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behavioural optometry

Behavioural optometry (also known as functional optometry) is an expanded area of optometrist practice that uses a more holistic approach to the way vision problems and visual information processing problems are treated and corrected. Whilst working primarily with children, behavioural optometrists may also work with people that have a visually challenging career or lifestyle.
Part of behavioural optometry is the idea that the way you interpret what you see is not only dependent on how clear your eyesight is, but also takes into account your visual, visual motor and visual cognitive skills.

Dr Damian Smith AM, (then president of the World Council of Optometry) opened the 5th International Congress of Behavioural Optometrists in 2006 with the words:
"Behavioural Optometry is about making sure:
• that the vision system has the developmental maturity, the strength and the stamina to meet every demand on it
• that the vision system is in harmony with all other body systems
• and that the outcome of the vision process satisfies in a comfortable, sustainable way, all of a person's social and personal needs for intellectual and physical achievement."


objectives of behavioural optometry

• prevent vision problems before they develop or from developing further
• remediate and rehabilitate existing eye problems (eg. shortsightedness, eye turn, visual sequelae etc)
• enhance visual skills required to accomplish effective visual performance in all areas of life


techiniques used in behavioural optometry

• visual hygiene can prevent or lessen the likelihood of eye problems developing
• prescription of spectacle lenses and prisms
• visual therapy to improve and progress visual abilities that are below par and underdeveloped
• a range of other optical aids (eg. use of tints/colour, occlusive techniques etc.)

medicare and behavioural optometry

The majority of consultations with behavioural optometrists can be covered by Medicare rebates. Your optometrist will be able to advise you of the fees associated with your consultation and what will be covered by Medicare.