Why See a Behavioral Optometrist?
Why See a Behavioral Optometrist?
Optometry is an expansive category with a set of sub-categories including behavioral optometry. This read will gauge what behavioral optometrists are responsible for when it pertains to vision care and assess their role but what patients are provided when diagnosis and treatment are engaged. This will provide a detailed viewpoint for one to evaluate their requirement in the world of vision care.
What Is a Behavioral Optometrist's Purpose?
Behavioral Optometry is concerned with how your eyes and visual system function and how your behavior affects vision or how your vision influences your behavior.
The eyes are not solely sitting in a separate space within one's body. They are interconnected with everything else including the brain. A person's eyes are a gateway for processing information and passing it to the brain. Some patients are not able to process this information as expected medically.
This is where a behavioral optometrist (sometimes incorrectly referred to as a behavioral ophthalmologist) comes into the picture.
This optometrist's primary purpose is to determine how a patient is interpreting visual stimulus and whether there is a gap between what should be noticed and what is being interpreted . This person's eyesight might be "20/20" according to physical charts, but their interpretation might be off.
This is where the treatment begins.
What are the primary goals for this optometrist when a patient requires treatment? The first step is to run a thorough diagnosis on the eye's physical structure before looking at interpretation. Sometimes, physical abnormalities can be missed and therefore should be reassessed.
If the patient passes this test with flying colors, the next stage of diagnosis is engaged.
This is when the specialist will put the patient through a set of tests to see how they are interpreting visual stimulus. Once the assessment is carried out, a plan is designed to help treat their condition and what might be causing the disconnect in the patient's body.
The optometrist has a set of goals in mind when going through this process and those include.
- Provide Treatment for Underlying Vision Problems
- Assess Physical Health of Eyes
- Enhance Visual Skills for Specific Tasks
Enhancing Visual Process
Who goes to these specialists? In general, a person that is looking to improve their visual processing will look to pursue such specialists. The goal is to work on one's eyesight to better perform a task. This can give an added advantage to those who are working in performance-based roles.
For example, athletes are often seen pursuing these specialists. A baseball hitter, hockey goaltender, or anyone requiring fast reflexes and laser-like eyesight will go to these experts. The optometrist can assess one's baseline reaction tests and then work on sharpening one's eyes through rigorous testing.
A good example given for those who are looking to determine the importance of this specialist is a child learning to ride their bike. They might have all the tools in place but still, won't know what to do. They have to be trained to learn the movements and ensure everything is working in sync.
Patients are coming in for the same type of learning. They want to optimize their eyes to work towards a particular goal such as hitting a ball or stopping a puck. It all comes down to taking seconds off one's reaction time to see better results now and in the future.
This is an emerging science and one that is appreciated around the world not only by athletes but by regular patients as well. If underlying visual issues, a patient can speak with an optometrist and ensure their processing is above average and not lacking in certain areas.
As more and more time goes on, many patients are pushing towards booking appointments with behavioral optometrists and feel this is a must to enhance their vision.
Learn more about our 4D Vision Therapy specialties:
- Optometric Vision Therapy
- Vision Therapy for Children
- Post-Concussion Therapy
- Sports Vision Training