What is a Behavioural Optometrist?


This would certainly be one of the most common questions we get asked at Eyes By Design.

Behavioural Optometry is about making sure:

  • that the vision system has the developmental maturity, strength and 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 and sustainable way, all of a person’s social and personal needs for intellectual and physical achievement.

A Behavioural Optometrist is a holistic practitioner. They look at how the eyes interact with the rest of the body and vice versa, rather than assessing a client as a ‘pair of eyeballs’.

More often than not an eye check with a general Optometrist involves asking you to read letters on a vision chart to determine your ability to see an object clearly from a certain distance. They will check the health of your eyes to rule out diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma. Often functional visual skills and visual processing skills such as: eye movements, eye teaming, eye focusing, tracking, visual memory, spatial awareness and depth perception may not be considered. This means that problems in these areas are missed in many tests by optometrists.

The Behavioural Optometrist Difference

A Behavioural Optometrist on the other hand, has had all the general training of an Optometrist, and can look after all of the regular eye concerns like corrective spectacles and diagnosis of eye disease. However, they can also test for additional things – the things that many other eye care professionals miss! Behavioural Optometrists know that the way you interpret what you see does not depend solely on how clear your eyesight is!

Behavioural Optometry Boys

If a visual functioning or information processing problem is found then there are more treatment options available at a Behavioural Optometrist than just glasses. At Eyes By Design for example we offer vision training and vision therapy. If the problem is better treated by another practitioner, for example a Speech Therapist or Occupational Therapist, we can provide a referral to who we feel may be able to help.

Most consultations provided by Behavioural Optometrists, including the initial consultation, attract a Medicare rebate. At the time of examination, your Behavioural Optometrist will be able to advise you of any associated fees and charges that will not be covered by Medicare. Learn more about Behavioural Optometry and how we can help