Behavioral optometry is a whole person, holistic approach to vision care.
Rather than treat just the eyes, or even just the visual system, behavioral optometry assesses our behavior patterns in conjunction with our lifestyleand visual function requirements.
What is a Behavioral Visual Evaluation?
People’s behavior is generally consistent, and this translates to how we use our eyes, both to see and to guide our actions. Our personality traits get expressed in all facets of life. For example, how a person “drives their car,” both literally and figuratively, would likely surface in how they “drive” their visual system. A behaviorally-oriented visual evaluation uncovers such relationships, and accounts for them in prescribing and in supportive recommendations.
We do not see the world as It Is.
Rather, we see the world as we are!
What does it mean to see 20/20?
People who have “20/20” eyesight are able to see clearly at 20 feet of distance, while sitting still, viewing a stationary target, with no time limit, undivided attention, and without cognitive demands. How often do we find ourselves in such a simple situation?
At school and at work, most of our time requires attention, ability to focus, to coordinate our eyes, and to keep track of where we are looking. And most of this occurs at near-point, not at 20 feet.
Does everybody see the same way?
Once we gather visual information, every individual makes use of what we see in different ways. For example, where one person sees two fingers, another sees a peace sign, a third? Bunny ears! Experience, context, mood and perspective all color our perceptions and our outlook.
Can the visual system be guided?
If our use of our visual system is interfering with our ability to learn, to read, to function efficiently and effectively, it may be time to learn to see the world another way.
If I see clearly, can glasses still help?
Glasses may change how a person perceives their world. They may be prescribed not only to help a person to see clearly, but also to reduce the amount of effort required to see. Lenses and/or prisms may relieve visual stress, freeing up the brain for higher-order cognitive functions.
Read more about the Behavioral Approach to Prescribing glasses at: Personality & Prescriptions.
What if glasses aren’t enough?
In cases where more active support and guidance is needed, optometric vision therapy is recommended.