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Vision Therapy and Contact Lens Centre

ABOUT Behavioural Optometry/Vision Therapy

Who should consider Behavioural Optometry/Vision Therapy?

Anyone wishing to improve the quality and efficiency of their visual function will find an answer to their visual needs in Behavioural Optometry. This covers a wide range of abilities, from specific learning disabilities to elite sportspeople. In practice, most people seeking this type of intervention are children. 


Here is a list of candidates to benefit the most


  • Headache/migraine sufferers

  • A diagnosis of Convergence Insufficiency

  • Disparity between reading ability and IQ

  • Dyslexics and those with reading difficulties

  • Dyspraxics

  • Difficulty copying from the board

  • Strabismus (eye turn)

  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)

  • ADHD

  • Autism

  • Sports competitors/athletes

  • Balance problems

  • Travel sickness


The Assessment

A Behavioural Optometrist takes an interest in the visual behaviours of the patient (an example of an unhealthy visual behaviour would be holding reading material too close), and how the entire posture of the patient aligns in accordance with these visual behaviours. Gedalya allocates 90 mins in order to painstakingly evaluate and classify the visual behaviours, and to probe into their likely causes. This involves exhaustive assessment of eye muscle function and coordination, observation of visual behaviour during desk work activities, and some general developmental activities.


What next?

There are 5 possible outcomes of Gedalya's assessment. 

1. No action (unlikely if there were symptoms precipitating the visit)

2. Specially prescribed reading spectacles, possibly in the form of bifocals, or including prism lenses, to maximise visual efficiency for near tasks

3. A programme of vision therapy activities to address any weaknesses. Gedalya will give an idea as to the length of the programme, and the frequency of appointments (weekly, fortnightly or monthly)

4. A combination of 2&3

5. A referral to another practitioner or discipline where appropriate  


What is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is commonly misunderstood as "gym" for the eyes. Whilst there is some element of repetitive eye exercises which will develop eye muscle strength, there is much more to it than that. Vision occurs in the brain. Eye movements are controlled by the brain centres which coordinate the pairs of eye muscles. True vision therapy includes perceptual and physical activities which train the brain to appreciate space more accurately and effectively, thereby providing these brain centres with more accurate information upon which to direct the eye movements. It is a learning process which teaches a different way of using the eyes; once learned, this is reinforced every time the eyes are used. Eye activities are introduced with the goal to make these new learned pathways automatic and reflexive, reducing the eye movements to the level of the subconscious, i.e. eliminating conscious effort to direct the eyes, resulting in maximum cognitive output and therefore maximum efficiency. Gedalya's treatment philosophy is to provide the minimum intervention at the appropriate level of development, in order to teach the fundamental skills to facilitate the patient to learn best how to use the eyes by themselves. 

















What does it entail?

Weekly, fortnightly or monthly 45 minute in-house sessions with Gedalya. You will be expected to practise the techniques learned for approximately 10 minutes a day in between sessions; the success or failure of the programme is largely dependent on compliance with the homework! Gedalya will decide the frequency of appointments dependent on the initial presentation; the more developmental cases will have the appointments spaced out to allow the activities to have maximum impact, whereas simple convergence problems can often be resolved in 2 months of weekly sessions. After 6 sessions of therapy, Gedalya will review progress to decide whether to conclude treatment or continue. If the recommendation is to continue, he will give an estimation as to how many more sessions are required. 


Will the benefits last?

In the vast majority of cases, yes. Since successful vision therapy involves learning new, more efficient ways of using the eyes, these new ways are constantly reinforced with every subsequent visual act, hence regression is rare. In the unlikely event that you require re-treatment, it is usually just one or two sessions to refresh skills rather than an entire course. Re-treatment is more likely if vision therapy is stopped prematurely.   


Come for an assessment if you suffer from one or more of:

  • Double vision when reading or looking into the distance

  • Blurred vision when reading

  • Pain/ache inside the eye

  • Skipping or repeating words or lines when reading

  • Poor reading comprehension

  • A tendency to read things more than once before taking it in

  • A tendency to read things more than once before taking it in

  • Words move on the page

  • Headache associated with near visual tasks

  • Dizzyness or travel sickness

  • Poor depth perception/spatial awareness



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