid pay for Visual Therapy?
At Tomlinson Optometrists we are essentially a cash practice claiming directly for patients that are members of Discovery only. Many medical aids do pay for visual therapy however we require you to pay for individual therapy sessions upfront and claim back from your medical aid yourself.